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Banbury Cross Morris and Sword is a group of Boston-area children who perform morris dancing, a centuries-old English folk tradition that has become popular in the United States and many other parts of the world.
From September to June, Banbury Cross meets for weekly practices and dances at various events, including NEFFA, Lilac Sunday and the Ginger Ale, a gathering of children's morris dance teams from New England, as well as the annual May Day celebration in Cambridge. Banbury Cross members learn not only how to dance but to appreciate the true "spirit of morris" and the fun and camaraderie that goes along with it.
Founded in 1981, Banbury Cross has been around longer than any other young persons' morris dance team in the US. Many of our alumni have continued morris dancing into adulthood and become morris team leaders and teachers.

Banbury Cross meets during the school year (September to June) on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Payson Park Church, 365 Belmont Street, Belmont, Mass.

Who can join:
Banbury Cross invites children from fourth grade on up through high school to become members. There is a fee to participate (see below), so prospective members should consider attending a few practices before deciding to join. We try to give everyone a chance to perform during our gigs, but it's important to come to practice regularly.

What it costs:
Members pay dues for the fall and spring semesters. The exact amount depends in part on how many current and active members there are, but it generally varies between $100 and $125. Funds go to rent the practice space and to purchase materials for the team's costume or "kit."
Each member also pays a one-time-only fee of $20 to cover the cost of a set of morris bells, which becomes his or her property.

Clothing needs:
Banbury Cross members wear a baldrick and arm ribbons, which are supplied by the team. Dancers also must wear white pants and white button-down shirts for performances. If you have trouble finding either, we sometimes have extras available. A good set of athletic shoes is needed for practices and gigs.

For more information, contact Christine Day at banburycross@fastmail.fm or 781-696-5515.

(Want to learn more about morris dancing?)

Banbury Cross Schedule for 2011

Check back for updates

*Commonwealth Morris Men Mid-Winter Celebration, Jan. 12, First Unitarian Society of Newton, West Newton, Mass.
*NEFFA, April 15-17, Mansfield, Mass. One of New England's oldest and largest festivals of folk and traditional music, dance and arts. Banbury Cross will perform on Saturday, April 16, 5-6 p.m. at the Main Entrance.
*May Day Celebration, Cambridge, Mass. One of the oldest, and most colorful, May Day events in the Northeast.
*Lilac Sunday, May 8, Arnold Arboretum -- Banbury Cross will join with many other morris dance teams from New England (and beyond) for a day of performances.
*Ginger Ale, May 14, Boston -- The Ginger Ale is an annual gathering of childrens' morris and sword teams from New England.

Click here to see a photo gallery of our 2008 season

Banbury Cross performances in recent years

*Lilac Sunday 2007, Arnold Arboretum Photos More Photos of Lilac Sunday

*Ginger Ale 2007, Boston

*2007 May Day Celebration, Cambridge, Mass. Photos of May Day

*NEFFA,2007, Mansfield, Mass. Photos More Photos of NEFFA

*NEFFA photos from 2006

*Black and Green Celebration 2005 Banbury performed at this unique festival exploring the fusion of different cultures in Montserrat (Irish, British, African, and Caribbean). Photos of the performance

*NEFFA 2005 Highlights

*Photos from Lilac Sunday 2005

*Dance-out with the Wayward Youths of Morris (see below).

Check back for updates.

Banbury Cross Gallery

Banbury Cross videos (thanks to AJ Liuba)

Click on thumbnails to see a larger version of each photo

Leaping Lizards! Er, make that Bounding Banburies! An uplifting moment from the Commonwealth Morris Men 2006 Mid-Winter Celebration. More photos here.


Banbury Cross at NEFFA 2006. More photos here.


Banbury Cross at the 2005 Mid-Winter Celebration. More photos here.

Banbury Cross Meets the Wayward Youths of Morris!


Banbury Cross at the 2004 Mid-Winter Celebration. More photos here.


(Left) The 2004 Ginger Ale. (Right) NEFFA 2004.


(Left) May Day 2004. (Right) Ha'Penny Fall Harvest Tour, September 2003.

(Left) NEFFA 2003. (Right) The Ginger Ale 2002.

More photos of Banbury Cross, and other Boston-area morris dance teams, can be found here.

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We are extremely grateful to the late Sheldon Brown for his years of service as the first Banbury Cross Webmaster, and for designing the banner at the top of the page.