About

Renegade Morris was founded in the spring of 2007 as a mixed side dancing in the Fieldtown tradition of Cotswold Morris. The Renegades brought together a diverse group of dancers, including experienced Scottish, English, and Contra dancers as well as newcomers to dance.

Renegade group portrait, outside on Denbigh Green
The Renegades pose for an early group portrait after performing. Bryn Mawr College, 2008.

The Philadelphia area has a rich and varied dance community. The Kingsessing Morris Men have represented the Morris tradition since 1977. The Renegades came together thirty years later to offer a greater number of dancers, of all genders, the chance to practice and perform.

The Renegades perform on May 1st, dancing up the sun at the Belmont Plateau. The group regularly appears as part of Bryn Mawr College’s May Day celebration (which may or may not happen in May). In addition to other local events, Renegades frequently trek to Boston to perform at the New England Folk Festival.

Kingsessing Morris Men and Renegade Morris, posed in front of the Philadelphia skyline
The Kingsessing Morris Men (left) and Renegade Morris (right). Our aesthetics may be different, but we all agree it’s fun to caper about and thwack sticks together. Belmont Plateau, 2019. Credit: Sarah Gowan.

The practice season typically runs from February to May, with weekly meetings at Bryn Mawr College.

Renegade kit consists of a vest (the more outlandish the better), a white shirt, and black pants. Ribbons, buttons, and other pieces of flair are encouraged. (Mawrters dancing with the group may eschew the kit in favor of their May Day garb, which usually runs to white dresses, making for an even more motley bunch on Bryn Mawr May Day.) The bells, sticks, and hankies are provided by the group.

This is a low pressure environment. Renegades are primarily there for the fun of dancing. There is certainly room to discuss and improve technique, but beginners are absolutely welcome to join practices and performances. (Not everyone can make it to many practices. Not everyone likes to perform. Renegades are nothing if not flexible.)

Practices routinely include live fiddle and flute music, and for performances there is often whistle, accordion, and percussion. Musicians are always welcome.

Questions? Please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.