Born in 1891 of Welsh/Irish parents, Margaret Morris was only a few weeks old when the family moved to France. A child prodigy, she danced at society concerts and in court drawing rooms where she was spotted by Sarah Bernhardt who offered to train her in Paris. Morris resented the formality of classical ballet training and from the age of twelve began to develop her own system of exercises based on the Greek Positions copied from Ancient artifacts.
In 1910 she founded the Margaret Morris Movement School, and soon established bases in London, Paris, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It was during a company visit to Paris in 1913 that she met her future husband the artist John Duncan Fergusson. In 1939, following the outbreak of war, they returned to Glasgow where they established the New Art Club and The Celtic Ballet. Many of her schools were however forced to close.
After the death of Fergusson in 1961, Morris moved back to London and set about revitalising the Margaret Morris Movement, which by 1984 had over half a million attendances at classes and strong international groups. She died in Glasgow in 1980 at the age of 89. Not only a professional dancer, Morris was also a painter and writer, publishing several works including a biography of her husband, The Art of J.D. Fergusson, Glasgow, 1974 and her autobiography, My Life in Movement, London, 1969.