Queen Emma's Morris was formed in the autumn of 1980. After a winter of hard work began to dance in public one cold wet day the following spring. Since then our small but dedicated team has danced in all weathers, and is now in its twenty-fifth season. The dances in our present repertoire are from the traditions danced in the Cotswold villages of Adderbury, Bledington and Leafield (Fieldtown), some stick dances, some hanky dances.
Our namesake, Queen Emma, once the wife of the Saxon King Ethelred the Unready, by whom she became the mother of Edward the Confessor, owned much of the land on which Witney now stands. Following the death of Ethelred, she married the Danish invader, King Canute.
Many people express surprise at seeing women Morris dancers. In fact, this is not as untraditional as many people believe, there are many instances of women dancing with men, to make up a team, and of whole teams of women dancing alongside men's teams, and accepted by them, since at least 1679. Towards the end of the last century women did much of the collecting of material, the dances and traditions and teaching of the new generation of dancers. If you are interested, please contact: Dorothy Allen 01993 776824