Adapted (by RMW) from incomplete video of dance by Motley Morris. (1993)
William Taylor’s Tabletop Hornpipe (Dave Shepherd/Blowzabella) but passed on to a new musician whilst drunk in a Wimborne backstreet. Now bears a less than perfect resemblance to the original, either musically or rhythmically. The band plays at least 4 different versions. Simultaneously.
Set of six in two lines of three (or 8 in two lines of 4). Start facing up.
Single step (cycle step). Left foot lead.
Stand for sticking.
Stick on shoulder when not sticking.
Back to back
Three tops hey
16 steps on the spot facing up, turning to face partner on the last 4.
Top couple stick thus: F-B-FBF- , while rest stand still with sticks touching at eye level. Then top and second couple do the same, with third couple still standing still. Then all three couples do the same. On fourth bar all do left arm swing with partners for 1 1/2 revolutions (4 steps only, so you have to get on with it!), ending up back in partner’s position. The stepping for the swing is LhRhLh-T, where the T means land on both feet together in the correct position after the last hop – i.e. do not attempt to do the usual stomp-stomp to finish.
REPEAT, with bottom couple starting the sticking and working up the set instead. After the second swing all end up back in position ready to start the next figure. In this case just keep on doing the normal stepping back to place and carry on stepping into the next figure.
NOTE that after each sequence of sticking (the F-B-FBF_) you should either continue the final forehand stick clash round in a full anticlockwise loop ready to start the next sequence of sticking on the forehand, or, if going into the swing with partner, continue the swing round and back onto the shoulder.
Cross over with right shoulder pass, 4 steps, turn to the right on 5th step, 3 steps on the spot facing partner, then repeat back to position, clashing stick with partner on the second step when crossing back.
Middles go to their right. Form 3-man stars, and do RH star for 8 steps; turn out into LH star for 8 steps and back to place.
Back to back:
Evens dance on the spot for eight steps, whilst odds dance a back-to-back around them, passing right shoulder first: two steps forwards, two steps sideways behind partner, two steps backwards back to position, two steps on the spot, remembering to keep in a line!!
REPEAT, with odds dancing on the spot, and evens dancing round them.
Three tops hey:
Middles go to their right, to form a hey at the ends, dancing between the two dancers to their right, e.g.: No 3 turns to his right and goes through space between nos. 1 & 2, to start the hey by doing a left shoulder pass with No. 1. Go round the hey twice, but you have to move reasonably fast in order to get back to place ready for the stomp-stomp.
Middles cross over (right shoulder) to a bit beyond partner’s position, to make set into a round shape (two steps only). On the next two steps (3 & 4) the end couples swap ends. On steps 5 & 6, middles cross over back to own sides, and on steps 7 & 8 ends swap ends back to own end. Follow this with six steps danced on the spot, in a round, facing the middle (no twiddles please), and a feet-together-jump into the middle with a shout to finish.