The Everyday Lore Project

27 June 2020 – Mazey Day

27 June 2020 – Mazey Day

Today I’ve been traditional Cornish dancing in my kitchen. It’s Mazey Day, part of the midsummer celebrations for the Golowan Festival in Penzance. In other times, I would have been down there, but instead I contented myself with some socially distanced hoofing. The festival is a combination of lots of different Penzance and Cornish traditions resurrected in 1991 into a slightly more health and safety conscious nine day event. And Mazey Day is the biggest day of all.

My original Plan B was to make Penglaz, the festival’s skull headed obby oss (a bit like a Mari Lwyd), but time has been short this month, so dancing it was. Now, anyone who’s suffered the misfortune of going to youth theatre with me knows just how uncoordinated I am. There was a reason I was always in the back line of the chorus. The one solo I did manage to bag, I was playing about-to-pop-pregnant so sat down throughout most of the dance numbers, even my own. But I kept auditioning, and they kept casting me. The gods love a trier. So this was going to be fun.

And it was. I don’t have tap shoes, so dug out a pair of dust encrusted interview shoes. My first dancefloor was the sitting room table as the sound was better, but I kept hitting my head on the lampshade and the table wasn’t wide enough for the traveling steps, so I decamped to the kitchen. Let’s just say, I aced the warm up. The rest was fine, if by fine you mean thoroughly out of time and threshing about like a fish on a line. I’ve found I don’t respond well to steps with hops in them, but the jumps seemed to go okay. My technique wasn’t helped by my broadband cutting out every thirty seconds, leaving me on buffer half way through a step ball change. 

So here is my attempt at a jumping crash:

And here is my first attempt at a scoot routine:

And the same routine again complete with Wi-Fi fail:

Humidity and dancing have never been best bedfellows, and adding chocolate into the mix (I was in the kitchen), was probably not my best move. After flicking and clicking for half an hour I called it a night and released my chafing feet. 

The evening brought back memories of awkward Scottish country dancing at school, but I would still definitely recommend having a go. But probably not after tea in a hot kitchen wearing pinching shoes, all things considered.


Golowan Festival Facebook Page

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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