Pennyroyal Garland Dancers


Our Dances

Our GARLAND dances are based on English Folk Dance traditions, but garland dances are common all over Europe.  The dance creates patterns with our brightly coloured, flowered garlands giving a spectacular display. The shapes made by the garlands in the figures can be quite complicated but the steps are more simple, unlike the intricate footwork of the clog or Appalachian dances.  Often a dancer will hold their own garland but some dances involve dancers being linked with garlands held between them as a couple or in a circle of four or more dancers.  



Pennyroyal also perform CLOG STEP DANCING wearing wooden soled Clogs which unlike Dutch clogs have leather uppers.  The clogs add percussion to the rhythms of hornpipes, waltzes and reels. Clog Dancing originated in the North of England over 200 years ago.  In those days most factory workers would have worn clogs to work as they were cheap and hard-wearing.  They learnt to imitate the rhythms of the machinery in the factories where they worked, setting them to music. PENNYROYAL perform clog routines based on steps from Lancashire, North East England  and Ireland.

APPALACHIAN dancing from the southern Appalachian mountains of America is a mixture of many traditions from several different Countries; English clog dancing, Irish step dancing, and Scottish Highland dancing have combined with the Native American and African dance steps to provide the Appalachian style of dancing.  This style of dance became very popular with folk dancers recently so PENNYROYAL decided to add some Appalachian dances to their repertoire.

Garland dancing was popular with mill girls in the North of England as an alternative to the Morris dancing of their men-folk.  Hoops or arches were decorated with flowers made from scraps of fabric or ribbon from the textile mills in which they worked.  Many of our dances are adapted from traditional dances from different parts England, but some are 'home grown' based on other dances we know and traditional figures and tunes.