Despite the strong Morris tradition in Adderbury, dating back to the early 20th century, it was not until April 2010 that our ladies’ side was formed. Following a conversation between Tay Yardley Barnes and Keith Norton at the Day of Dance, Tay gathered together 12 would-be dancers and two musicians within a few hours and Sharp and Blunt was born. The name was chosen in honour of Cecil Sharp and Janet Blunt, both avid collectors of Morris and folk dances and songs during the first half of the 20th century. Coincidentally, Janet lived at Le Halle Place, where our squire, Laura Walker, lives now.
Since then, the side has gone from strength to strength. Many of the original dancers, including Laura, Hils Hall, Jenny Jordon, Linda Leslie, Sheila Norton and Chris Varney and musicians, Sheena Powell and Sandra Shallis, are still with us, and we have welcomed many new ones over the past eight years. Most of the dancers and musicians live in or around Adderbury.
Despite being a ladies’ side, we were delighted when Bryan Martin (the token “chap”) joined the musicians in 2015. We are also grateful to Keith Norton, aka Morris Pops, for teaching us some of the traditional dances and for his constructive criticism, Chris Leslie for helping out with the music and Jason Walker who is always willing to stand in at short notice.
We now have over 20 dances under our belt and add to the list every few months. Some are traditional Adderbury dances, such as Shepherd’s Hey and Washing Day, and others are our own creations, including Heath Farm, Nanny Moore, Haystacks and an adaptation of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies.
We are always keen to welcome new dancers and no previous dancing experience is necessary. We are a very friendly side, with a wide range of ages, from young to old, and we practise most Monday evenings in the Methodist Hall in Adderbury. We dance out in the summer and have performed at a variety of locations, including Cornbury Festival, Oxford May Morning, Oxford Folk Festival, Hook Norton Beer Festival and for Saatchi and Saatchi. We dance in the village on Boxing Day, Adderbury Day of Dance and May Bank Holiday.
We would like to thank the lovely Adderbury people for coming to watch and support us in all weathers and for turning a blind eye to the odd mistake.
Find out more about Sharp and Blunt by visiting our Facebook page (Sharp and Blunt) or follow us on Twitter (@sharpbluntdance). If you would like to come along to one of our practice sessions, email us at sharpandblunt@gmail.com. You will be very welcome!
Chris Varney

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