Round Corner Round Corner

Fanny Frail

Fanny Frail

Fanny Frail is based on the Evesham stick dance. Several sides dance a variation of it, some so different that they hardly seem to be the same dance. This is partly due to vague collected notation and partly due to individual tastes.

Our preference was to adopt the chorus sticking from Wickham Morris, muck about with some of the traditional figures and add a figure or two of our own.

The traditional dance has a short stick in the right hand and a hanky in the left one. Most sides don't use the hankie and, after much debate, neither do we.

Instructions

A dance for any even number of dancers in a longways set, facing across the set.

This one is great for teaching to kids, just teach the slow chorus throughout.

Figure Music
Walk On AB
On The Spot A
Chorus B
Across The Set A
Chorus B
Turn Partner A
Chorus B
Back To Back A
Slow Chorus B
Chorus B
Fast Chorus B
Rounds and Off C
Walk On (AB)
Walk on (or stand on spot) singing:

Fanny Frail is fair and handsome
Fanny Frail is fine and free
Fanny Frail is a pretty little thing
But Sally is the one for me.

Sally is the girl I fancy
Sally is the one she's the one for me
O Fanny's all right on a Saturday night
But Sally is the one for me.

On The Spot (A)
Count Moves
0 Just before the first beat of the figure, raise hands to ear level.
1 Start stepping on the spot. As your right foot comes down, bring your hands down by your sides.
2 As your right foot comes up, bring your hands back to ear level.
3-16 Repeat stepping on the spot with the stick moving as in beats 1-2
Chorus (B)
Count Moves
1 Clash forehand twice with the dancer to the left of your partner
2 Clash backhand twice with the dancer to the right of your partner
3-4 Strike forehand then backhand with your partner twice (fore then back, fore, back)
5 Clash backhand twice with the dancer to the right of your partner
6 Clash forehand twice with the dancer to the left of your partner
7-8 Strike backhand then forehand with your partner twice (back, fore, back, fore)
9-14 Repeat 1-6
15-16 Strike backhand then forehand then backhand with your partner (back, fore, back). Skip the final forehand
Across The Set (A)
Note: Sticks resting on right shoulders. Dancers not involved in the figure stand still.
Count Moves
1-4 Cross the set, passing your partner by the right shoulder
5-8 Turn right half way to face your partner and dance on the spot
9-16 Repeat 1-8 back to end up back in place
Chorus (B)
Turn Partner (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Swap stick to left hand. Take your partner's right hand and pull them towards your side of the set, whilst moving towards theirs.
Make sure to hold the stick vertically and keep it close to your body as you move towards your partner so as not to cause accidents. When moving away try to keep the stick at arm's length.
5-8 Repeat 1-4 returning to place
9-16 Swap the stick to the right hand and repeat 1-8 turning in the other direction
Chorus (B)
Back To Back (A)
Count Moves
1-8 Back to back with your partner, starting by passing right shoulder
9-16 Back to back with your partner, starting by passing left shoulder
Slow Chorus (B)
This is a half speed version of the normal chorus, danced once
Count Moves
1-2 Clash forehand twice with the dancer to the left of your partner
3-4 Clash backhand twice with the dancer to the right of your partner
5-8 Strike forehand then backhand with your partner twice (fore then back, fore, back)
9-10 Clash backhand twice with the dancer to the right of your partner
11-12 Clash forehand twice with the dancer to the left of your partner
13-16 Strike backhand then forehand with your partner twice (back, fore, back, fore)
Chorus (B)
Fast Chorus (B)
This is danced as per the standard chorus, but as fast as possible. A little light hearted race against the musicians is not out of place
On the last beat, all the dancers raise sticks into the air and shout
Dancers the stay in this position waiting for the band to play the introduction for the lead off
Rounds And Off (C)
During this figure, the dancers sing:

Farewell, farewell, farewell my Fanny Frail,
For I kissed her sister Sally in a corner of the alley
Singing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Count Moves
1-8 Dancers circle clockwise, stick pointing down into centre. Wave with left hand
9-16 Number 1 breaks off and leads dancers into the audience
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 rehearse Thursdays from 7:30 - 9:30pm, at St. James Church Centre, Poole, BH15 1JN