Vandals of Hammerwich

Jonathan Coxhead

Tradition: Lichfield.

Set of 8 with sticks.

Double steps. The normal sequence is 4 double steps and 4 hucklebacks (which are big, open, exaggerated backwards single steps with high knees) followed by 2 capers and a ``rest““ (during which there is a clash).

Sticks are held across the front of the body in both hands when not in use.

Sequence: Swagger round; chorus; heading up; chorus; back-to-back into-line; chorus; heading down; chorus; hey; chorus ending all up.

The dance is usually done with NO once-to-yourself. The music starts with 2 notes, and then the dancers are in!

Swagger round: 1 3 5 7 lead up and turn R at the top of the set, then lead down the other side, turn R and walk back to place in time for the caper-caper-clash. At the same time, 2 4 6 8 lead up and turn L (passing the other line R), down the other side and back up (passing L at the bottom) back to place for their capers. This is walked (in time to the music).

Heading up: all face up. 3 4 take 1 or 2 double steps to stand outside 1 2 (respectively). Simultaneouly, 7 8 do the same with 5 6. We now have 2 lines of 4 facing up. The 4 double steps are completed in this position, and then everyone hucklebacks to place for the capers.

Back-to-back into-line: In 2 double steps only, partners pass R then fall back L to make a line along the middle of the set. Huckleback from here back to place, then in another 2 double steps, do the entirety of a back-to-back L with your partner, ending in place for capers. (So the stepping sequence of 4 double steps, 4 hucklebacks is replaced by 2 double steps, 4 hucklebacks, 2 double steps for this figure.)

Heading down: 1 2 dance down outside 3 4 while 5 6 dance down outside 7 8. At the end of the 4 double steps, everyone hucklebacks to place for the capers.

Hey: (The Lichfield hey takes a little practice, but it“s well worth it ...) Dancers 1 4 5 8 are ``1st corners““, 2 3 6 7 are ``2nd corners““. 1st corners pass R (in pairs) in 1 double step; 2nd corners do the same; all do 1 double step on the spot; then if you are in an end position, you cross the end of the set in 1 double step passing L; if you are on the side, you move up or down the side also passing L. This is ¼ of the way through, and the sequence is the same each time except that 2nd corners start next time, then 1st again the 3rd time, and 2nd the 4th (faces, not places). The music for this figure is double-length. After 14 double-steps of music, you are nearly home; but instead of the final pause and double step to get there, you do 2 capers instead (passing L) and clash when you get there---as you land. Wow!

Chorus: Clash 2-handed on the R diagonal forehand, on the L diagonal forehand, then partner forehand, backhand, forehand; sidestep R, sidestep L, caper, caper, show; repeat replacing the show with a clash. For the very last chorus, all face up and replace the last clash with a ``throwing show““---everyone throws their stick (in horizontal position) as high as they can while still being able to catch it safely  after which they hold it over their head until the tumultuous applause dies down.