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Folk Friendzy are a dance group for young people that perform traditional dance in their own unique way and style, ensuring that traditions continue for new and existing audiences. Performing at events all over the country, and aim to build confidence in young people, through performance. For more information email us, call us on 01773 743741, or find us on facebook.
Kickin’ Alice Appalachian Step Dancers and their band Kickophony are based in Shropshire, with dancers and musicians from across the West Midlands. Kickin’ Alice perform all over the UK at a variety of venues, events, festivals and fetes. They provide a dynamic visual and sonic performance incorporating the percussive ‘root’ styles from the UK and Europe as well as the more modern American clogging to some great Old Time and folk tunes. Follow Kickin’ Alice on Twitter or ‘Like’ them on facebook. Find out more on their website. Kickin’ Alice was founded by Terry McKay in 1990. Terry’s inspiration came from the work of American teams, ‘The Fiddle Puppets’ and ‘The Green Grass Cloggers’ during the late 1980’s. Whilst their primary aim is to entertain, they also try to show an overview of aspects of the history and development of Applalachain dancing. As this will always be open to interpretation, they add to that tradition with their own individual choreographed steps and styles.
Beorma Morris are Birmingham’s finest, indeed only, Border Morris side. Started 3 years ago they are a loose collective of dancers and musicians drawn from all ages and walks of life. Incorporating dances like: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Morris” and, “Who Do I Stick With First?”. Their performances incorporate Freakbeat, Breakbeat, Offbeat and Deadbeat styles as they celebrate the traditions of working class dance and music. Having performed at folk festivals, Stonehenge, donkey sanctuaries, Eid Melas , old people’s homes and on daytime soaps; they welcome new members to dance and/or play with them. ‘Practice is every Wednesday at The Bear, Bearwood (8.00pm – Morris time); no previous experience necessary. The only qualification is enthusiasm! “Once seen, never forgotten”. Unfortunately.’
Bedcote are a mixed sex Cotswold Morris side based in Stourbridge, West Midlands. Since 1991, their dancers and musicians have been doing their bit to maintain and develop Morris traditions from the Cotswolds, Lichfield and further afield (South Australia, anyone?). Apart from the serious business of keeping this rich part of English heritage alive, Bedcote Morris are keen to emphasise that folk is fun. Dance-outs during the summer regularly involve audience participation (usually once some excellent Black Country beer has lowered inhibitions) and they have forged strong links with other sides from across the region. Thursday night is generally party night somewhere in the West Midlands. They also perform at fetes, festivals and other events, and have developed a possibly unique method of helping wheelchair users to take part in the joy of Morris. This year saw Bedcote organise the first – and hugely successful – Stourbridge Day of Dance, when the town was filled with the sights and sounds of Cotswold, Border, Appalachian, North-West, belly and step clog dancing. Planning is already under way for the 2016 event, which promises to be bigger, better and a great way to celebrate their 25th birthday. They are always keen to welcome new members – beginners or experienced – to their practices, which take place each Thursday throughout the winter in Stourbridge, followed by a relaxed debriefing in the neighbouring pub. For more information about Bedcote, find them on facebook or visit their website.
History lesson: Why “Bedcote?” It was the name of the feudal manor which eventually went on to become Stourbridge. So now you know.
Sedgley Morris Men
Sedgley Morris Men are a Morris Ring Side formed in 1979 and they perform Cotswold tradition dances. They grew out of a “fancy dress” morris performance at a Scouts New Year’s eve Barn Dance. They are about 20 in number and perform regularly around the West Midlands during the summer months at fetes and carnivals on their own and in company with other local sides. For the past 35 years they have organised an annual Maypole Festival for local schools in Sedgley and every 1st of May they have danced at dawn on Sedgley Beacon – a local beauty spot. No strangers to the media spotlight they were, last year, invited to “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” by host Bradley Walsh and featured in the show performing in the auditorium, Bradley renaming them the “Sedgley Stoats”. In the past they have featured in a TV documentary on the life of Percy Grainger and took part in a, yet to be released, feature film.
Birmingham’s only Appalachian Dance Team, Step on Board, hail from the area surrounding Birmingham’s own Appalachian style mountains, The Lickey Hills, on the South side of the City. They perform at fetes, fairs and carnivals……and a number of Festivals too, including their own Bromsgrove Folk Festival in July. They are an enthusiastic bunch with a wide age range and are always on the lookout for new dancers and musicians. If you would like more information call Cynthia on 0121 476 5938.
Black Adder clog morris dance in the North West style and they write many of their dances. Their lovely musicians include a piper, fiddler, melodeon, & accordion. Black Adder are based in Cotteridge, on the South West side of the best city in the country-Birmingham. They enjoy dancing out with other sides and are looking forward to supporting The Demon Barbers in Birmingham.
Jockey were formed in Birmingham in 1949. Gwen Johnson, who was instrumental in forming the side, lived in Jockey Road, Sutton Coldfield. As the side needed a name before performing in a dance festival at the Albert Hall, Gwen used the name of her street on the application form! The rosettes that are worn on their kit are taken from the Sutton Rose motif and the baldrick is the blue of the City of Birmingham.
Jockey Morris perform all over the country and have been, and continue to be, participants in many festivals in Europe.
Shakespeare Morris Men