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Positions for Dances

Dances and Figures

Warwick University Rapper Sword Dance Number One:

Figure List

Detailed description


Dancers walk on to line facing audience and stand with swords on shoulders during calling on song. The following verse is sung:

Good people give ear to my story
I have come here to see you by chance
I have brought with me five lads blithe and bonny
Intending to give you a dance.

Warwick Uni is our habitation,
Tis the place we were all born and bred
There are no finer lads in the nation,
And none are more gallantly led.

At this point the dancers step for 16 bars of music, stepping in groups of eight, and finishing with a stamp. The song continues:

And now you have seen my five actors,
My five noble heroes by birth.
And they each bear a good a character,
As ever was born upon Earth.

And if they be as good as their fathers
Their deeds be deserving record
And now all this company desires
Is to see how you handle your sword.

On the word record the dancers move round into a ring and raise their swords together horizontally in the centre of the ring. At the completion of the song the swords clash and the music starts. The swords are brought down onto the outside shoulder, grasped by the next man around and the dance begins.

Single Guard

The dancers are now in Walkround. Starting with number one, each dancer casts and walks all the way around the circle counter to its motion, and turns back into his place, whereupon the next dancer immediately follows suit. While a dancer is going around the set his swords are positioned as a radius of the circle, and when he re-enters the set his sword is swapped down and back up to allow the next dancer to cast.

When all five men have completed this move numbers four and five turn and the set moves into Coach and Horses, and the dancers step in fours.

Glass and Spin
Moving Fixy
Figure eight
The Princess
(Curlys for Sixth man to enter set)
Nut and Show

Warwick University Rapper Sword Dance Number Two:

Figure List

Detailed Description

Step in Line

Dancers walk on into a line swords held low. They sing the following song at dance pace:

Tis not for your gold nor your silver,
Nor yet for the gain of your gear;
But we come just to take a night's pleasure,
To welcome the incoming year.
Us lads, we are all fit for action,
With courage and spirits so bold;
We are born of a noble extraction,
Our fathers were heroes of old!


Tis not for the gold nor the silver,
Nor winning the team of the year;
But we're told DERT will give us some pleasure,
So travelled from warwick to here.
We've practiced instead of revising,
so please, when you judge us, be nice;
But as we're all destitute students,
The gift of a pint will suffice!

Immediately at the end of the song the dancers bring their swords up and hold them bent between both hands and step for two groups of threes (jaunty step) without music, and on the last two beats spring into coach and horse, three moving back slightly, two and four coming together and one and five moving forwards and in; number five's sword sweeps around to rest at the front of the set. The music starts and the dancers step for another eight bars of the jaunty step.

Fixy Cramper
Denver Glove
Nut and Show

From the last position of Denver Glove step back to form a nut. Number three lifts the nut and stands in the middle of the other four four dancers:

2     4
   3      ( ↑ up )
1     5

The four dancers walk to the corners of a large square, 1 & 2 passing left shoulders, 4 & 5 passing right shoulders. While displaying the nut the stepping is alternating double and single shuffles every four beats with a drop at the end of the singles. Number three rotates round a side of the square every four holding the lock. After 4 rotations, 1 and 2, 4 and 5 return to place, passing right and left shoulders respectively.

Jump in Line
(Double Tumble)
The Old Fiddler
Three Jump
Nut Spin
(Sixth and Seventh men)
(Triple Tumble)
The Line

For five men:

From guard one and five jump over two and fours swords passing fives sword over threes head into a ring facing outward. The dancers step for four, then turn back putting right hand over left as if to form a nut but instead display the swords in a horizontal line (with number one in the centre) that starts high and falls over a four beat. The dancers move back round into a ring on the next beat, tie the nut on the second, and number three lifts it on the fourth beat. The dancers all spin into the V shown below:

    3               3
  2    4   →     1     5       ( ↑ up )
   1  5       2           4

Pirate Rapper dance (#3?):

Figure List

(no choruses)

  • Introduction
  • Flying Pixies
  • Winlaton Spin (WIN SPIN!)
  • Cramper
  • Display Lock
  • Glass
  • Prince of Whales spin (POW SPIN!)
  • Haymarket
  • Turn In & Horseshoes (wants a better name...)
  • Figure 8 (or rather, Needles)
  • Tumble
  • Lock

Detailed Description


All walk on (TBC), stand in outward facing open circle back to back in centre, swords down. Music for 8, walk forward for 4, step for 4 - turning round to drop facing inwards on 4. High clash on 2, low clash on 4. Turn right to face outwards, handing sword to the next person. Drop on 8, snapping the swords up to look beautiful.

Flying Pixies

Backwards half curly into guard, 2 and 4 turning twice to end up in position for flying pixies. Figure as normal. (1 to 2 - CW, 2 to 3 ACW, 3 to 4 ACW, 4 to 5 CW, 5 to 1 ACW) With 2 and 4 not doing their last spins, to end the figure in guard as normal.


Not (nut?) strictly a figure, this is the transition between guard and outward facing open circle (OFOC - oh fuck?), via a nut. In 4, move as to form a nut, but don't tie it. Instead turn right (on 5) into an OFOC, drop on 6, and step for 2.

Win spin

Turn left to form a nut, spin. End facing the way it started (i.e. 3's back to audience). Step facing in, break the lock on 8, turn on 1, step for 2.


1,2,4,5 do half a backwards curly to guard whilst 3 casts to the left and carries on around the set to make cramper. Nut follows immediately

Display Lock

Held up by 3, whilst 1 and 2, 4 and 5 pass left and right shoulders respectively to walk to the other side of the room where a cunningly concealed shot of run is to be found. Come back when called, passing the other shoulders. Nut comes down, break on 8, turn out to OFOC similarly.


Backwards acorn to inward facing open circle, instead of coach and horses. (i.e. form a nut, and get out of it!) Glass, spin as normal.


Form as normal, turn using 1,2, steppity step, 1/4 each time. 3 leads out as normal, all follow him into a half curly to OFOC.

Turn in & Horseshoes

Complicated faff i'll write up when i know it exactly, to start and end in OFOC


From OFOC 1 and 5 start figure 8 by turning left and right into the middle, respectively, followed by everyone else in turn, as per usual. Keep in a nicely tight straight line. End with one curly in guard.


Tommy walks through the set as they dance needles, following number 3. As the dancers do a curly, Tommy ends up at the front of the set. Everyone shouts "walk the plank!!" and tommy tumbles. Everyone shouts "Splash!" as he lands. 3, meanwhile has gone under the tumbler, everyone now forms a nut, which the Tommy, crouched in the middle of the set, bursts out of the set with. All step.


No. 3 dance (Unfinished - Draft)

  • Double Guard (Walk the Dog)
  • Flying Pixies
  • Nut, Lock, Display (Salute position)
  • Denver Glove
  • Three Jump
  • Winlaton Spin
  • (Bulldog)
  • (Old fiddler)
  • (End / 6&7 bits)

List of figures

  • Single Guard
  • Egg Whisk
  • Double Guard (Walk the Dog)
  • Glass
  • Prince of Wales Spin
  • Haymarket
  • Moving Fixy
  • Flying Pixies
  • Denver Glove
  • Old Fiddler
  • Choker (breastplate)
  • Nut
  • Rose
  • Lock
  • Display
  • Winlaton Spin
  • Coach and Horses
  • Curlys
  • Mary-anne
  • Figure 8
  • Needles
  • Fountains (Figure 8 with double spins)
  • The Bulldog (Various versions)
  • Thistle
  • Fixy
  • Cramper (Toast Rack?)
  • Egg Whisk
  • Dambusters
  • Mad Dusters
  • High Spen (Jump in Line)
  • Three Jump
  • Nefertiti
  • Out
  • Out Two
  • The Fool (Sixth Man)
  • Seven Man Figures