The History of Pennyroyal
Pennyroyal was formed in 1979 by a group of Morris dancers’ wives who wanted something of their own to perform. Although our dancers are still all women, Morris dancing husbands are not a necessity!
Some of our dancers are original founder members and our two (male) musicians have also been with us almost from the beginning. We currently have about ten dancing members. We are not an evening class; all our members are expected to perform in public (though the back row is very popular!)We have learned our steps at workshops and from other groups. Luckily many traditional dancers have been teaching until recently, and have been able to pass on their steps to a new generation of performers. Some of the dances we do have their origins in the Music Hall, learned from performers such as Sam Sherry, while others have been handed down through families, for example that of Pat Tracy.
All the steps we perform are traditional, mainly from Lancashire, Durham and Westmorland. However, we perform as a group and have tried to make our dances more interesting for modern audiences. Some steps are presented simply by a number of dancers, some are performed in traditional forms such as 3-, 4- or 5-hand reels, whilst others have been choreographed by members of the group to form our own unique dances.