The Buttercross Belles

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Prague Folklore Days 27th July - 31st July 2011

Posted by Lucy on September 19, 2011 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)


On 27th July 2011 we were invited to the ‘Folklore Days’ dance festival in Prague. We set off for a nice afternoon flight and arrived in Prague just in time for some well needed dinner and a sample of Czech beer.

 Julie-Belle and Lesley-Belle sampling the Czech beer.



Thursday 28th July 2011

The next day we decided that we would dance on ‘wenceslas square’ in the centre of Prague as we did not have any scheduled dancing to do on that day. We entertained crowds of tourists who all enjoyed the dancing and a lot were very interested in where we were from and the different equipment that we dance with.



In the afternoon, we were met by our guide for the festival, Mikela who took us on a tour of her beautiful city. We were shown lots of landmarks around Prague including the ‘Charles Bridge’ and ‘Prague Castle’.

Some Belles enjoying a boat ride on the river.


Friday 29th July 2011

Today was our first of the stage appearances; we arrived at the stage in Old Town Square where the Austrian team were already performing their set. Their outfits were very extravagant and detailed in their Edwardian style.

After the Austrians had finished their dancing it was our turn, we began with ‘Portland Hill’ and continued through our repertoire to fill our 1/2 hour slot. We danced for a large crowd and were very well received by everyone in the audience.



Saturday 30th July 2011

The second of our stage performances was at the bottom end of wenceslas square and was just as successful, despite the rain that we had to endure whilst waiting for the Czech Republic team to complete their set. Their dancing was quite similar to English rapper or sword dancing, they had long swords and danced holding each end of the sword in a circle. After this the team danced with their hats, swapping them and a dancer dropping out after each sequence so that there was just one dancer left by the end of the dance.

This dance spot also had a large crowd and we were very well appreciated by all.

Later in the afternoon, we were to dance on the main stage in ‘Old Town Square’. Each team were given a time slot to perform one dance, we stood for a while and watched the other teams before it was our turn. The very colourful teams were very good in their own styles from their countries.

When it came to our turn, we performed ‘Failsworth’, one of our more traditional North West style dances with very military like figures. This was taken very well by the audience and made you realise how many English tourists/onlookers were in the crowd and supporting us as their home team.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, the procession was cancelled so we did not have the experience of this.

In the evening, all the teams were gathered together for a mass meal. The meal was very tasty and the Czech beer was also very welcome after a long day of dancing!

After everyone had eaten, some of the teams decided to start performing traditional things from their countries. The Spanish men were chanting while the English Boarder team did a stick dance. Each team did a turn and it spontaneously became a mass of culture from all over the world. One of the Belles performed a solo dance called ‘Celebration’ which was taught by one dancer from Wakefield Morris in which each figure incorporates a different aspect of North West Morris. After this, another Belle sang ‘On Ilkley Moor Bar Tat’, a traditional Yorkshire chorus song which the other teams joined in to.

Later, the Spanish flamenco dancers got everyone up to dance with them and try out some flamenco dancing which was very enjoyable.


Sunday 31st July 2011

The last day of the trip, we were left to either have a well earned rest or have a last look round Prague at our leisure. Some of the Belles went on a tour of the all alleyways around Prague, this was very interesting as you followed the route of the guide book and it explained about all the little nooks and crannys in Prague.

Then it was time for one last trip to the fantastic cake shop where we bumped into some more Belles who has also gone for a last taste of the cakes before it was time for home.




Heritage Arts Festival, Ripon, May 31

Posted by Linda on June 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM Comments comments (0)

On a lovely sunny afternoon in Ripon the BBs danced at the HeArts Festival held at the Workhouse Museum.  During the intervals we were able to view some of the traditional craft activities as they were demonstrated; these included coracle making, wood turning and rag rugging.  Afterwards we were all invited to Gill's Mum's home where Nell had prepared delicious cakes and tea for us - the calories lost dancing were soon replaced..........


May Day at dawn

Posted by Linda on May 3, 2011 at 5:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Lesley writes: "3:15 a.m. – kit check – thermals, extra vest, extra tee-shirt, fleece, gilet, scarf, gloves, flask of tea (perhaps containing something extra) and of course – the torch ! Why? – because it is that time of year again. The 1st of May when the Buttercross Belles (or at least those not quick witted enough to claim a previous commitment) assemble in the dark at the top of the Chevin to welcome in the Mayday. We were joined by Briggate and Wayzgoose and what seemed to be hoards of photographers.

I like to imagine the tourists flying over us on their way to land at the airport. What do they make of this spectacle of flower bedecked straw bonnets, black caps and white and black faces topped with feathers? Goodness knows!

Was it worth it? Well let’s just say that Julie makes a terrific bacon sandwich and mug of tea – so for that alone –yes! "

Oxford Folk Weekend

Posted by on April 23, 2011 at 5:39 AM Comments comments (0)

It was sunny when we got to Oxford and we danced with lot's of teams. On the Saturday we took part in a mass dance at the castle with all the other teams there on that day. We went to Pizza Express and some people then went to the celidh. Everyone who had been good got a small chocolate egg from Susan, but because I'd been EXTRA good I got a big one with my name on it. It was magic! Everyone who went had a brilliant time and we can't wait to go back next year.

                       Dancing on the Corn Market                           Oxford Folk Weekend

                  Saturdays mass dance at Oxford Castle                          In step


  Thea x

W. I. Hampsthwaite

Posted by Linda on April 7, 2011 at 3:26 AM Comments comments (0)

We were made very welcome at the Women's Institute meeting in the beautiful village of Hampswaite on Monday evening.  We performed a selection of dances for the group and inbetween each one our Squire, Susan, gave a potted history of Morris Dancing and explained the different Morris traditions and styles of dancing.  The session concluded with some of the women joining the BBs for Greenham - and very accomplished they were! 

Mother's Day at Bolton Abbey

Posted by Linda on April 4, 2011 at 7:19 AM Comments comments (1)

We arrived at Bolton Abbey just after a heavy rain shower and although we danced mostly in the sunshine there was much splashing in the puddles.  There were plenty of spectators to watch us at the Cavendish Pavilion as many families were out walking by the river and in the Bolton Abbey grounds.  We performed a number of our regular dances and gave the first public viewing of our new dance - St Helen's


Dementia Caf� in Headingley

Posted by Hannah on March 10, 2011 at 8:31 AM Comments comments (0)

We were invited to dance at the New Headingley Dementia Café on Monday 28th February 2011. The Café  offers people with dementia and their carers a friendly environment, activities, refreshments and a chance to chat with people in similar circumstances. 


 The Café is usually open on the last Monday of each month, from 2-4pm run by Volunteers.
For more information on the Headingley Dementia Café: Click here

Team Cardigans

Posted by Hannah on March 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM Comments comments (0)


In November 1995, the Buttercross Belles proudly wore their newly designed appliqued cardigans for the first time. The cardigans, over the years have been very well worn and 14 years later (although the beautiful applique is as good as it was when new), sadly the cardigans had started to ware. In mid 2009, it was brought up at the AGM to possibly look into having some new cardigans for the side. A straight cut cardigan was seen as the best option as when the original cardigans were fastened, it pulled the skirt of the dress in and spoilt the shape of the smock.
It was also suggested that the design could be amended to fit the current side (the side no longer use sticks in dances as it shows on the original cardigans). The flowers on the original design were very popular with the Belles, and are somewhat unique, so it was decided that the new design was to incorporate similar flowers.



The Buttercross Belles team cardigans November 1995


There was also descussion about wherther we needed to have 'Otley' on the back of the cardigan. It was decided it was to be on the design, as its a conversation starter on dance outs and shows spectators where we are from and who we are. Places such as Chorly, Oxford, and even Brugges and Switzerland, we get people coming up to us saying 'Otley? I used to live there', 'its such a loverly place' or 'I live in Harrogate' and such comments.


On the new design, the slings (bobbins with plates) replaced the crossed sticks, with the plates forming a follow through oval, which leads into the rest of the design. We decided to change the colour of the cardigans for two reasons. 1. As we ware black tights and black Tap shoes, it was seen as fitting to the overall out fit, and 2. the design stood out better on a black background, bringing the purples, white and pink out in the flowers and the vivid green of the leaves.

We received the cardigans on the 11th March, just intime for the anual Mothers Day dance out at Bolton Abbey.



The Buttercross Belles team cardigans - March 14th 2010



Boxing Day - The White Swan - Otley

Posted by Hannah on February 13, 2010 at 5:32 PM Comments comments (0)

This years Boxing day dance out was held at the White Swan in Otley. We were again joined by Wayzgoose, where we took it in turns to dance on the pavement outside of the pub, due to ice obscuring the courtyard around the back.


Despite the weather we managed to dance for two hours with cold fingers and toes, and had a lovely afternoon dancing off the Christmas dinner....and eating mince pies! 

 Aftewards a few of us ended up in the pub to warm up infront of the fire before heading off home through the remaining  snow and ice.






Bolton Abbey

Posted by Hannah on February 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

 On Sunday, 25 October 2009 we danced at the Cavindish at Bolton Abbey, the weather was terrible and was intermittent rain all the time we were there. (It seemed that every time we came out from under the canopy to dance, the rain came on harder) but we soldiered on and danced quite a lot of our repertoire.


Despite the rain and wind, there were lots of people around the Cavendish Pavilion who took the time to stop and watch so it was quite a nice atmosphere with the audience's participation and cheering as we danced on whilst getting soaked!!