Top awards for Preston Morris dancers
Mini Morris dancers from Preston have struck gold in a regional competition.
Members of Preston Rosettes Morris Dancing Troupe scooped top prizes against other groups from across the North West in a contest at Butlins in Skegness.
The team’s principle Debbie Davis described the youngsters as “wonderful”, and said the group was “a big Morris dancing family”.
She said: “We belong to the North West Dancing Association (NWDA), and we do competitions from March to October each Sunday, competing against 10 other troupes from all around the North West.
“We do competitions every Sunday and then we go to our championships, which is where the children went.”
One of the teams, made up of Evie Whally, six, and Lexi Macdowell, Isla Smyth and Poppy Eastham, all five, won overall troupe at the contest.
Debbie said: “That means they’ve won the most each week during the competitions, and they came first on the day as well, which means they are the NWDA tots champions.
“They won everything they could win.
“The other troupes did really well as well - every single one of our girls got on the stage for something, we’ve got 40 in total.”
Debbie, 56, took over in 2002, and members of the group are aged three to 35.
She said: “It’s just a big Morris dancing family. “We all go out on a Sunday together to do the competitions and all look forward to the championships. They had a really good weekend.
“It’s absolutely fantastic.
“Those tots are only five and six, and a lot of them have been dancing for two years.
“And now they are actually champions, which is brilliant.”
Debbie is the principle, meaning she organises the events, along with four trainers - three of whom are her daughters.
She said: “I’m really proud of the dancers, it’s a really nice feeling and it’s wonderful for the mums to watch.
“It’s something that’s so inclusive, anybody can do it, and it’s a team thing as well.
“All the other teams had really good dances, and we won two other second places and one third.”
The dancers meet at St Joseph’s Sports and Arts Centre in Rigby Street, Preston, every Thursday, and join in the competitions on Sundays.
Debbie said: “As a principle it was just absolutely wonderful to see all the girls on that stage, everybody won a medal which was absolutely wonderful.”