Sidmouth and Otter Morris dancers maintain May Day traditions during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 May 2020

Alexa Baker greets the sun on Sidmouth seafront on May Day. Picture: Kyle Baker

Alexa Baker greets the sun on Sidmouth seafront on May Day. Picture: Kyle Baker

KYLE BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY

A lone dancer greeted the dawn on Sidmouth seafront as Otter Morris and the Sidmouth Steppers practised their traditional May Day celebrations in lockdown.

Members of the Sidmouth Steppers celebrate May Day while maintaining social distancing. Picture: Sidmouth SteppersMembers of the Sidmouth Steppers celebrate May Day while maintaining social distancing. Picture: Sidmouth Steppers

Alexa Baker, who belongs to both sides, performed the seafront dance, and five members of the Sidmouth Steppers videoed themselves dancing, in costume, in their own homes.

Mrs Baker said: “May Day is an important date in the folk community, songs are sung and

dances performed to welcome up the sun to ensure a good summer.

“Otter Morris usually meet at Dumpden Hill near Honiton for sun-up, but this year’s restrictions meant the team had to stay nearer to their homes.

“The Morris Federation advised no bells so as not to disturb the neighbours.”

With festivals cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic, the Morris community has turned to Zoom to hold virtual meet-ups.

Mrs Baker said: “Otter Morris use Zoom to meet every Monday evening and have been diversifying learning the Dartmoor Broom dance and a jig, individual dances that still require space, it’s been interesting.”


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