Cotswold Notes: Cotswold Morris General Instructions: Miscellaneous Stylistic Bits

Hanky Use

Hold one in each hand by a corner for most traditions.

If one is dropped, it is traditional not to pick it up until the end of a dance. Preferably someone not dancing should retrieve it and return it to the dancer at a convenient point. [Personally I think this is a bit stupid as if the hanky gets stepped upon then it not only gets dirty but can cause the dancer to slide over. I prefer, if there is no spare person to pick it up, for one of the dancers to pick it up without stopping through a slight adaptation such as bending down further before a jump or grabbing it in a low flick in a triple step. For some reason this is controversial.]

Do not flick/crack hankies into peoples faces; where a dances [like Swaggering Boney] sort of requires it, do so forehand so it flops gently rather than backhand so that it whips.

Do not blow noses on dance hankies. Flying snot is unpleasant.

Stick Use

When hitting a stick butt on the floor and it needs bending to reach, bend forward at the waist instead of bending the knees. [Not recommended for back safety but looks better.]

When travelling with a stick and nothing [e.g. clashing] is specified to do with the stick, carry it casually horizontally about waist level and let it swing with your arm instead of resting it on a shoulder as in Border Morris.

When using a single stick one-handed, hold it in the right hand.

Stick Collecting

After a stick dance, D2 stands with elbows by sides and forearms raised palm up infront with stick laid across them. The rest of the set walk round and off cw passing infront of D2 putting their sticks in the pile on D2's arms. If two sizes of stick are used D1 stands likewise to collect the other size ones.

[A standard joke to play on D2 is to keep walking round collecting more sticks from the stock and piling them on D2 until D2 collapses!]

Bending to Clash Stick on Floor

When needing to bend to clash a stick on the floor [e.g. if holding a long stick in the middle] bend from the waist not the knees. [This is not recommended for reducing back strain but it looks neater.]


If verses need to be called, it is traditional for D1 to do so. Calls must not be too early [which results in people pre-emptively abandoning moves] or too late [useless]; calling on the 4th bar of the last phrase of music before the verse is about right [Westrefelda advice].

[Cotswold Morris General Instructions] [Different Traditions] [Abbreviations]