Black-Tor-Logan-Stone-377-m.jpg

People of Beltane

 

Our dancers..

Merry is a fairie. Not the nice sweet kind, but a dangerous one that spins her glamour, makes mischief and causes trouble. A troubadour, a minstrel, a fierce and dark thespian. A bold tree-shaker and a brave rule-breaker! Her bright eyes twinkle, whilst swilling a pint of real ale. You may think she has a coal black heart, but of us all, she is the real thing - a real diamond – both beautiful and bright.

Ant: Dancer, Squire and Heart of Beltane. He is knowledgeable of all things Morris, Real Ale and Dartmoor and has been dancing for more years than he cares to admit. He also has a Morris family – most of whom dance! He is also our main line to the weather gods, which comes in very useful – as you can imagine.

Ashley has always lived on fringes of society and was delighted to discover that what some people label anti-social behaviour others call morris dancing.

Beltane has given him a place where dancing in the road and shouting at people has led to friendship and acceptance rather than community service.

He has only been with Beltane a short time but has already gained a fearsome reputation for his… punctuality.

Cat: How was she to know that everything in her life up until now was bringing her to us.. her calling. Previously undiscovered Morris genius who can learn a dance by seeing it once, and bring her own flavour of chilled fun to the tribe.

Dan. Longshanks. Snake hips. Big Tall. Not suited to small spaces. Occasionally a liability. Likes nothing more than dancing all day long. Loves being transported away to the high moors as the music starts, and dancing with a possessed intensity. If only it could always be that way.

Dawn: whilst her wild hair changes colour with the seasons! She seems quiet, but watch her come alive when she dances.

Mr Fox: Dancer, singer and one-time tunnel digger – his true identity is a closely guarded secret! Since 2011 he has been an integral part of this magical murder of crows, Squiring for several years but now back in the ranks, doing what he loves best – dancing and singing. When offered alcoholic bribes – malty ale or glass of spiced rum – he can be persuaded to share a ditty or sing the froth off a pint of Guinness!

Harriet. Dancer who has been in Beltane for a fair few years. A strong, fleet, and much photographed dancer, green goddess and nature enthusiast -wild swimming, rock climbing and camping. Drinks… something in a tankard and just about anything else that’s going.

Dancer. Helen joined Beltane in 2015. She is our festival baker and claims, immodestly but accurately, to make the best millionaire shortbread in the world

Heather: Red neck ruralist, realist and dreamer. She swapped techno and glo sticks for hard folk and morris sticks. She drinks tea in the daytime and gin at night.

Jake: Dancer, singer, pipe smoker and real ale guzzler, saw Beltane for the first time one St George’s Day and had no choice – he had to join!

Keith: Dancer, Foreman and generally very useful member of Beltane. Brings a sense of humour and sense of the ridiculous to most things he does – whilst being a very solid dancer. Has been with the side for quite a while, and even sings a song or two, now and again. He is supported by his lovely and patient wife – who is also a Morris dancer, but no longer with Beltane. He drinks Ale.

Jen: A Beltane fledgling and creature of two worlds, torn between the adventures of the sea and the comfort of the woods. She is easily distracted by any animal that passes by – literally, any animal – and enjoys spending time with nature…..unless everybody is in the pub, in which case you’ll find her with a tankard filled with faerie mead.

Jo: Dancer whose chance encounter with the side one summer evening compelled her to seek out their mythical lair on the moor – which turned out to be a village hall, but no less magical!

After learning the steps and a few dances she was thrilled to be invited to stay and hopes to be dancing the Dark Morris with her corvid family for many years.

Quaffs pints of real ale and good West Country tea and has recently discovered a taste for fine spiced rum.

Josi: Dances as one born to it. Transfixing and and bewitching, and a fair bit scary. Morris slut, and we mean that in the nicest possible way.

Lor Lor: Dancer with several years dancing under her belt –brings a strong survivor-instinct to the side. She not only dances, but sings like a bird, plays an assortment of instruments and is a stalwart of all things musical. Has a gypsy soul and lives close to nature, and is an incredibly young grandmother!

Leah: Dancer, a leggy lass utterly bewitched by the dance and song of her fellow Crows. She delights in painting with shadows and listening to the yarns of the land and its tellers. As well as being a joyous swimmer of chilly waters. Make hers a hearty whiskey Mac.

Lia: Dancer/forewoman/squire - our wild, blonde witch - all hair, long legs and shrieks. Full of womanly fire she has been Beltane dancing, with a vengeance, since 2014. Quick to learn, fast to flourish - her dancing presence burns bright! She has been a constant, committed dancer since she joined Beltane and loves her corvid family immensely.

Lisa: Dancer who weaves wild stories and crusades for Devon’s environment. Partial to a pint of Legend, a stomp on the moor, a dark fairy tale and the odd protest song or two.

Liz: Dancer whose Morris experience reaches back a good way. Her love of the energy and accuracy of the music and dancing with Beltane has kept her coming back for more. She hopes that some of her grandchildren will follow in her footsteps. Likes a pint when she is hot and sticky, and is acquiring a taste for rum to fire her dancing!

Petra Von Büstenhalter: Other-worldly sprite and ethereal being; while no one place can lay claim to her, she appears out of the mists to weave her Dartmoor dance magicks with us, imbibe the nectar of the Disar, and vanish again.

Maggie Pie: When not catching babies, or milking goats our resident magpie has been donning the black and roaring with Beltane since 2012. She goes through boots like the other corvids drink through their rum, and has been known to hold the soles on with gaffatape and cable ties to get through a festival. Dances like a crow, sings like a nightingale.

Mark: bewitched by the arrival of Beltane to his local pub Mark was left spellbound, left keen to join and left-handed.

Taken under their dark wings and introduced to his right arm he has learnt sticking, some dances and craves more.

His left hand still comes in useful for holding a pint of fine ale or a mug of strong tea.

Reama

Rob: Dancer – our resident Viking - a painted and studded man. A kind man. A tree man. A tall man. A warm man. He is also a great father and partner. His dancing is coming along nicely!

Rosie Jo joined us three years ago. She is another leggy beauty, with a powerful Beltane stare and a glorious laugh. She has met her Beltane match... learned more than a few dances and is very fond of Prosecco and Guinness (but not together!)

Sara

Seamo: Dancer, singer and foreman– brings his own unique style to everything he does. A lively dancer, who is called upon to play guitar and get us all singing ‘Wearing Purple’ (amongst other things) at the drop of a top hat, with gusto and harmonies! He has three sons and a very patient wife.

Kakabhushundi: Born from the deepest darkest black peaty bogs of the Dartmoor. Raised by ghosts and spirits of the haunting mists of this moorlands past. At the very foothills of Haytor rocks did he reside for many years. Friends only mostly with wild beasts and insects that make home there. Horses, toads, black cats and bats, birds of prey, dragonfly, badger, and of course the corvid crow family. A very quiet dancer that is light on his feet, yet do not underestimate the brooding horrors that muster behind his eyes. Has a great love for stone circles and likes to communicate with them on a regular basis. A shapeshifter at heart, but currently has no control over his transformations, so be careful around this one on a full moon’s night

Tom joined this year for his three-year-old son who was old enough to have great taste in Morris.

He enjoys the release of a good guttural roar during his dance, and barking a collier's song over the brim of a hoppy ale in the pub.

Tom sports a full mane and often looks as though he's just been dragged out of a cave, but despite a fearful presence he's clearly a soft, calm, loving, hulk of a man without an angry bone to his name.

You can find him looking for colourful bugs under rocks, fact checking odd pieces of information on Goggle, or sitting quietly in the corner, knitting a Christmas manatee.

Vicky. Dancer whose long legs and colourful hair, added to her loud shrieks, make her a very visible member of Beltane. Her skills and personality as foreman kept her in the job for several years! She has a way with Newbies and is our youngest member. She was quite shy when she joined – just look at her now!

Will: made of magic and slightly cracking rubber. Dungeonmaster and legend.

 

… and our band

Annie: Drummer, dancer, singer and feisty flame-tattered, Beltane She-Devil. Beware the stare...

Chris: Been with Beltane since day 1 and is very partial to a pint of jail, tribute, hobgoblin or Betty stoggs or along with a pork pie. Strengths: When drumming he brings out the sexy ryhthm and sound beltane has to offer. Weakness: The length of white ladies aston and tequila.

Chrissy. Plays recorder.

That’s right..

it’s a recorder

Dave. Drummer and guitarist. Joined Beltane a long time ago, and has been an integral part of the band ever since. He has contributed to Beltane in many ways over the years, and has been Bag, Treasurer and side mediator. He has contributed to the close knit camaraderie that exists within the side and loves the constant challenge of helping the side to reach its highest performance potential.

Joe: Ex-dancer, drummer and singer – has been dancing Clog and Border since 1990. He loves a good sing and a good time, if he gets to the pub in time. That’s a big IF. Expects to be with Beltane ‘til he drops! Oh yes, and he still has just one more Beltane CD left to sell.

Owen: Drum or Guitar depending on what's needed normally at a moments notice. Always a mystery where he's gone but will usually reappear in time for the first beat.

Sanna - fiddler and curmudgeonly Dickensian character. Always late, sometimes in tune. Wonders how her life is now controlled by Morris dancing and a Staffy.

Sue: Drummer and ex-dancer. One of the original Iron Maidens and the last remaining, original member of the Beltane Border. Makes the most comfortable home of her tent, when camping (envied by a few). Not only is she the mother of our main man, drummer, Chris, she is also a wonderful grandmother to his two sons.

Rhod: Guitarist and itinerant Devonian/Welsh/Geordie of no fixed musical abode finding his place between the pounding drums and haunting melodies in the Beltane Band, where his growing interest in folk music, and fascination with all things rural Devon, met with his shared rock’n’roll sensibilities.

Steve emerged from the mists of the River Trent sometime in the last century. During a chance meeting in Ye Olde Cider Bar Jimi Hendrix taught him three guitar chords in return for half of Yarde Sweet and a giant bag of pork scratchings. In 2016 he learned a fourth chord to enable him to join the Beltane band and hopes to have perfected it before too long


Think your face belongs up here? Come and see if you’ve got the stuff. We recruit in Autumn. See here for when our Dartmoor-based practises start..