“Clocs Canton started in 1986 after they were formed by a dancer from a side in Yorkshire called ‘Yorkshire Chandeliers’. The dance style is North West morris, which is danced with Garlands and waivers, and we wear leather clogs with wooden soles. The dances are more regimental than cotswold and use straight lines and angles with a marching beat to the music. The dances come from the North West of England and have names like ‘Lancashire Processional’ and ‘Peover’ (a little village near Knutsford, Cheshire). The tradition of wearing clogs whilst dancing evolved because the mill workers wore clogs as normal day wear to work. They would dance in their breaks with the clogs tapping the beat on the floor, and sounding and moving like the mill machines.”
Why is it great to be a member of Clocs Canton?
“Clocs Canton are a friendly dance side; we socialise outside of morris and go to Concerts like Bellowhead in November, as well as going on theatre trips. We also go to The Cricketers Pub, Cathedral Road, for a drink after practice. We dance well and enjoy ourselves when we dance out; people always say we are constantly smiling and look like we are enjoying it. The kit is very unusual for ladies North West as it is in the welsh colours of red, white and green and we wear trousers. We have been called, ‘dancing deckchairs’, ‘garden gnomes’, and Santa’s Little Helpers’. We like our kit but if anyone wants to join us, and wishes to have a skirt instead of the trousers, we have a nice red and white striped number. We go to some lovely places and it’s great way to keep fit and make new friends.”
What’s in store for the side in the upcoming months?
“In the winter months we concentrate on practising for the next dance season which traditionally starts with Upton Folk Festival on 1 May. We aim to teach new members a few dances to confidently perform in public. We chatted with the lovely people at Tesco briefly, and Christmas and St David’s Day were mentioned so we shall see – obviously dancing at Tesco would be good for us and the store. Our next dance out is the Heath Ceilidh spot on 21 February. http://ruffceilidhs.org/
Tell me about yourself…
“I personally belong to Clocs Canton, Cardiff Ladies and Full Moon Morris, so I have a wide knowledge of tradition and styles. I have been dancing since I was 19 when a friend who was going out with one of the Cardiff Morris Men dragged me along to a Cardiff Ladies Practice – she left and I carried on. Cardiff Ladies are currently 40 years old and Clocs Canton are coming up to their 30th year. It is not just a hobby, for me it has been a way of life, like an extra family of good friends to share the good times and the bad. I will always be grateful for my introduction to the world of morris dancing and long may it continue.”
Clocs Canton practice in Tesco Community Room, Western Avenue, on Thursdays.
For more information visit: http://www.clocscanton.co.uk/