Morris dancers here with bells on

Last updated 13:00 07/01/2014

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More than 100 Morris Dancers will are in Nelson this week for the annual National Morris Tour of New Zealand.

Dancers from New Zealand, England, the United States and Australia will "dance out" at various locations including the Mapua Boardwalk, Richmond's Sundial Square and in Nelson at Founders Park and the Queens Gardens.

The tour provided opportunities for teams to "do a bit of showing off", learn new dances or traditions and generally have a good time, said Steve Rule, who is the "squire" or leader of the hosts, Nelson Morris Dancers.

"It's magical and mystical, you don't need a partner, and I just love it."

He sees it as a way of being connected to the past but in a modern innovative way.

He and his wife Jan King formed Nelson Morris in 2009 and now the club has around 23 dancers and musicians.

"People take the mickey out of Morris Dancing because it's quirky - men and women prancing around with bells and ribbons - but people should come along to a performance see what cool dances we do," he said.

"All you need is a reasonable level of fitness, a good rhythm, a sense of humour and a minimum of six dancers and a musician."

The tour will finish with a mass dance at the top of Trafalgar St on Saturday January 11 at noon.

For more information on the tour go to Nelson Morris Dancers on Facebook or nelson morris.org.nz or nzmorrisontour-wordpress.com.

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- The Nelson Mail

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