Hand a group of girls some sticks, give them a few instructions, add some music and they will turn a rainy summer afternoon into a dance.
That’s what happened Thursday when the Morris dancing team, Ladies of the Rolling Pin, of Narragansett visited the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio on Warwick Avenue. The ladies – actually two from the troupe, Monica VanHorn and Marjory Stevens – brought along bags of rolling pins. When the ladies perform, as they frequently do at Waterfire in Providence, they’ll dress in baking outfits and, in addition to rolling pins, use flour sifters in their dance. It makes for plenty of puffs and some white faces by the end of the routine.
Morris dancing from Cotswolds in Southwest England celebrates the arrival of spring and the awakening of the earth from its winter slumber, according to the ladies’ website.
The Carolyn Dutra dancers weren’t introduced to flour, but they made good use of the pins, clacking them together to create a rhythm and drumming them on the floor at the appropriate musical cues provided by Alan Bradbury, who played the accordion.
It was an awakening, no question.
Juliette de Roxas, studio manager, said Dutra saw the ladies at Waterfire and asked if she could track them down. She did and they showed up during the studio’s summer dance camp.
The camp provides instruction in jazz, hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and musical theater dancing.
“This was a fun break,” said de Roxas.
The ladies agreed the session went well. All of the girls were careful with their pins – no one was mistakenly hit. They also agreed that the outcome might have been different had the group been boys.