UMT Wierickerschans Bodegraven 2004
A Little History
Wim Lammers founded the Utrecht Morris Team (UMT) in 1979. On a dull afternoon, he suggested that he teach Morris to his sons and sons-in law. It was not long before they gave their first performance in improvised costumes.

The UMT began as a men's side (a team of Morris dancers is called a side), but in 1984 a women's side called "The Maids of the Mill" was founded within the UMT association. This means that Utrecht has the only women's Morris side on the European continent except Great Britain! Only men dance as the UMT, but it goes without saying that on a number of occasions, the men also dance together with their sister side. In 1991, the UMT became a member of The Morris Ring, the English umbrella organisation for men's sides.

UMT Oudewater 2004
The repertoire
The UMT mainly dances Morris in the Cotswold style and also has several dances in its repertoire that have been specially developed by and for UMT.
The majority of dances are traditional, i.e. the styles are from villages in the Cotswolds area, such as Adderbury, Bampton, Bledington, Fieldtown and Ilmington, but there are a good few from other villages' traditions too.

The UMT costume
The UMT costume, known as the kit, consists of a white shirt with black breeches (knee-length trousers), white knee-length stockings and black shoes. A red and blue baldrick, a crossed bandolier or shoulder belt, is worn over the white shirt.
On the front of the baldrick is the UMT's emblem: two Morris dancers with sticks on either side of Utrecht's Dom tower.
The back of the baldrick bears the red and white shield of the city of Utrecht: the half red cloak of the city's patron saint, St. Maarten/Martin.

UMT baldrick front side
UMT baldrick back side
On the legs, just below the knees, two leather bell pads are worn, each with about 20 bells and decorated with short red and blue ribbons. Dances are performed with white handkerchiefs or ash sticks about 90 centimetres or a yard long. In addition, the UMT's traditional fool will often accompany the side, complete with his fool's maypole, and sometimes Guppie, the side's dragon will be present. They excel, each in their own way, at actively involving the public in the show.

Guppie lost in Utrecht 2002
Where do we dance?
The UMT practices every Friday evening in the centre of Utrecht. After the practice the dancers regularly retreat to the side's local café/pub.
There is regularly dancing in the streets of Utrecht and, usually once a year, the UMT goes to England to meet other Morris sides. This is usually for a weekend at which many Morris sides meet to dance in the streets and localities in the area of the host side. Of course there are also regularly English sides that come to Utrecht to visit and dance with the UMT.
The UMT also performs on request at very diverse events, e.g. for shopping centres, street parties, festivals, care centres, anniversaries, dance groups, cultural organisations, annual markets, gardening and travel trade fairs.
Our diary contains a summary of coming appearances.

Would you like to know more?
For more information about the Utrecht Morris Team, please contact us!!