Northumberland Gypsy (for 5)

Source: Written in 1996 by Mike Miller (Bassett Street Hounds).

Tune: Rakes of Mallow (traditional) as AB(ABB)4 (A=figures, B=sticking).

Variants: The Hounds have danced this with 8, by having two dancers enter each chorus.


Formation: A rectangle of increasing length, each dancer with one long stick.

Sequence: Dance on, Chorus for 2, J-Bone Hey, Chorus for 2&3, Perpendicular Hey, Chorus for 3&4, Square Hey, Chorus for 4&5, Alternating Heys, Chorus for 5&5.

Chorus: Dance a counterclockwise circle around your partner, sticking backhand high with your partner, backhand low in line, backhand high with your partner, backhand low in line, forehand high in line, forehand low with your partner, then slide left along the set and stick forehand high and backhand low with your new partner, and repeat. Your body must rotate to accomplish all this (first to the right, then to the left) - just follow the direction of your stick when turning your body. When you are partnered with Harvey (an imaginary invisible dancer) at the end of the set, stick backhand high with Harvey, backhand low in line, backhand high with Harvey (behind you), backhand low in line, forehand high in line, forehand low with Harvey and then slide left and you're back in the set. The chorus for 2 will have 16 clashes. In the remaining choruses, you will dance each chorus for 16 clashes, then a dancer will join at the bottom of the set (with their right/left shoulder towards the musicians if they're an odd/even number) and you will continue for another 16 clashes. You will (usually) end a chorus in a different spot than you started. Remember where you end!

J-Bone Hey (for 2): Do a right-shoulder back-to-back, but continue around to pass right shoulders a second time. Swerve to the right, then loop around to the left. Repeat.

Perpendicular Hey (for 3): The top two dancers back away from each other as the dancer furthest from the musician cuts between them and begins a left-shoulder hey for 3, perpendicular to the line of dance.

Square hey (for 4): Pass right shoulders across the set, turn out 270 degrees to face someone up or down the set, pass left shoulders up/down the set, turn out 270 degrees to face someone across the set, and repeat.

Alternating Heys (for 5): Start as in (1) below. 3 backs away from 1, then 4 does a half-hey with 1 and 5 (starting by passing 1 by the left), then a half-hey with 2 and 3 (starting by passing 2 by the left). At this point, the set looks like (2). Repeat.

          2   4   5
(1)   M            
          1   3    
          3       1
(2)   M       4    
          5       2
This page was written by Mike Miller of the Bassett Street Hounds and was last edited on 10/5/97.

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