Halesworth Day of Dance – 17th March 2018
The Beast from the East was back! Russian snow! Just the weather for a day of dance! There is a saying in Suffolk that “there’s nothing between us and the Urals”. For once local lore and the Met Office agreed: the sun was not to shine on Oxblood Molly’s 4th Day of Dance in Halesworth.
Our North West side (Haughley Hoofers) was in two minds about going, but the roads were OK and word of mouth had it that indoor venues were being sorted out. In the end the idea of an itinerant day of dance was abandoned – who would be on the streets to watch on such a day?
The whole event was held in the Rifle Hall becoming something akin to a Morris Ale. For those who have never attended an Ale: it’s a bonding party for Cotswold Morris sides who gather in some far flung hall in winter to consume vast amounts of beer and food and dance through every dance they know either until they drop or midnight. Usually midnight comes first … though as Morris sides get older …
Anyway back to Halesworth: giving a St Patrick’s Day twist to their event with green face masks and shamrock, Oxblood started with massed dances arranged beforehand for every genre of dance represented. But as we were the only ones, with the help of a sole Danegeld dancer, able to make up a complete North West side we were on our own – slightly nerve-racking as “Carr Lodge” is quite a new dance to us and we were by no means sure of it, but the sprung wooden floor lifted us all. After the massed dances, it was turn and turnabout. Informality and lack of a public audience meant that those intrepid, but lone, souls representing their absent sides could join in. (Quick run-through in the men’s cloakroom anyone?) Between dances friends chatted and relationships between sides were renewed.
After learning a new dance on the hoof, Danegeld’s Sandy had earned her cup of tea!
Gill Brett 25 March 2018