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Holly Copse Molly Dancers

18 Jun 2022

Molly Dancing originated in the English Midlands and ...

Molly Dancing originated in the English Midlands and East Anglia and is associated with Plough Monday (the first Monday after Twelfth Night). Tradition has it that as a way of filling the gap between Christmas and the start of the Spring ploughing season, the ploughboys would tour around the village landowners, offering to dance for money. Those who refused would be penalised in various ways including having a furrow ploughed across the offender's lawn.

The dancers, wishing to gain employment from those same landowners shortly afterwards, would attempt to conceal their identities by blacking their faces with soot and dressing up in a modified version of their Sunday Best, typically black garments adorned with coloured scarves and other fripperies. It was originally an all-male tradition but with one of the members—the Molly—dressed up as a woman.

Holly Copse Molly began in 2008.

We practice during the Winter and dance out on Plough Monday and during the Summer. See more at

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