Rosewood Morris Dancers

Traditional English Dance - Morris Dancing

Every solstice, outside the pubs of Palmerston North, strangely clad people can be seen leaping into the air, waving handkerchiefs and sticks, with bells jingling from their shins. This traditional ritual to welcome the return of the sun and spring is called Morris dancing, and it goes back at least to the 15th century in England.

The origins of Morris dancing have been lost in history, but prevalent opinion is that Morris is based pre-Christian fertility or luck-bringing ceremonies. Over time, these 'pagan' dances were assimilated by the church (first the Catholic, then the Protestant) and by the 1500s, Morris was being performed for Easter, May Day and other local festivals.

Morris is still danced all year round to ensure a good crop, to provide entertainment, or to commemorate important events. Today, Morris is still performed in England and New Zealand on days such as Plough Monday, Easter, and the start of spring. Some of the dances have not changed in over a hundred years and because of this long history, Morris dancing is considered a living tradition.

We would love you to try Morris dancing. We practise at Palmerston North Fire Station on Thursday evenings.

Alternatively, if you would like us to dance at an event that you are organising please contact our Squire, Rob Freeman, or Lis Todd.

How to Join

Please contact Rob or Lis for more information.

Membership Fees

No fees.

When and where we meet

Every Thursday evening from 7:30pm - 8:30pm at the PN Fire Station (please call the Squire first if it is your first time as location and time may change).

Contact Details

Rob Freeman



Lis Todd

Senior member



50 Cook Street, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand