A brief history of Lizzie Dripping
Lizzie Dripping started in Sheffield in 1982 after several experienced women dancers came together with the aim of creating a new team. They were looking for something that little bit ‘different’ than clog and morris. Most locals will have heard the expression 'a right Lizzie Dripping' when someone is daydreaming too much, and that's where the name comes from. It was also the name of the central character in the well known eponymous children's books by Helen Cresswell.
The aim was to be street entertainers, with an eye-catching and versatile kit. The image was a cross between a 1920s ‘bathing belle’ and a fairground Aunt Sally. Vivid jade and red was chosen, with bloomers and a top forming the basic kit. To this was added a skirt, mop cap and a shawl, depending on the type of dance. Accessories of scarves, bells and wavers added even more interest. The 'Lizzie look' of hooped green and white tights and bright red shoes instantly became a trademark, as did the exaggerated makeup of red lips and cheeks, and black eyelashes, copied by many children watching at the festivals they attended.
Lizzie Dripping have appeared at many places around the UK, including weekends in Kent, York, Harrogate, the Lake District, Glasgow and Ripon. They have also been guests or busked at many folk festivals, including Whitby Sidmouth, Towersey, Wimborne, Beverley, Scarborough, Holmfirth, and of course, Sheffield. One high spot was a visit to the USA in 1989, which took in the Marlborough Morris Ale in Vermont, and dancing in Boston, MA and New York City. The latter included dancing on Broadway, if only on the pavement!
In 2002 the Lizzies decided to create a new look. Red and a now darker green was the result, in the form of a long panelled waistcoat and a skirt to match, with a white, and then later, a black T-shirt to finish off. The trademark red shoes and hooped tights still formed the Lizzie look, along with bells, wavers and scarves.
By 2010 the existing kit was becoming worn out and a new flexible and smart look was created using black tops and skirts, but still retaining the stripy tights, red shoes and other accessories.
Who runs the team?
We have a committee elected at each Annual General Meeting which takes overall responsibility for the running of the team - teaching dances, coordinating bookings, finance, kit, etc. However, all members take part in team discussions and the viewpoints of everybody are taken into account.
Is Lizzie Dripping a Morris side?
As we do not dance any one particular Morris tradition, we do not call ourselves Morris Dancers.
One thing is certain - we do have a lot of FUN!
Interested in joining us? We are recruiting new dancers from October 2016.
Click HERE to find out more!