The Wokingham Paper

Exchange students learn traditional Morris dancing thanks to HuMP

Hurst Morris
Hurst Morris dancer Clare Tran from Lower Earley with Jenny Tai, 22, from Taiwan

FOREIGN students embraced a thoroughly English introduction to their studies here with an evening of morris dancing.

The students took to the tradition going back hundreds of years with huge enthusiasm – quickly learning a dance uniquely adapted for them by Hurst Morris dancer Brian Jones.

Hurst Morris People (known as HuMP) demonstrated some dancing last Friday to more than 60 students just arrived for exchange programmes at Reading University. Then the students had their turn under the tuition of Brian and 13 other HuMP dancers.

Hurst Morris
Hurst Morris dancers Clare Tran from Lower Earley and Brian Jones from Woodley, with, from left, Patricia Mathu from Wisconsin, USA and Jenny Tai from Taiwan

Jane Lansdown, Erasmus and Study Abroad administrator said: “The students’ faces lit up as they watched the dancing. They’d never seen it before. They thoroughly enjoyed doing it themselves. It was a really good experience.”

Jenny Tai, 22, from Taiwan, who is studying film said: “I enjoyed it, it was so energetic.” Ashley Chow, 21, from Hong Kong and studying marketing, said: “It was cool and fun, very traditional and nice to learn.”

Hurst Morris
Global dancing togetherness: Hurst Morris team members Ian and Brenda Brant from Lower Earley, Sue Berrisford from Earley and Margaret Russell with Jason Yung, Sophie Mo Tan, Ashley Chow and Avery Chan, all from Hong Kong

Patricia Mathu, 19, from Wisconsin, USA, said: “I loved it, it was super fun. It reminds me of line dancing and country dancing at home.”

HuMP foreman (lead teacher) Judy Jones said: “We told the students about the history of morris and about our dancing.  The students joined in with great enthusiasm, life and joy.

“Our dancers and four musicians did a great job introducing our quintessentially English pastime to the students, and helping to spread news about it round the world.”

Hurst Morris
Hurst Morris dancer Clare Tran from Lower Earley with Jenny Tai, 22, from Taiwan

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