Steppers step to it

PUBLISHED: 10:27 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:46 17 June 2010

A WEEKEND of Morris dancing to celebrate Sidmouth Steppers' 10th anniversary, attracted teams from as far away as Preston.

A WEEKEND of Morris dancing to celebrate Sidmouth Steppers' 10th anniversary, attracted teams from as far away as Preston."The weekend was, I am sure, a resounding success. I have had emails from teams thanking us for the weekend and saying how much they enjoyed it," said Jean Salt, who founded the Steppers in 1998 after seeing there was no local Morris team at the folk festival.Amounderness, one of four all-female teams dancing, travelled from Preston, while others came from Dartmoor and Taunton.West Somerset Men from Bridgwater and Flaming Morris from Feniton completed the line-up."The weather was kind to us, which went a long way to making it so nice. From 10am on Saturday morning it was dance, dance, dance all day, with groups going to Connaught Gardens, Blackmore Gardens and one team at The Anchor."There was massed dancing on the Esplanade on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, attracting crowds and favourable comments, as well as an anniversary feast at Sidford Social Hall for invited guests; including former Stepper dancers, musicians and supporters, and a ceilidh.Mrs Salt said: "At the ceilidh I read an email from Steve Heap - former festival organiser - who congratulated us on our 10th anniversary and said he was pleased we were still going."As ambassadors for FolkWeek, she was inviting visitors to return to Sidmouth in August to enjoy more music and dancing during festival week."The locals have supported us through thick and thin. When we started 10 years ago it was not that easy to be accepted," she added."This was the first weekend of dancing and it is something we would like to do again. You put such a lot of time and energy into it because you want it to go right."I wouldn't make it an annual event, but we might re-consider it in five years.

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