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Tradfolk Rach dances Morris outside Ely Cathedral.

The TradFolk Rachallenge: One Final Update

TradFolk Rachel offers one final update on her Tradfolk Rachallenge, before its finale on May Morning outside Ely Cathedral.

May Day approaches very rapidly in the last week of April. In the last two days, I’ve been thoroughly drilled on my one, two, three, hops by super-dancer Grace and super-musician Chris. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve really enjoyed it – coming home from work, doing some quick baking (because you can’t invite people round unless the house smells of fresh cookies), and heading back out into the April chill for some exercise.

Things started to fall into place after our first proper practice a couple of weeks ago. Before that, I’d been absolutely convinced that the recording of the tune was the wrong length because my movements didn’t fit. Couldn’t possibly be my mistake, after all…

Spoiler: it was.

Have vintage bells, will dance

That minor issue overcome, I started to understand the dance’s structure and found I could link more and more of it together until it wasn’t always a complete surprise what we got to next. I really thought it would be my lack of physical fitness that held me back but after an hour of practice, it’s my brain that turns to mush and pours out of my ear, leaving me with no idea what my feet or arms are supposed to do next. Thankfully, when we get to May 1st, the whole thing will be over and done in three minutes or so.

I say ‘thankfully’. Perhaps I don’t really mean that. The marvellous Alex Merry’s (off of Boss Morris) advice for dancing a jig was to, “have no fear”. It seemed unlikely, when she said that in March, that I’d be approaching this weekend with anything other than sleepless terror and a desperation for it to be over. The very opposite is true. When I think of the final four capers that end ‘Nutting Girl’, I get a bit of something in my eye, and a bittersweet sense of something special about to end. Blimey, I’ve had a lovely time.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to finish sewing a special Tradfolk Rach kit, softening up my new shoes, and polishing my bells. See you at 5.15am on Sunday!

You can watch the Tradfolk Rachallenge live from Ely Cathedral via the Tradfolk Instagram page. For any last minute updates, click on Tradfolk Rachel’s Instagram account.