Dance Notation

In case anyone is interested, here are the complete notations for dances as performed by Heb Enw...


Source: Cross between Dave Jones description in `The Roots of Welsh Border Morris', 1988, and Shropshire Bedlams `Maidens Prayer'.

Set: 6 dancers in a single line facing in couples. Also possible to do it with 5 or 4.
                    1>   <2   3>   <4   5>   <6

Step: walking step to begin followed by single step. Used as our warm-up dance, so first dance of the performance / practice.

Music: Speed the plough beginning very slowly & speeding up through the dance.
Play  (A)  AB  AB  AB etc.

Chorus: Sticking with long sticks whilst capering in direction of stick strike. Strike right to left, left to right each bar of music. At start of dance simply sway from side to side building up through the dance to capering as music tempo increases.

History: One of our first dances. Round about the end of 2011 we abandoned this one, as although it served well as a warm-up dance, it wasn’t really entertaining to watch when we were dancing out. We replaced it with Moorhouse Square usually, as that one’s quite gently really.

1. Hey: Walk a full hey, four steps to each bar, back to place.
2. Chorus.
3. Odds cast: Odds cast out to their right & go all the way round the set clockwise back to place, walking a little faster.
4. Chorus.
5. Evens cast: Evens do the same as previous figure walking even faster.
6. Chorus.
7. All cast: All do the same but now step-hopping instead of walking.
8. Chorus. Should be capering now.
9. Hey: Same as 1. but step hopping this time.
10. Chorus. Capering vigorously.

Dancing Bromsberrow Heath outside the
Dyffryn Arms, Pontfaen, 29 / 8 / 2009


Source: Dave Jones book. Interpretation for 6 used by `Naffer Joes' Morris' (?)

Set: 6 dancers, couples arranged in a Y shape, 3 dancers in centre facing out, their partners facing them. Can also be done as a line of 4  -  1>   <2   3>   <4. We also performed this as two parallel lines of 4 dancers each, and also as two lines of 4 dancers each in cross formation.

                                             3                                 5
                                                           4      6


Step: Single step throughout, during sticking inside three hold a pose and do not step.

Sticking: Short sticks. Centre 3 hold sticks at base holding them upright from their crotches while leaning back against each other. Outside 3 single step while striking | x x x - | x x x - |

Hey: Figure 8. All shout `Ho' as they start. Inside 3 dance 4 steps out then 4 steps back. Repeat. Outside 3 pass partner by right shoulder, pass centre spot by right shoulder, then left shoulder past inside person diagonally to the right. Come round them and pass centre spot by right shoulder then partner by right.

Music: `This Old Man' A music is the normal tune, B music is a variation.


A……….Once to yourself

ABA…...Sticking, Hey, Sticking
B…...Arming: Take partners right arm having transferred stick to left hand. Dance 8 steps clockwise, turn out and arm left 8 steps back but end in partners place.

ABA…...Sticking, hey, sticking.
B…...Sidestepping: Each dancer moves 4 steps to their right. Clash once with the person they meet as they start 4 steps back to place, clash with partner and continue 4 steps to left. Clash and four steps back to place.

ABA…...Sticking, hey, sticking.
B……Star: Outside dancers move in behind partners. All transfer sticks to left hand. Right hand star 8 steps, turn out and left hand star back but finish having changed place with partners.

ABA…...Sticking, hey, sticking.
B……Rounds and off: Outside 3 turn out into clockwise rounds. Inside 3 follow their partners straight into rounds. No 1 leads off.

Brimfield for 4 outside the Royal Oak,
Fishguard, 23rd May, 2009


Source: Original dance was as danced by Carreg Las. I think we may have changed it quite a bit though.

History: We only danced this one out a few times, and not very successfully - finding it hard to get 8 dancers regularly for practices. In the end we abandoned it...

Set: 8 dancers in two lines of 4.

Step: Shropshire Bedlams step. ie. left, hop, right, hop, left, right, left, hop. etc.

Music: Carreg Las used Off to California followed by Steam Boat Willie. We use the Tennesee Cake Walk.

Chorus: Using long sticks, face partner & bang tips on the ground, then butts, then throw stick across to partner then clash tips. 4 times in all.

1. 1/2 way through A music first couple dance on ( two sets of steps).
2. Chorus.
3. First couple dance off (2 steps) pick up second couple and dance back on (2 steps).
4. Chorus
5. Reel. Dancers 1 and 4 back away while 2 and 3 dance round each other to start a hay in diagonal line for 4 dancers.
6. Chorus.
7. Both couples dance off, pick up new couple & dance back on again.
8. Chorus.
9. Cotswold type hay along each side of set. top and bottom dancers turn up and down respectively, middle dancers follow top dancers. Whole hay back to places.
10. Chorus.
11. All 6 dancers dance off , pick up 4th couple & dance back on.
12. Chorus.
13. Reel. Couples 1 & 2, and 3& 4 do what the first 2 couples did in `5’.
14. Chorus.
15. Casting from the top. Each couple cast in turn & dance down to bottom of set while rest continue sticking as in Chorus, but moving up as they do so.
16. Rounds & off. Turn round sticks into a clockwise rounds & dancer 1 leads off.


Source: Original dance was collected off Youtube but we added the hey figure.

History: Fell out of use by the end of 2012 as we were struggling to get 8 dancers to practices though we've recently brought it back by popular demand.

Set: 8 dancers in two circles of 4 -  
                                                                           3  4      8  7

Step: Shropshire Bedlams step. ie. left, hop, right, hop, left, right, left, hop. etc.

Music: Sospan Fach as modified into a dance tune by Carreg Las. Play ABAB for each movement. Stopping playing between.

Sticking: Short sticks. Dancers stand still and clash right to left, left to right, then to left, to right, to left. Then again opposite way. Repeat all that.

Dance sequence:
Circling. All start in crouched positions, inner circle facing clockwise, outer anti. Caller bangs stick on floor - 1, 2, 3, then everyone on 4, all rise & music & stepping starts. Move in direction you’re facing. One Bedlam step to change places - outer ring one place, inner ring 2 places.
Sticking. Finish by all crouching down in original positions.

1. Grand chain. Inner ring start it off by coming out behind partner. All hay round back to places.
2. Back to backs. Always back to back with a person from other ring. One bedlam step per back to back. Firstly with person to the right. (right shoulders). Then with partner (Left shoulder). Then with person to left (again left shoulder), then again with partner (right shoulder).
3. Hey. Brimfield type hay in lines of 4 across set.
4. Rounds & off. Inner ring moves out to behind partner. Anti clockwise rounds and off.

Sospan, danced at the 2010 Upton
upon Severn Folk Festival.


SOURCE: Dave Jones book. Selected choice of figures.

SET: Longways set for 8 dancers.                  
Also possible for 6.

                                                                     2        4        6        8

                                                                     1        3        5        7

STEP: Single stepping throughout, including sticking. Only rest is for non-active dancers in Process up.

HALF HEY: Top couple face down set. Rest face up. 1 and 2 pass right shoulders with 3 and 4 respectively to start hey. Finish with top couple at bottom of set, bottom couple at top and centre couple back in place. 8 steps in all. After sticking repeat to place - old top couple facing up, rest down to start it off.

STICKING: Short sticks. Single step facing partner whilst striking | x - x - | x - x - | etc.

MUSIC: `Big Ship'.


A……..Once to yourself

A…...Half hey, sticking.
B…...Half hey, sticking.
A…...Top 4 circling: 8 steps clockwise, turn out, 8 anticlockwise to place. Bottom couple continue sticking.
B…...Bottom 4 circling: As above but with top couple sticking.

A…...Half hey, sticking.
B…...Half hey, sticking.
A……Process up: Top 2 couples step back to make wide set. Bottom couple dance 4 steps up middle and 4 steps back to place. Repeat with bottom 2 couples.
B……Repeat twice with all 3 couples.

A…...Half hey, sticking.
B…...Half hey, sticking.
A……Top to bottom casting: Top couple cast out and down to bottom of set. 8 steps. Next couple follow. Rest continue sticking.
B……Next couple follow. Then the 4th couple. When danced for 6 replace this with - all turn into a cast round to place, 4 steps. 4 steps whilst sticking.

A…...Half hey, sticking.
B…...Half hey, sticking.
A……Half rounds clockwise: All turn out into clockwise rounds. 16 steps. Turn out into -
B……Half rounds anticlockwise and off: No1 leads rest off.


Source: Based on a dance in Roy Dommitt's Border Morris notes. We've changed the sticking in that we do it static and added in some of our own figures.

Set: Longways set for 3 couples.

Step: Single step when active.

Music: Three jolly sheepskins played (A)AABB AABB etc. all the way through.

Chorus: Evens hold their sticks stationary upright in dramatic pose. Odds strike evens rt to lft, lft to rt, 16 times - takes one A music. Then No 1 leads other odds into a sheepskin hey round stationary evens. When No 1 turns back as last in line, they all slot into place between Evens and then reverse into their places. Takes AABB music. Repeat, evens active, odds static.

1. Chorus
2. Back to back: evens static. Odds back to back with them 4 steps each way, then other shoulder. Repeat with odds static, evens active.
3. Chorus
4. Bicycle: Form a figure 8, sixteen steps, then turn & dance back other way to place.
5. Chorus
6. Hey in a line: Partners pass right shoulders then go into a hey for 6 along middle of set.
7. Chorus
8. Grand chain: grand chain twice around set, when 1 and 2 get back to place the second time they pass each other & dance off set, leading those who are following on behind.

Sheepskins sticking, outside the Dyffryn Arms,
Pontfaen, 29th August, 2009


Source: Paul Sharp found this one on the internet called (I think) `Just as the tide was a turning and danced to the tune of that name. (originally written by Terry Dix of the Witchmen)

Set: 4 dancers in 2 lines of two:    
                                                         2         4

                                                         1         3

Step: Single step throughout, including during sticking.

Music: Donkey riding, played  AAB  AB  AB  AB  etc.

Chorus: Short sticks struck with partner  rt to lft,  lft to rt,  lft to rt,  rt to lft. Repeat with neighbour, then again with partner, & again with neighbour.
Dance a hey for 4. Come into line passing partners right shoulder - all turn right & into hay for 4 in line until back to place.
Repeat sticking.

1. Dance on: Start in order ie. 1,2,3,4, & dance on to form set.
2. Facing: Dance on spot facing up set, 4 steps, then 4 facing partner, 4 down set, 4 facing partner.
3. Chorus:
4. Back to back partners: 4 steps across, right shoulders, 4 backs to place. 4 passing left, 4 back to place.
5. Chorus:
6. Crossover & stick: 4 steps past partners right, turn & stick once with partner as in chorus. 4 steps past partner again, turn & stick.
7. Chorus:
8. Back to back Neighbours: As figure 4 but with neighbours this time.
9. Chorus:
10. Cast down and off: Turn up set & cast out and down - 4 steps. Reverse into place. 4 steps out and down again, reverse into place, turn in & up set & dance off. This is for dancers 1 &2. for 3 & 4 it's slightly different as they follow first couple in the cast.

Donkey for 6

Set: 2 lines of 3 dancers. Normal Cotswold layout.
Figures: Same pattern as for dance for 4 ie: Dance on, Facing, Back to back partners, Crossover & stick, Back to back neighbours, Cast down & off.
Chorus: Sticking commences with partner. Then 2&4, 1&6, 3&5 stick - this involves set changing shape to 2 lines of 3 but at a diagonal. Then stick with original partners. Then 2&5, 4&6, 1&3 stick - again reforming set on opposite diagonal. Easier than it sounds. Then hey - top couple back off for 2 steps as do bottom couple - then normal straight hey along sides. Repeat sticking.
Back to back neighbours: Only figure affected by new set layout. Back to back with same person as in sticking, 4 steps forward & back, repeat other shoulder. Then back to back with same person as in second part of sticking. ie. this figure takes twice as long as other figures.

Donkey for 6, by the bridge in Chepstow,
24 / 1 / 2009


Source: Paul and Jane Sharp learned this one at the `Freaks in the Peaks' Border workshop weekend.

Set: Unlimited number of couples in a longways set:     

                                                                                        2      4      6      8     etc.

                                                                                        1      3      5      7

Step: Single step during the danced figures.

Music: Should obviously have been Cuckoo's Nest, but we used British Grenadiers alternately with Bwmares March.

Chorus: Long sticks struck with partner 3 taps right to left then change place with 2 step hops, passing partner back against back. Repeat 3 more times.

1. Foot up & back, 4 steps each way. Repeat.
2. Chorus.
3. Arming, right and left.
4. Chorus.
5. Back to back: 2 steps passing right shoulders, 2 steps reversing to place round back of partner. Then same passing left shoulders. Repeat all that.
6. Chorus.
7. Tips and Butts: Holding sticks in centre, tip & butt with partner, then step to right & revolve round to face partner. Everyone should be in a line now as all have moved 1/4 way round. Repeat 3 more times back to place.
8. Chorus.
9. Windmills: Walking round partner, clash high then low in circular movement, Should have time to go round partner twice before-
10. Chorus. Finish all facing up, sticks clashed with partner.

`All Up!' - Cuckoo's Nest at the All Wales Morris Gathering
in Llanidloes, 21st May, 2011


Source: Composed by John Smith who joined us from Perth Morrismen in Australia.

Set: 4 dancers in 2 lines of two:  
                                                         2         4

                                                         1         3

Step: Single step throughout, standing whilst sticking.

Music: Mona’s Delight.

Chorus: Long sticks. Clash forehand with partner, backhand with neighbour. Repeat all that 4 times.
Then all turn round right shoulder, dance away from set, turn round left shoulder and back to place. Repeat the whole thing again.

1. Chorus.
2. Right and left stars.
3. Chorus.
4. Crossovers. 1&4 cross by right followed immediately by 2&3. All turn by left shoulders and crossover back to place. Repeat.
5. Chorus.
6. Squares. Pass partner by right , clashing forehand. Then neighbour by left, clashing backhand. Continue thus around the square and back to place. Repeat.
7. Chorus. On final dance back to place finish dance with 1&4 clashing across set. 2 clashes onto their crossed sticks, then 3.
8. Walk round anticlockwise and off.


Source: Our interpretation of the dance in Dave Jones `Roots of Border Morris'.

Set: 6 dancers in 2 lines of 3. Also possible for 5 dancers. Set staggered.
                    2      4      6                     2      4      6

                        1      2      3                      1      3

Step: Single step throughout.

Music: Not for Joe.
Play   (A)  AB  AB  AB etc.

Chorus: Stick striking (short sticks) right to left in pattern
  | x  -  x  -  |  x  x  x  -  |  twice with partner then twice with person diagonally to right. eg. 1 sticks with 2 then with 4. Spare people `air stick'.

1. Quiet Sticking: Stick gently, no noise at all.
2. Crossover: All face up set and take 4 steps to opposite side of set, then four back to make a single line. Four more in same direction, then four back to place.
3. Loud Sticking: Stick violently.
4. Arming: Swing partner 8 steps with right arm, then turn out & 8 steps with left arm.
5. Quiet Sticking:
6. Crossover:
7. Loud Sticking:
8. Circling or Star: Circling - all hold sticks pointing down into centre spot of set. 8 steps clockwise, turn out & 8 steps back. Star - same but change sticks to left hand first and hands across.
9. Quiet Sticking:
10. Crossover:
11. Loud Sticking:
12. Rounds and off: Turn round stick & into clockwise rounds. Number 1 leads off.

Audience participation at the Steiner School
Summer Fete, 23 / 6 / 2012


SOURCE: A reworking of White Ladies Aston for 4 dancers.

SET: 4 dancers in line.          1>    <2      3>    <4

MUSIC: Lord of the Dance, played AB AB throughout.

STEP: Single step throughout.

1. Half hey, sticking, half hey, sticking. Sticking as per White Ladies.
2. Top couple whole gyp, right shoulders, then left, much as a Cotswold whole gyp, dancing around each other, but instead of capering round to face partner again each time, dancing round using single step. Bottom couple meanwhile step and stick - windmills - stricking top and bottom alternately.
      Repeat, the other way round
3.   Half hey, sticking, Half hey (but end in a square of four), stick in this position.

                                                         2              4
                                                         \/              \/
                                                         /\              /\
                                                         1              3

4. Process up. 1 & 2 take a step backwards while 3 & 4 dance 4 steps up between them and back to place, woofing as they set off. Then all four do four steps up and back.
         Process down - repeat the other way round, with 3 & 4 taking a step backwards. At the end they realign into a straight line but at 90 degrees to original line.



5. Half hey, sticking, half hey, sticking, in this new line-up
6. Casting - 3 & 1 cast, each to their right, down to the other end of the set. 4 & 2 continue sticking but moving up into space vacated by 1 & 3. 4 & 2 cast while 1 & 3 stick and move up. Repeat all that.
7. Half hey, sticking, half hey sticking.
8. Rounds - all cast out round their right shoulders to form a circle. Dance round and off led by number 1.


Source: Taught to the team by John Smith. It’s the Cotswoldy version of the dance but we do the figures in a slightly different order to standard.

Set: Longways for 6 dancers.

Steps and Sticks: 1, 2, 3, hop throughout, a slight swinging of the free leg across the other during the hop. Stationary whilst sticking. Long sticks.

Music: The Newfoundland jig tune as introduced by Maude Karpeles. ABB throughout.

Chorus: 4 bars of sticking followed by 4 bars of looping round to the left, starting with a clash, right to left with partners. Repeat.

The Dance:

1. Rounds. All start facing partner. Clash on first beat (all figures start with a clash !), reverse away to form circle (123 hop) and dance round clockwise to place.
2. Sticking - Tips and Butts. Hold sticks in centre, alternate tips and butts.
3. Crossovers. Pass right shoulders, turn and face back, pass right shoulders again back to place, clash each way.
4. Sticking - Staves. Hold sticks at each end, clash on beats with centres of sticks. Start with right hand end uppermost.
5. 3 Top hay. No.3 comes up between 1&2, starting figure 8 hay across top of set with 2 and 1. No.4 goes down to start hay with 5 and 6.
6. Sticking - windmills. Strike R to L high then L to R low.
7. 3 Bottom hay. Same as 3 Top hay, but 3 goes down to hay with 5&6.
8. Sticking - Tips and Butts.
9. Hay down the middle. All clash, 1&2 goes down between 3&4 to start hay off, while 5&6 back off a little to make more room.
10. Sticking - Staves.
11. Rounds. Same as previously.
12. Sticking - windmills and all up. Same as before but at end, 3&4 swing their sticks up to meet at waist level across set while rest of team swing their sticks over their heads and down onto the middles sticks using two hand hold. On music restarting all walk round clockwise and caller leads everyone off.

Sticking - `Staves' - at Hazelbeach Regatta, 2014.


Source: Taught to us by Jeff from Carreg Las.

Set: Line of 6 dancers -      1> <2   3> <4   5> <6

Steps and sticks: Single steps for heys, standing still for sticking. 2 short sticks each.

Music: Old Molly Oxford - A AB AB  Shepherds hey - AABB AABB  Constant Billy - AAB AAB B(double speed) pause then AAB to dance off. (Different numbers of A’s and B’s is because each tune has different numbers of bars for each)

The Dance:

1. SWAY: All facing partner, on command all raise sticks above head, those facing down hold sticks in a V shape, those facing up in a /\ shape. Music starts and after 2 bars all sway to their right from the waist, then left etc. till end of first A music. Clash sticks with partner on last beat.
2. HEY: Zig zag half hay. All 2 steps left, 2 right, 2 left etc. When going round end of set make a diamond shape otherwise you won’t come back into the zigzag right..
3. STICKING: Molly Oxford sticking - Own R stick hits own left, then partners right. Then own left 3 times. Repeat with left striking. Then repeat all that.
4. HEY: Same as before but at the end turn 180 degrees to face a new person.
5. STICKING: Molly Oxford again, end dancers strike the air as they have no one to stick with. At the end turn back to face original partner.
6. HEY:
7. STICKING: Shepherd’s hey sticking. Strike own L with R, then partners R, then own R with L, then partners L. Then clash own in front, own under right leg, own in front, own under left leg, then own sticks front, behind, then front again.
8. HEY: Same as before but at the end turn 180 degrees to face a new person.
9. STICKING: Shepherd’s hey sticking again but facing the `wrong way’, turn at end.
10. HEY:
11. STICKING: Constant Billy sticking - Hit own left with R, then with partners R. Own R with L, then partner L, clash own sticks together in front, then behind, in front, then with both sticks clash partners 2 sticks.
12. HEY: Same as before but at the end turn 180 degrees to face a new person.
13. STICKING: Constant Billy sticking again facing `wrong way’, at end turn round to face partner.
14. DOUBLE SPEED STICKING: Constant Billy sticking again but much faster. Music stops at end. Keep sticks up after final strike.
15. HAY and OFF: Music starts again. After the lead-in note all sway. After first A music all strike and begin zigzag hay. Go to the far end, and back - on reaching the end carry on and so off the floor.

`Shepherd's hay' sticking in Steeple Claydon.
The Dingle, Narberth, 2 / 8 / 2011


SOURCE: Paul Sharp introduced this one. I think it is as performed by Chepstow based `Widders Morris'. Others do it a little differently, but essentially the same. One of our first dances.

SET: 5 dancers, 2 couples in a square,  one dancer in centre.

                                                                                   2              4
                                                                                   1              3

STEP: Single step during figures. Standing still whilst sticking.

STICKING: Long sticks. Hold with two hands at base. From point of view of No.1, bang tip on floor once then double clash with 5. Then floor, double with 3. Floor double with 2. Floor and double to air. Repeat. For No.2 it would be Air, 5, Partner, 4, repeat. So in effect No.5 sticks with 1, then 2, 3 then 4 and round again.

MUSIC: `Bwrlwm' (also known as `Theme Vannetaise')    Play  (A)  AB  AB  AB  ABB  AB  AAAB


A……...Once to yourself.

B……Diagonals: 2 steps to pass 5 as if by right shoulder but turning a little to face him, then continue 2 steps to diagonal place. Repeat back to place. All that again.

B……Reel: 1 and 5 pass right shoulders, then 4 enters reel. 8 steps back to place. The 5 does same with 2 and 3.

B……Diagonal and sides: Begin as in first figure crossing to diagonals place. Then face partner and cross to change places, passing right shoulder but turning to face in passing. Cross to diagonal place, then again with partner.

BB……Hey: 2 and 3 passive, turning on spot. 1 leads 5 and 4 around 3 by right shoulder, then figure 8 around 3. As 4 reaches centre spot, he turns on spot then leads 1 and 5 around 2. As 5 reaches centre spot, turns on spot and leads 4 and 1 round. As 1 reaches centre, turns on spot and leads others round 2 before each returns to place.

B……Double: Partners link then do a single hey back to place, 1/2 starting it off with 5, then 3/4 joining in. At end couples separate and -

A…..No.1 turns out and dances clockwise to bottom of set while others form single line. 2 and 5,
         3 and 4 face and stick whilst stepping. Strike, rt to lft, lft to rt each bar.
         Then 2 dances round, rest turn (anti clockwise) to stick next person.
A……Then 5 dances round. Then 3 dances round.
A……Then 4 dances round. Then 1 again dances round and all -
B……Turn out into clockwise rounds and 5 leads off.


Source: Off of Youtube, more or less as danced by Breathless in Berthoud Border Morris, but originally written by Mike Miller of the Bassett Street Hounds.

Set: 4 dancers in 2 lines of two:      
                                                            2         4

                                                            1         3

Step: Single step throughout, standing or walking whilst sticking. All movements must be done without hesitation.

Music: Carpathian tune.

Chorus: Long sticks. On last beat of bar start by banging ground. Then on next 8 beats - 1. Bang with neighbour. 2. Bang with partner. 3. 3 bangs with 2 as 2 moves forward between 1 & 3, 4 going outside past 3. 4.  1&2 clash, 3& 4 clash, all more or less in line. 5. 3 & 2 clash again as set reforms with 2&1 facing 4&3. 6. Clash with new partner. 7. That again. 8. All bang ground. Next time 4&3 move forwards. Repeat all that til back in place.

1. Sticking.
2. Safety pin. 2&4 twirl to end of set (2 steps) while 1&3 pass between & move out past them to ends of set as 2&4 meet in centre, do one complete turn & carry on in direction they were moving. 1&3 meet in middle & twirl one complete turn & carry on. 2&4 meet in centre again, one complete turn & carry on to end of set as 1& 3 follow them.
3. Hey. At end of set on first beat. 3&4 clash & 1&2. Simple hay with clashing on beat until back in original place ready for:
4. Sticking.
5. Square. As in Moorhouse Square. Partners pass right shoulder clashing, then left clashing with neighbour, then right with partner, then left with neighbour. Twice round set.
6. Circling. 1&4 meet in centre of set in waist hug, sticks in left hands & rotate clockwise 1/4 turn each beat. 2&3 dance round anticlockwise clashing 1&4s held out sticks on each beat. Twice round set & back to place.
7. Sticking. Finish with all banging the ground radiating out from set.


Source: Introduced by Sandy. Sourced on Youtube but we introduced `wigwam’ figure as it was a bit short. Originally called Lorenzo’s Butterfly.

Set: 4 dancers in square set.

                      2          4
                      1          3

History: We’ve had some disastrous
performances of this one! So much
so that we stopped doing it for a while
but it came back into the side’s
repertoire by popular demand...

Step: Single step.

Music: The Bear dance.
Play  AAB  AB  AB etc.

Chorus:  Long sticks. On first beat 2 and 3 throw their sticks across to each other while 1 and 4 thump butts on the ground. Second beat - 2 & 3 thump ground while 1 & 4 chuck sticks across. Continue for 4 chucks.
Then 2 & 3 dance across 4 steps, clashing on first beat, turn and 4 steps back again clashing on first beat. 1 & 4 pause for 2 beats then do the same.

1. Dance on: Dancers come on from opposite corners to where they'll end up. 2 & 3 cross in centre and all do a quick hey for 4 in line, ending in position.
2. Chorus.
3. Back to back: With partners, 4 steps to do complete back to back one way, then all moving clockwise, 4 steps to change 2 positions, dancing rigidly to the square. Repeat, ending up back in position.
4. Chorus.
5. Clover leaf: All turn single to the right, 4 steps, coming into centre and lock right hands in wrist lock. Dance round clockwise to place and release, turn single back to place.
6. Chorus.
7. Sod off: 1 & 3 dance 4 steps up set turn & 4 steps back to place. 2 & 4 do same down set. Then 1 & 2 dance 4 steps off in 2's direction while 3 & 4 do same in 3's direction. Turn and back to place.
8. Chorus.
9. Wigwam: All dance a loop out from set round left shoulders. Six steps. On returning to position swing sticks up to meet above set in wigwam shape - dance round clockwise to end of music then all rush off screaming.


Source: From watching Hook Eagles dancing at Chepstow. This is their dance `Hay on Wye’ but with some differences in the performance of the figures.

Set: Longways set for 4 dancers.

Music: The Keel Row, played AB throughout. A for figures, B for sticking.

Steps: Single step during figures. Standing still during sticking.

Sticking: Partners face, each dancer has 2 short sticks. There is a double tap to begin. Right stick hits own left stick, low, then on the 1st beat of the music strikes partners right stick in low position, 2nd beat  clash right sticks again but high. Repeat with left sticks. This is done 4 times. Then to finish - own right, partners right, own left partners left, own right partners right, then all raise both sticks above head and shout `Oi!’ on final beat.

The Dance:

1. Dance in position: All face up set, dance on spot for 6 steps then use 2 steps to each rotate right to face down. Repeat facing down and at end rotate to face partner across set.
2. Sticking.
3. Crossovers: 2&3 cross right shoulders (2 steps), 1&4 do the same (2 steps), all dance on the spot (2 steps), then change place with partner, passing right shoulder to own place. Repeat all that.
4. Sticking.
5. Hay: 4 person hay across set. 2&3 start it off passing R shoulders, then 1&4 but passing L shoulders. By this time 2&3 are at the ends of the line and turning in to face other 2, all continue passing R and L till end of music. Finish in position diagonally opposite original place. Face across set at 90 degrees to original layout.
6. Sticking with this new partner.
7. Back to back. The 2 at bottom of set are stationary, top couple back to back right shoulders - 8 steps in all. Bottom couple then back to back stationary top couple, again passing right shoulders.
8. Sticking.
9. Hay. Exactly the same as previous hay, and in same orientation across set. All end in original places, and facing original partners.
10. Sticking with original partners.
11. Crossovers. Same as before.
12. Sticking.
13. Rounds and off. All turn out round right shoulders into a circle, dance round, `Oi!’ then continue going round till end of tune and all throw sticks over their heads and run off yelling.

Hazelbeach Regatta, 8th June, 2014


Source: Introduced to us by John Smith who joined us from Perth Morrismen in Australia.

Set: In sets of 3 dancers. Modified it by making a set for 6 or even 9 by having the number 1s in centre of set. Set for 6:
                                           3                              2
                                                      1        1
                                           2                              3

Step: Step hopping as normal. All figures end with and dance starts with 3 bangs on the ground with sticks.

Music: John calls this `Bears in the Wilderness’ but it seems to be the same tune as the `Buffalo girls’

Chorus: .Sticking with long sticks, 2 hand grip. 1 strikes 2, 2 then strikes 3, 3 then strikes 1 & so on round the set, all forehand strikes. Finishes with 1 & 3 clashing then 3 bangs on the ground.

1. Sticking. 3 bangs on ground at end of intro.
2. Hey - 1 dances a hey round other 2. Starts by going between them, turning right & dancing round 3, then round 2 & back to place. 3 bangs on ground.
3. Sticking.
4. Hey - Number 2 does the same.
5. Sticking.
6. Hey - Number 3 does it.
7. Sticking.
8. Star - All dance right hand star, 8 steps round, turn out & left hand star back to place (4 steps) then 3 bangs on ground.
9. Sticking (spinners) - same as normal sticking but all dancers revolve anticlockwise on the spot while doing it. Finish with 3 bangs on the ground & jumping to face out with a yell, sticks aloft.


Source: Made this one up ourselves. Big input from Taran & Anwen as to figures.

Set: Longways for any number of couples.

Step: Single step throughout, standing whilst sticking.

Music: Rattling bog.

Chorus: Sticking. Short sticks. Pattern - diag. left, partner, diag right, partner, diag right, partner, diag left, partner. Repeat. Forhand & backhand as feels natural, ie. Backhand hitting to right, forhand hitting to left.

Dance - Original version:
1. Foot up. 4 steps up, 4 reverse, 4 up , 4 reverse.
2. Sticking
3. Hungry caterpillar. Odds dance round behind evens, 1 leading as 2 leads evens inside odds. Odds return inside evens. Same as Vandals swagger round, but danced.
4. Sticking
5. Arming.
6. Sticking.
7. Back to back. Odds stationary as evens do right shoulders. Evens stationary as odds do left shoulders.
8. Sticking.
9. Sod off & off. Odds lead off up set 4 steps as Evens lead off down. Turn & 4 steps back to place, then face partner & run off screaming past partners right.

Dance - Later version:

Set: longways set for 4.

1.  Foot up. 4 steps up, 4 reverse, 4 up , 4 reverse.
2. Sticking. Hey. Sticking
3. Back to back with partners.
4. Sticking. Hey. Sticking
5. Long Sod-off. 1&3 face up and dance round in a long loop and back to place. 2&4 face down and do the same.
6. Sticking. Hey. Sticking
7. Back to back with neighbours.
8. Sticking. Hey. Sticking
9. Wagon wheel and off. All, holding sticks in the centre make a right hand star with the sticks held in the centre of the star, other arm stretched out. Then break and circle round doing `airoplanes’ with outstretched arms, and no.1 leads everyone off.

Taranwen for 4 - Hazelbeach Regatta 2014.


Source: Original composition by John (Tose).

Set: Longways set for 4 dancers.

Step: Single step throughout except when sticking `Ding dong’.

Sticks: Long sticks.

Music: The Maypole, played AB throughout, but with an extra 4 bars of A for the dance-round to start.

Chorus: Clash with partner on first beat, then all dance a loop round left shoulder, while sweeping the floor with tip of stick (6 steps), all hold sticks up to meet high in centre of set like a maypole’s ribbons, dance round clockwise to place and break, again all looping round their left shoulders and back to place, sticks on shoulders this time. Music for this is AA.

The Dance:

1. Dance round. All facing clockwise round set and 3 positions back from where they will dance the rest of the dance. Dance round to place.
2. Chorus
3. Back to back. Clashing on first beat, normal back to back passing right shoulders (8 steps), repeat passing left.
4. Chorus
5. Ding dong. All stand left leg in towards centre. 1&4 clash, then strike floor behind them. 2& 3 do the opposite. Continue like this for full BA music.
6. Chorus
7. Hay. Face partner. All pass right shoulders and each turn right and hay along the centre of set and back to place. Clash on each beat.
8. Chorus
9. Peeling. 1&4 dance on spot, striking each beat (4 steps) while 2&3 peel round right shoulders to end in each others place. They stick while 1&4 peel. Repeat all that.
10. Chorus
11. Crossover and rounds. All clash and dance across to partners place (2 steps), then all face to the right and dance on spot (2 steps), then all dance round 2 places and face back across set (4 steps). Repeat, but this time on the dance round, no.1 leads the others off.


Source: Bacon. Naffer Joe’s also danced this but arranged for 8 dancers which makes it much more like a Border dance. In Bacon they say that if they could get the dancers they would have 8 or 10 in a set. There are several interpretations of this dance, this is one of them but we’ve moved back to back between the two heys for contrast.

Set: Usual Cotswold longways set for 6 dancers.

Steps: Single step throughout starting on left foot (right in Bacon) until 7th beat of each phrase where dancer jumps from left foot to land on right on 8th beat. Clashes sticks with partner on 8th beat.

Music: The usual shepherd’s hey tune, but played AB AB throughout.

Sticking: Standing facing partner strike |  F  B  F  -  |  B  F  B  -  | (F = forehand, B = backhand) for the first 2 bars of the tune, then for the next 2 bars, hold stick up against partners forming an arch and single step. Short sticks.

The Dance:

1. FOOT UP - Clash to start on last beat, then 4 steps up, 2 back jump and clash. Repeat (AB)
2. COTSWOLD HAY - Bledington type Cotswold half hey. Middles going up.
4. COTSWOLD HAY - Other half of hay back to place. Middles going down.
6. BACH TO BACK - Right shoulders, 4 steps across, 2 back, jump and clash.
8. BACH TO BACK - Left shoulders, 4 steps across, 2 back, jump and clash.
10. IN OUT HAY - Top couple turn down set, middle couple dance in to face to face (2 steps), and top couple dance out round them to end in bottom couple’s place with a turn out to finish facing in. Meanwhile, bottom couple dance down and out (as in Cotswold hay) then come up between middle couple who have danced backwards 4 steps to make room, ending in top couples place. Middle couple come back into their starting place with the jump and clash.
12. IN OUT HAY - Repeat of the first, new top couple turning down the set.
14. SPIRAL - Odds face up set, evens face down. Odds lead off, looping right then left. Evens tag on behind in order 6 4 2. All turn with the jump (sticks as if clashing) and retrace steps to place. Finish all up, holding sticks in an arch.


Source: This is essentially the version of Skirmish taken from a video of Makeney Morris. Skirmish is dance composed in the Cotswold style and there are various versions of it in different Cotswold traditional styles. We have removed the Cotswold stepping (Adderbury in Makeney’s video) making it a border version.

Set: Longways set for 6 dancers, usual Cotswold arrangement.

Stepping: Single step throughout except during sticking.

Music: `Skirmish’ - a tune composed specially for this dance by one of the teams who do a version of it. We took it from the Makeney video.

Sticking: Long sticks, held one handed. Numbers 1 & 6 leap in to clash high (forehand) and low (backhand) - 2 & 4, and 3 & 5 realign themselves to do the same. All must then return to starting places and then 2 & 5 leap in, 1 & 3, and 4 & 6 all facing to clash high and low before leaping back to starting places. Then all strike high and low with their partners. Then with 2 hand hold all strike ground behind them and then all strike high with their partners. All this takes just 4 bars of music so realignments have to be very quick.

The Dance:

WALK ROUND: After intro, all turn round their sticks into clockwise rounds and walk round to place, arriving in place exactly in time to start -

FOOT UP: Four steps up, four back. Repeat.
HALF HEY: 1 & 2 face down. Rest face up. Hey started by top couple going down the middle.
STICKING: Same as first sticking but as the numbers have changed ends, the set alignments will be different.
HANDS AROUND: Sticks into left hands, all take a right hand grip and pull their partner across set. Hold this position with sticks held wide, then pull back across. Repeat with left hand grip.
PROCESS DOWN: Top couple dance 4 steps down middle and four back. Then repeat but with middle couple leading them. Bottom couple cast out and up the set (4 steps) then backwards into place (4 steps)
PROCESS UP: Same as process down, but bottom couple taking the lead.
ROUNDS: All cast round sticks into rounds. Dance halfway round and reform set. Cast round sticks again and continue round to starting places.
STICKING, HEY, STICKING, HEY: All up at end of second hey.

OFF: All cast round sticks and walk round clockwise and No.1 leads rest off.

Skirmish, by the Yacht Club, Lower Fishguard, Fishguard Folk Festival 2016

Evesham Stick Dance

Source: The original dance collected in 1940 from George Collins who was the teams musician from about 1875 - 1895. We took the notation from Dave Jones’ Roots of Welsh Border Morris but have doubled up on the figures so that the evens get a chance to stick as well.

Set: Longways set for any number of couples.

Stepping: Single step throughout except when passive during sticking.

Music: Fanny Frail, the Roy Dommett notation. (A)AB AB AB AB AC

Sticking: Short sticks, handkerchief held in left hand as well. Evens side of set `passive’, while odds side active. After the crossover figure, the evens will be on the odds side of the set and they then become the active ones.
Evens side - hold sticks upright with both hands. Stand still.
Odds side - whilst step hopping strike partners stick in time to the music alternating forhand and backhand in the pattern  | F  -  B  -  |  F  B  F  -  |  B  -  F  -  |  B  F  B  -  | etc.

The Dance:

1. Sticking. Odds active.
2. Dance on the spot: Very exaggerated step-hopping with big arm swinging, both stick and hanky hands, whilst facing partner.
3. Sticking.
4. Crossover: Sticks on shoulders, hanky arm swinging, pass partner by right shoulders. Four steps across, 4 more to turn (right) back, 4 steps into partners place, 4 steps on the spot.
5. Sticking. Evens are now on the odds side of the set so they become the active ones.
6. Dance on the Spot.
7. Sticking.
8. Crossover.
9. Sticking.
10. Rounds and off: Turn out into clockwise rounds, transferring stick to left hand and hanky to right hand. Stick on shoulder, waving hanky in an anticlockwise rotation on the beat. Number one leads everyone off.

Annie Lisle

Source: Composed by John Smith based on Litchfield dances.

Set: Longways set for four couples.

Stepping: Single step.

Music: Annie Lisle. Figure - A, Sticking - B, Slows - C.

Sticking: 2 short sticks. Pattern of sticking is to strike on first and second beats per bar - right stick diagonally to the right, left stick to partner, right stick diagonally to the left, left stick to partner. All this four times. No stepping while sticking.

Chorus: This is sticking followed by Slows - Cross over set passing partner by right shoulder, taking 4 half speed walked steps to do so. Step 1 - bend low swinging sticks from shoulders down to ground. Step 2 - back to upright position, leaning backwards with sticks back on shoulder. Steps 3 and 4 - same as 1 and 2. Followed by 3 capers to turn to face back and finishing with feet together and clashing sticks above head. Repeat back to place.

The Dance:

1. Walk Round. Turn round right shoulder into rounds and walk round. On steps 6 to 8 each dancer twirls once around right shoulder before continuing clockwise round to place.
2. Chorus.
3. Crossover. Single step. Holding sticks in front and close together in an upright position - two steps in to touch sticks to partners, rotate clockwise 90 degrees so all dancers are in line and hold for 2 steps before rotating a further 90 degrees and 4 steps to back away from partner. Clash above head on last beat. Repeat back to place.
4. Chorus.
5. Hey. First and third couples face down, 2nd and 4th couples face up. Hay along sides until back in place.
6. Chorus.
7. Litchfield Hey. The usual Litchfield hay.
8. Chorus.
9. Dance Round. Same as walk round but dancing it.
10. Chorus. And All Up - during the last 3 capers of the slows, turn to face up with sticks held high after clashing. After a pause, No.1 leads off, still with sticks raised followed by 3,5,7,8,6,4 and 2 who circle round to follow 1 off.

Annie Lisle slows, lower Fishguard outside the Yacht club, 2017

Brian’s Brawl

Source: Composed by Brian Jones.

Set: Longways set for three couples.

Stepping: Single step.

Music: Y Cambro Brython.

Sticking: One short stick. There are 2 types of sticking through the dance which alternate between figures. First sticking - Strike partners stick in time to the music alternating forehand and backhand in the pattern  | F  -  B  -  |  F  B  F  -  |  B  -  F  -  |  B  F  B  -  | etc.
Second sticking - same as first sticking except that for the first 2 bars, evens are passive holding their stick in both hands up from their waists. Next 2 bars, odds passive while evens strike. Repeat all that.

The Dance:

1. First Sticking.
2. Brawl - Top couple face down, rest face up, all take two steps backwards to lengthen the set. Number 1 dances down passing through 4 and 6 on the other side of the set, while number 2 crosses to odds side between 3 and 5. It is basically a horseshoe shaped hay, as each couple get to the top of the set they cross to the other side, each time the odds passing in front of the evens.
3. Second Sticking.
4. Star - All take a step backwards to enlarge the set, then dance in to form 2 left hand stars - 1, 2, and 3 in the top star, 4, 5 and 6 in the bottom star. Dance round two full turns. Break apart, 1 and 2, 5 and 6 casting round their sticks while 3 and 4 pass each other to again form two threes, this time doing a Wagon Wheel, with sticks held upright in the centre. Again twice round, breaking apart to reform the set at right angles.
5. First Sticking. 4 bars of this with person facing, then 2 bars all dance back to their original places followed by 2 bars of sticking again.
6. Diagonals. 1&4, 3&6 all pass diagonally right shoulders, then 1&5 and 2&6 pass diagonally right shoulders. All face across the set and do a back to back right shoulders. Same individuals do the diagonals again, this time passing left shoulders to end up back where they started from. All do a back to back passing left shoulders.
7. Second sticking.
8. Half Rounds. All dance clockwise, halfway round the set. Crossover, dancing a full circle around partner in middle of set. Repeat half rounds then all dance round partner 1 1/4 turns to end up in a line of six:
                1 >   < 2      3 >    < 4       5 >     < 6       Then all turn round to face other way:

                1       2 >    < 3       4 >      <5       6

9. Sticking and casting: 2&3,  4&6 stick for 4 bars while the `spares’ cast right and into the gap between them ready to stick with the new person when they turn to stick. Couples sticking must move apart to make a gap for them. This happens eight times until all are back in starting position, ie. original line of six (before the turning to stick).
10. Zig-Zag and off. Zig zag hey as at the end of Steeple Claydon to end of set and back again before dancing off.

Dancing the Brawl outside the Saint Govan's Inn,
 Bosherston in a bit of a gale... 2017

Much Wenlock

SOURCE: Composed by John Tose with figures loosely taken from the collected dance.

SET: Longways set for six.

STEPPING: Single step except in sticking.

MUSIC: A minor variant of the Welsh gypsey tune `Oko Vela o Chavo'.

STICKING: Leaving left foot in place, step right foot out behind and thump butt of stick on ground. Move right foot back to place and thump stick butt beside dancer. Then strike tips and butts with partner once. Repeat 4 times but on last time strike tips / butts / tips to the music.


1. Sticking.

2. Rounds around No.1 - Number 1 spins into centre of set while the rest turn out round their sticks and all dance a rounds clockwise to finish in original places. Meanwhile number 1 keeps turning and at end returns to place.

3. Sticking.

4. Wenlock Crossover: Pass partner by left shoulder and cross 4 steps moving diagonally. All loop round to the right to face back at partner (4 steps). Dance towards partner and take left arms and arm round and back to place (8 steps).

5. Sticking.

6. Arches: Numbers 3, 4, 5 & 6 form an arch with their sticks and stand still while 1 dances under the arch then back up the outside of set to place and at the same time 2 casts down the outside of the set then back up under the arches. (8 steps in all). 1, 2, 3 & 4 then make the arches and 6 comes up through the arch then back down the outside to place, and 5 casts up the outside then back down under the arches. (8 steps)

7. Sticking.

8. Horseshoe Hay: All take 2 steps out to enlarge the set. 1 & 3 face, 2 & 4 face, and 5 & 6 face. All pass right shoulders and continue in a six man horseshoe hay, doing the full horseshoe and finishing in place. Twice through the B music.

9. Sticking.

10. Zig-zag: All face up. All dance 2 sidesteps to form one line, odds in front of evens. Continue 2 steps into partners place. Repeat into line then back to original place, odds passing behind evens. Repeat all this again.

11. Sticking and all up.


SOURCE: Composed by John Tose to a tune brought to the side by Chris Knibbs, from Catseye Morris.

SET: Longways set for from 4 to 10 dancers.

STEPPING: Single step except in sticking. Dancers carry a single handkerchief in their left hands, held at chest height. Hanky is flicked forwards and upwards on the first beat of every other bar. ie. Every four steps.


STICKING: Short sticks. Strike forehand then backhand in the following pattern to the B music:

     |  F - B - |  F B F B  |  F - B -  |   F B F B   |  F - B -  |  F B F B  |  F - B -  |  F B F -  | 

No stepping, hankies held at sides throughout.


1. Foot up. Four steps up, four back, four up and four back, flicking hankies on first beat of each.

2. Sticking.

3. Rounds. All back out 4 steps to form a circle then dance round clockwise to place. Usual hankies.

4. Sticking.

5. Back to back. 2 steps to pass partner right shoulder, 2 steps to the right, 4 steps reversing to place. Repeat left shoulders. Usual hankies.

6. Sticking.

7. Casting. All face up - odds cast left, evens right. At bottom of set cross to other side, odds passing in front of evens. Repeat, odds right, evens left, crossover again, all ending up back in original place. Usual hankies. Takes 2 x A musics.

8. Sticking.

9. Loop. Facing partner each dancer makes a loop round to their left and back to place. 8 steps in all (usual hankies) followed by walking around partner while striking `windmills' - strike top and bottom while rotating arms anticlockwise. Repeat all that. Takes 2 x A musics.

10. Sticking and all up. After last clash of sticks everyone strikes a pose and shouts `Oi'. After this the musician plays a short intro before:

11. Rounds and off. Rounds as before but No.1 leads the others off.