A beautiful traditional English dance is being kept alive in the heart of Salford, by the dance troupe Unique.

Last night 64 Salford residents ranging from two to 35 years old got together and Morris danced the night away.

The once male dominated hobby has recently become increasingly popular with women and children, the dance is no longer about ankle bells and banging sticks outside the local pubs, it is a family loved hobby about rhythm, technique and enjoyment for all.

One woman with a passion for dance has been sharing her love of Morris dancing with youngsters in Eccles for over a year now, Tracey Marie, started the group to give herself a new challenge and in the meantime has inspired locals to get involved with dancing.

Unique dance group: Image Credit: Tracey Marie

Despite Morris dancing living under the perception that it is a dying art form, here in Salford it could not be further away from the truth. Not only do the dancers adore Tracey, they have found a passion in Morris dancing and have fallen head over bells for the once dying art form.

The club has given Salfordians the opportunity to learn Morris dancing while becoming part of the dancing community. Carla Palmer one of their incredibly talented choreographers described Unique as “A place of belonging.” For some it’s a home away from home.

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Unique’s choreographers have over 40 years experience with Morris dancing in Salford and between them and don’t remember a time when they haven’t danced. They are loving teaching the joyous dance to any Salford residents who want to learn. It is an inclusive group where there is a place for anyone who wants to learn.

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Morris dancing doesn’t only improve people’s physical state it has improved member of the group’s mental state. “It’s not just the dancing on a Tuesday, it’s the friends network throughout the week.” The troupe is a family and a  support network for the dancers, and for those who have been there since 2, it’s where they have grown up.

Unique’s tots and tinies. Photo Credit: Helen Mather

Between March and October the troupe travels across the country representing their dance company Unique and they have brought Morris dancing success back to Salford.

Even though the music might have changed, the routines adjusted and the people involved, the dance that dates back over 500 years still has the hearts of the North East and the once dead tradition is living again here in Salford and will hopefully the tradition will never die again.

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