PB Morris Dancers
Successful local dance troupe competing for over 40 years, looking to re-establish it self in new area.
PB Morris Dancers (also known as Platt Bridge Morris Dancers) is a volunteer ran dance troupe that was established in 1970. I have been with PB for nearly 40 years. I started dancing when I was 5 years old and have shared all my life experiences with this troupe who I regard as my second family. I progressed into training approx 16 years ago and am now troupe principal. Our dancers ages range from 2 years to over 50 years old!
We practice weekly and dance competitively across the North West from February to October. We work hard to fundraise as much income as we can each year to ensure that we can help cover the costs associated with the competitions such as transport, competition fees and costumes, so it is not passed onto the families, who wouldn’t be able to afford the cost. All of the money we raise each year is spent on the dancers.
After being without a permanent practice venue for the past 3 years we have finally found somewhere that we can call our home. It is in a socially deprived area of Wigan, and we need to attract new dancers to join our team. We need to keep fundraising to support all our members, including any new members, but we also need extra support through this grant. We have been extremely successful over the years. In 1984 the seniors achieved the highest accolade possible of ‘World Champions’. This year we have joined a new dancing organisation and have travelled all around the North West competing in new venues, from Prestwich Carnival, to Deeside Leisure Centre, to Southport Pleasureland. The girls and their families have loved meeting the new teams and experiencing a different level of competition. Morris dancing is not just about improving fitness and competing, it also teaches vital life skills, such as; team work, healthy living, commitment, building relationships which in turn will develop the dancers’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Parents are also encouraged to come together to enable them to interact socially with each other, each week, helping with their own physical, social and mental wellbeing. I currently have a few girls with physical and mental disabilities and I hope more dancers can be encouraged to join.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
Morris dancing is in danger of dying out in the area. We are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with computer games and social networking. Rising running costs for things such as transport and rent take a lot of our fundraising efforts. We need to advertise our troupe in the area and this money would help us to get flyers produced which we can distribute to schools in the area. We need to establish ourselves in the local area by bringing in local girls and their families.
As we are hoping to attract new members over the next few months we will need new dresses for all the dancers to perform in. As the new dancers may be from a low-income background we may need to provide all their equipment including pumps, training tops etc so there are no barriers preventing them from joining our troupe. This money would help us to do that. Providing the kit will create a sense of pride and identity. It will help our troupe to grow.
In the future we will hold events such as an open day to show what we do. We will also hold events that would be open to the local community such as family bingo nights, and maybe a Christmas Party. This would bring our parents together in a social setting and at the same time benefit the local families.
"'Myself and my girls have been involved with PB for the last 8 years. The reason we continue to dance is we love the competitions we attend, the team work that is involved and the friends we have made. Daning keeps my girls active, fit and healthy plus is a very sociable hobby as we spend a lot of time together travelling to and from competitions and at practice. It helps with confidence, rhythm, social skills, team work, competitiveness and so much more. We are proud to be members of PB Morris Dancers and the carnival world.' Kelly Armstrong, mum"