Traditionally, Morris dancing was mainly for men. No woman was allowed to dance or participate in the dance in any other way except watching. According to the Morris Ring, the oldest Morris dancing organisation in England, the major reason for this rule was because the dance was a male activity characterised by an arduous nature. Women were presumed not strong enough to be a part of the Morris dancing troupes. Today, things have changed thanks to antagonistic organisations such as the Open Morris and the Morris Federation which have been established more recently. The Morris Federation has more than 450 clubs which have men and women sides. The Open Morris has more than 130 clubs which feature mixed groups of dancers. Therefore, if you are interested in the dance and are not sure whether or not you’ll be accepted in a certain club, search for Morris dancing troupes within the two federations and you are sure to find one. If you are in the area of Reading, you can also Have a go at Morris Dancing Hurst Side. Why not experience the joy of participating in one of the oldest of the English traditions? People of both genders are invited to free taster sessions at Hurst Village Hall.
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