Alexandra Park Road Stick Dance, N.22.5

The Alexandra Park Road Stick Dance, N.22.5 is a wonderful dance, with a great sticking sequence in the chorus.

Source: Written by Rob Kearsley Bullen (of New St George Morris) in 1984, and transmitted by him to the Hounds in 2000. The Hounds have modified the dance (mostly by doing the figures in half the time, and as a consequence starting all figures on beat 7) to match our tendency to dance in small, fast sets. 1)

Tune: Durham Rangers as A(ABB)4AB (A=figures, B=chorus)

X:1
T:Alexandra Park Road Stick Dance
T:Tune: Durham Rangers
R:hornpipe
H:Used for Alexandra Park Road Stick Dance, N.22
M:4/4
K:D
FG | ABAF A2 de | fgef d3 A | BcdB ABAF | G2 E2 E2 FG | 
ABAF A2 de | fgef d3 A | BcdB ABAG | F2 D2 D2 :| 
ag | fefg afdf | edcB A2 ef | ggag ffaf | g2 e2 e2 FG | 
ABAF A2 de | fgef d3 A | BcdB ABAG | F2 D2 D2 :| 

Formation: A rectangular set of 6 or 8, each with one long stick.

Sequence: Once to Yourself, Cross into Rounds, Chorus, Interlocks, Chorus, Solar System, Chorus, Spaghetti Junction, Chorus, Cross into Rounds.

Note that the chorus and all figures start on beat 7!

Chorus:

  • Sticking: On beat 7, thrust your stick up and out behind you (so from the musician's point of view, the left side of the set has sticks at 10 o'clock and the right side at 2 o'clock.) Bring your stick in a vertical circle (down past your foot, up towards your partner, up over your head, down and back behind you), hitting the ground behind you on beat 1. Clash with your partner, forehand on beat 2 and backhand on beat 3, then hit the ground behind you on beat 4. Clash with your partner, forehand on beat 5 and backhand on beat 6, then hit the ground behind you on beats 7 and 8.
  • Swapping: Trade places with your partner as follows. Begin to circle counterclockwise around the dancer diagonally to your left (for one dancer on each end of the set, this will be the invisible dancer “Harvey”.) On beat 3 (after about half a circle) you will find yourself in a long line down the middle of the set; clash forehand with the dancer to your right (those circling around Harvey will need to put in an extra half turn to make this possible.) Continue circling counterclockwise (about another half circle), arriving at your partner's place on beat 7.
  • Repeat the sticking and swapping (there will be a different dancer on your diagonal left), returning back to your original place on beat 7.

Once to Yourself: Listen to the music for 8 beats, then back away from your partner on the next beats 1 through 4, and surge forward on beats 5 and 6.

Cross into Rounds: Move across the set, passing your partner by the right shoulder and clashing forehand with them on beat 7. Continue forward until the set forms a circle, then travel clockwise half way around that circle, arriving on beat 5. (This will *not* be where you started.) Repeat, arriving back to your original position on beat 7. (At the end of the dance, the first corners lead their side of the line off.)

Interlocks: Turn so that your right shoulder points into the set, and clash forehand with your partner on beat 7. Move forward along the side of the set to the next dancer, then turn to face them across the set. Move across the set, passing them by right shoulders and clashing forehand on beat 1. Repeat, turning right and moving along the side of the set to clash your partner on beat 3 then continuing along the side to the next dancer and then across the set to clash with them on beat 5. Turn right and go back to place on beat 7, then repeat the entire sequence one more time (so you'll travel a total of two times around a rectangle.)

Solar System: Identify your “shadow” (the dancer diagonally across the set from your partner.) Move across the set, passing your partner by the right shoulder and clashing forehand with them on beat 7. Notice that (relative to the center point of the set) you are traveling either clockwise or counterclockwise. Continue a quarter circle in the same direction, to a line perpendicular to the centerline of the set, and clash forehand with your shadow on beat 1. Continue another quarter circle to the centerline, clashing with your partner on beat 3, and another quarter circle to the perpendicular line, clashing with your shadow on beat 5. Continue back to place on beat 7, then repeat the entire sequence one more time (so you'll travel a total of two times around a circle.)

Spaghetti Junction: Turn so that your right shoulder points into the set, and clash forehand with your partner on beat 7. At this point, you will be in position A below. The first corners (#1 and #8) turn over their left shoulders and lead their lines (odds following #1 and evens following #8) in a cloverleaf pattern, all clashing with partners on beat 3 at position B, on beat 7 at position C, on beat 3 at position D, and arrive back to place (position A) on beat 7.

        (A)             (B)             (C)             (D)
            ---     ---1   2                ---     ---8   7   
       |   |   |   |                   |   |   |   |            
   2   4   6   8    ---3---4---    7   5   3   1    ---6---5---
       |   |                           |   |                  
   1   3   5   7    ---5---6---    8   6   4   2    ---4---3---
   |   |   |                   |   |   |   |                   |   
    ---                7   8---     ---                2   1---
1)
The original version (N. 22) was hosted on the original NSG website on Geocities, www.geocities.com/newstgeorge/aprsd.html, and is preserved (mostly) thanks to the Wayback Machine. It is supposed to be back online at http://www.newstgeorge.org.uk/7.html at some point.