Round Corner Round Corner

Cuckoo's Nest

Cuckoo's Nest

Taken from the dancing of Powederkeg and Breathless in Berthoud Morris with occasional tweaks of our own.


This is a dance for pairs. Each pair are numbered 1 and 2. There are two ways of arranging the dancers:

For a small number of pairs, the dancers form a conventional longways set.

For four or more pairs the longways set can be wrapped around the band, so that the band are standing in the middle of the dance. The number 1’s have their backs to the band and the number 2’s face the number 1’s. The band stand in the centre of the dance with the number 1s close to them and the number 2s radiating out from the 1s. The visual effect is that of spokes, a pair of dancers forming each spoke, radiating out from a central hub.

Figure Music
Forward, Back and Line A
Chorus B
Pear Drops A
Chorus B
Do-si-breather A
Chorus B
Tip, Butt and Turn A
Chorus B
Sword Fighting A
Chorus B
Dance Off A
Forward and Back, and Line (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Dancers begin the dance facing each other, and on beat 1; turn and take four steps down the set. If the dance is being danced in a circle, turn and dance anti-clockwise around the circle
5-8 Four steps backwards to where you started
9-10 1s and 2s face each other and take two steps forward to end up side by side, lining up right shoulders
11-12 Step two on the spot
13-14 Two steps back to place
15-16 Two steps on the spot facing your partner
Chorus (B)
Count Moves
1-2 Three forehand stick strikes with partner in time to the first three beats of the music. Count ‘one, and, two’.
3-4 Face partner while exchanging places. Pass right shoulders and maintain eye contact.
5-16 Repeat 1-4 a further three times.
Pear Drops (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Swap stick to left hand and right hand turn 360 degrees with partner, stick resting on left shoulder.
5-8 Take two steps away from partner and turn left to face partner, while changing the stick back to the right hand. Take two steps back to partner.
This move should create a tear-drop shape.
9-12 Left hand 360 degrees with partner, stick resting on right shoulder.
13-16 Take two steps away from partner and turn right to face partner. Take two steps back to partner. This move also creates a tear-drop shape.
Chorus (B)
Do-si-breather (A)
Count Moves
1-8 1s go around their partners, in a do-si-do. 2s stand still.
9-16 2s go around the 1s in a do-si-do. 1s stand still.
Chorus (B)
Tip, Butt and Turn (A)
Count Moves
1-2 Tip and butt sticks with partner while stepping. Swing stick up and out after butt strike (it will naturally go in the right direction) and use this momentum to start you into the turn.
3-4 Turn right three quarters yourself, while moving ¼ anti-clockwise round partner, a bit like a planet spinning on its axis while it also rotates around the sun.
5-16 Repeat 1-4 three further times until back in place.
Chorus (B)
Sword Fighting (A)
Count Moves
1 Clash stick with partner – high forehand while stepping clockwise round him.
2 Clash stick with partner – low backhand while stepping clockwise round him.
3-16 Continue clashing high forehand, low backhand while moving around partner.
There is enough time to go three times round your partner in the 16 counts.
Ensure you finish back in place.
Chorus (B)

Finish this chorus facing away from partner with stick held high horizontally in the air. Yell! The music will wait for applause before continuing.

Dance Off (A)
Count Moves
1-8 Stay still, retaining the position you finished the last chorus in.
9-16 Dance off into the audience, doing right-handed twirls, still holding sticks high and horizontal.
Rules of Thumb
Rules of Thumb

Unless otherwise specified, the following general rules apply:

  1. Always start right foot first.
  2. There are 4 beats to a bar. This works out as two steps.
  3. The top of the set is towards the band. Likewise, the bottom of the set is away from the band.
  4. When resting stick on shoulder, the tip of the stick should be level with the middle of your ear.
  5. Turns on the spot will usually be right-hand turns (clockwise). Common exceptions are when dancers need to turn in or out of a set the shortest way.
  6. When passing shoulders with another dancer, the first pass will be a right-shoulder pass. Many dances will have figures that alternate right and left shoulders.
  7. Where a fast turn on the spot is needed, it will be on the first beat of the bar. E.g. If you need to turn and then move across the set, you can count it as 'turn, two, three, four'.
  8. Swings with a partner will be right-hand (clockwise), with the stick held in the left hand, unless otherwise specified.
  9. Figures are usually in multiples of four beats. If you mentally keep counting 'one, two, three, four', then you'll have a good idea of when to move and change.

We are DANCING OUT generally on Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30pm. Check our events page for details on where to find us.

Practice will resume in September at our practice hall:
St John's Heatherlands, 378A Ashley Road, Poole, BH14 9DQ

More information on the venue.