The earliest known reference is a mention of Morris dancing in 1448. Some have suggested it is “Moorish” dancing originating in North Africa whilst others believe it to date from pagan times.
Shakespeare refers to it in several plays and the earliest Croydon record dates from the time of Henry VIII with mention of a May Day dance in Surrey Street.
There are several styles. Offcut is a “Cotswold” side with its origins in the Midlands, mainly the Cotswolds and Staffordshire. Other genres include Clog, Border and Rapper.