Northumberland Musketeers

Northumberland Musketeers is a versatile dance, as it can be done with any number of dancers from 4 on up. Similar to Bledington “Saturday Night”, it begins with two dancers and then adds dancers during each chorus (a hey done while sticking!). A real crowd-pleaser, this dance has been described as “the best long stick dance … ever seen”. It's moderately difficult to learn (mainly because each dancer's position in the set changes each time through the chorus), but the payback is a dance with lots of visual impact.

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

Tune: Shave the Donkey (Bampton) as AB(ABB)4 (A=figures, B=sticking).

X:1
T:Northumberland Musketeers
T:Tune: Shave the Donkey
H:Used as tune for Hounds "Northumberland Musketeers"
H:Dance composed by Mike Miller
H:Tune is the Bampton version
C:Traditional.
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:G
d2 B2 d>c B>A | G2 g2 e2 g2 | d2 B2 d>c B>A | G2 B2 G4 :|
A3 c B2 d2 | A3 c B2 d2 | A3 c B2 d>e | d>c B>A B2 G2 |
A2 A>c B2 d2 | A2 A>c B2 d2 | A2 A>c B2 d>e | d>c B>A G4 |]

Variants: The Hounds dance this both for 5 dancers with dancers entering singly and for 8 dancers by having two dancers enter each hey.

For 5 Dancers

Formation: A line of increasing length, each dancer with one long stick. Dancers enter the set singly each chorus.

Sequence: Dance on, Chorus for 2, Out and Swing, Chorus for 2&3, Stars, Chorus for 3&4, Linear Bombast, Chorus for 4&5, Dogbones, Chorus for 5&5.

Chorus: Start a left-shoulder hey, sticking backhand high with the dancer you're about to pass by the left, backhand low with the dancer you just passed, forehand high with the dancer you're about to pass by the right, forehand low with the dancer you just passed, and repeat. When you reach the end of the set, stick high with Harvey (an imaginary invisible dancer), then turn around as you stick low. Stick high with the dancer coming toward you, low behind with Harvey, and then you'll be back in the hey. The chorus for 2 will have 16 clashes (half of them with Harvey). In the remaining choruses, you will dance each hey for 16 clashes, then a dancer will join the bottom of the set and you will continue for another 16 clashes. At the end of the chorus, turn left and face the dancer with whom you did the final forehand low. You will (usually) end the chorus in a different spot than you started. Remember where you end! Helpful hint: when joining the set, even-numbered dancers face in with a “backhand high”, and odd-numbered dancers face out with a “backhand high to Harvey”.

Out and Swing (for 2): Pass right shoulders, dance out and loop around to your right, transfer your stick into your left hand and approach your partner. At the beginning of the phrase, reach around your partner's waist with your right arm and swing, ending back in place.

Stars (for 3): Shift slightly to your right and do a left-hand star for half the music, then a right-hand star back to where you started in the line.

Linear Bombast (for 4): The middles dance clockwise around one another 360 degrees (as if their right shoulder blades were attached), then pass right shoulders with the end they were originally facing. Ends pass the middles and then each other (by the right), then do as the middles did. At this point the line will be inverted. Repeat this whole sequence and you'll be back to where you started in the line.

Dogbones (for 5): Dance out to your left, swerve right and loop left, then head back to the line. Pass through so that 2 dancers go between 3, swerve right and loop left, then head back to where you started in the line.

For 8 Dancers

Formation: A line of increasing length, each dancer with one long stick. Two dancers enter the set each chorus.

Sequence: Dance on, Chorus for 2, Out and Swing, Chorus for 2-4, Linear Bombast, Chorus for 4-6, Perpendicular Heys, Chorus for 6-8, Motorcycle Hey, Chorus for 8-8.

Chorus: Start a left-shoulder hey, sticking backhand high with the dancer you're about to pass by the left, backhand low with the dancer you just passed, forehand high with the dancer you're about to pass by the right, forehand low with the dancer you just passed, and repeat. When you reach the end of the set, stick high with Harvey (an imaginary invisible dancer), then turn around as you stick low. Stick high with the dancer coming toward you, low behind with Harvey, and then you'll be back in the hey. The chorus for 2 will have 16 clashes (half of them with Harvey). In the remaining choruses, you will dance each hey for 8 clashes, then a dancer will join at the bottom of the set and you will continue for another 8 clashes, then the next dancer will join at the bottom of the set and you will continue for another 16 clashes. At the end of the chorus, turn left and face the dancer with whom you did the final forehand low. You will (usually) end the chorus in a different spot than you started. Remember where you end! Helpful hint: when joining the set, even-numbered dancers face in with a “backhand high”, and odd-numbered dancers face out with a “backhand high to Harvey”.

Out and Swing (for 2): Pass right shoulders, dance out and loop around to your right, transfer your stick into your left hand and approach your partner. At the beginning of the phrase, reach around your partner's waist with your right arm and swing, ending back in place.

Linear Bombast (for 4): The middles dance clockwise around one another 360 degrees (as if their right shoulder blades were attached), then pass right shoulders with the end they were originally facing. Ends pass the middles and then each other (by the right), then do as the middles did. At this point the line will be inverted. Repeat this whole sequence and you'll be back to where you started in the line.

Perpendicular Heys (for 6): Each dancer in the two end couples dances out to their own left. The dancers in the middle couple loop around 270 degrees to their left and begin left-shoulder heys for three with their respective ends, perpendicular to the line of dance. Try to get through two whole heys. End where you started in the line.

Motorcycle Hey (for 8): Each dancer dances out to their own left, and the top four dancers turn 180 degrees over their left shoulders. All dance a hey in the shape of a figure eight. (Numbering the set as below the path is 1 2 4 5 7 8 6 3 1, with 6 crossing the middle first, then 4, 8, 2, etc.) End where you started in the line.

      <1  <3   5>  7> 
  M                  
       2>  4> <6  <8