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Morris Dancing? What is Morris Dancing?!
Morris is a term applied to traditional English folk-dancing that is done as a performance rather than as a social event.
There are many kinds of Morris dancing. The Albemarle Morris Men dance a type of Morris called Cotswold Morris, named for the southwestern region of England from which the dancing comes. The origins are obscure. Some scholars think that Englishmen on crusade in Europe in the 14th century saw, and perhaps participated in a Spanish dance which was a reenactment of the driving of the Moors from Spain, hence the term “Moorish,” or “Morris.” Morris dancing was incorporated into existing seasonal festivities and was handed down from generation to generation.
The Albemarle Morris Men use as the basis of their dance style the dances collected in the village of Bledington, Gloucestershire. The costumes they wear are their own design, but reflect the tradition of the Morris dance attire. They have been dancing in and around Charlottesville since 1978.