Origin – The Alton version of the dance from the village of Dilwyn, Herefordshire.
Music, stepping and formation – We use the tune "Not for Joe". Single stepping for stars and overtaking figures, and long stepping for the cross over figure (long stepping is two single steps followed by a double step). This dance can be done with any number of pairs, forming two long lines, with an odd number having to improvise a little in the star figure. We normally do it with eight people but have done it with as few as four or as many as sixteen. We also use this as a processional dance.Sequence - We follow the sequence sticking, figure, sticking etc., finishing with a final sticking. On the last sticking, the very last clash is missed, instead all raise their sticks and shout.
Sticking – We use long sticks held in both hands. We stick quietly for the first eight bars, and then as hard as we can, with yelling, for the second eight bars. Each phase of the sticking lasts for two bars and follows the rhythm 1.. 2.. 1.2.3.The whole sequence lasts for sixteen bars.
|CROSSOVER||All face up the set, and take one long step sideways into a single line, with odds passing in front of evens. Two steps on the spot, in line, then change sides with one more long step. The sequence is repeated to get back into the original position, this time with the (original) evens passing in front of the odds.|
|STARS||In groups of four - Change sticks to left hand and form a right hand star with wrist holds, dance round for eight bars. Turn and dance a left hand star for eight bars, swapping the stick to the other hand. If there is a spare couple, we usually put them in the middle of the set, and they do a right and then a left hand turn.|
|OVERTAKING||All face up the set, and take four single steps to get into a single line, odds in front of evens. Evens take four steps to move in front of odds (can put in aspin), overtaking them on the right hand side of the set. while odds move back, odds then move in front of evens, up the left hand side of the set. This gets repeated 3 times, until the last two bars, when all move back into original position for next sticking.|
|CROSSOVER||Can dance the second crossover the same as the first but we sometimes go “all the way”. In this move we don't go into one line, just dance from one side to the other with a single long step. This can get very hectic, and takes some practice to keep reasonable lines.|
When used as a processional dance, we keep the same sequence, using crossover and overtaking figures to move forward. Stars if we have to stop. We can also edge forward while sticking. To move on crossovers, each move is made on a diagonal instead of straight across. With overtaking, the people being overtaken don’t drop back.