Cotswold is so called because its heartland, where Morris dancing can be traced back to the mid 17th Century, is in the south midland area of England, where the Cotswold Hills march through the countryside of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Between the 18th and 19th Centuries, practically every village in this area seems to have been represented at some stage by a Morris side.
Cotswold dances consist of figures and choruses made up predominantly of single step (step hop) or double step (one, two three, hop) movements, but also featuring vigorous, more showy stepping, often involving leaping from foot to foot, with balances, splits and kicks thrown in for good measure. To accentuate the movements, dancers carry hankies or sticks which swirled or struck in time to the music. Cotswold sides also wear the Morris dancers' most famous accessory: the bells.
Jigs play quite a large role in Cotswold Morris, as its style lends itself very well to solo dances. Jigs are often used as proof of a novice's ability, and on performing satisfactorily in front of the team, a dancer may then receive their side's insignia, or baldricks.
Cotswold kit usually consists of white shirts and white trousers, or black breeches, usually with some kind of hat and a crossed sash, known as baldricks.