Alive & Kicking

Contact Us

See Us Dancing...

New Members

Winter Practice

North West Clog




Back to Maldon Morris

&K is a mixed Morris side, formed in 1992 we hail from around the Maldon area of Essex, where we dance in the traditional North-West Clog style.

North West Clog

There are several varieties of Morris, each having a distinctive style and costume. The dance customs were, at the outset, regional; Cotswold, Border, and so on.

North-West Clog Morris dancing was established by workers in the cotton mills and other factories of Cheshire, Lancashire and West Yorkshire. This was a new form of the original Morris, brought from the countryside during the mass migration of the industrial revolution. It incorporated the clogs that were originally used for solo step dancing on factory flagstones. Gradually it developed into a processional style, often with brass bands accompanying the teams. The dance patterns and arm movements were meant to represent the motion of the mill machinery, such as the criss-crossing of shuttles in a loom.

Each village had its own team or side and gave its name to an individual dance. Many of the dances we perform still have these village names; Newton-le-Willows and Knutsford for example. The dancers dressed in fancy and colourful costumes but wore their clogs from the mills and factories. The dances were often performed during the annual holiday week - Wake's Week - and at church festivals.

Essentially two types of stepping are used in North-West Morris polka step and single step; see if you can spot them as we are dancing.

By the time North West Clog Morris was established, old rules against female dancers were breaking down. Although these days there are mixed sides as well as ladies' and men's teams in almost all forms of of Morris, North-West Clog is the only tradition where mixed sides have always been the case.
A&K in Chelmsford
Web Master: Sarah Packard
Last Updated: November 2014