Round Corner Round Corner

Dorset Rabbits

Dorset Rabbits

The three hares symbol - an optical illusion where each hare in the circle appears to have two ears, when they only have three between them - is found in many places, particularly in countries along the old Silk Road between China and the UK. There are several in Dartmoor churches, associated with the tin miners. Hence Tinners' Rabbits.

This dance was originally written by Martin Gosling of Grimspound Morris, and has since been adopted by many sides throughout the country. This is our version, renamed Dorset Rabbits


This is a dance for sets of three dancers in an inwards facing triangle.

Figure Music
Chorus AB
Triangle A
Chorus AB
Left Hand Star A
Chorus AB
Snare A
Chorus AB
Lead Out and Finish A
Chorus (AB)
For each chorus one dancer will be defined as the active dancer. For the first chorus this will be dancer 1. For the second chorus it will be number 2, and for the third time number 3. The numbers go round clockwise
Count Moves
1-4 The active dancer goes around the person on their right, passing right shoulders

The person being circled does a right hand turn while stepping on the spot, always facing the active dancer and maintaining eye contact. The one not being danced around remains stationary
5-8 The active dancer completes the figure of eight by going around the third dancer, passing left shoulders

The person being circled does a left hand turn while stepping on the spot, always facing the active dancer. The one not being danced around remains stationary
9-12 The active dancer goes around the first person again, passing right shoulders. Again, the person being circled does a right hand turn while stepping on the spot, always facing the active dancer. The one not being danced around remains stationary
13-14 The active dancers returns to place and everyone steps on the spot
15-16 All dancers right hand turn on spot
1-13 The active dancer does a forehand clash with the person on the left

That dancer then clashes forehand with the dancer on their left, who clashes with the dancer on their left. This continues round for thirteen clashes
14 Bring the stick to the right side ready to strike the ground
15-16 Strike the ground to the right three times in rapid succession
Triangle (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Move stick smoothly in an arc up from the ground strike, to rest horizontally with the tip resting by the hand of the dancer to the left. Dancers should hold the butt of their own stick and the tip of the stick stick coming from the right
5-14 Circle round, rotating the triangle clockwise
15-16 Release neighbour's stick. Return to place
Chorus (AB)
Left Hand Star (A)
Count Moves
1-2 With your left hand, clasp the wrist of the person in front
3-14 Left hand star. Hold the middle of the stick with right hand, keeping it vertical at arm's length
15-16 Release the star. Return to place
Chorus (AB)
Snare (A)
Count Moves
1-4 Each dancer points the tip of his stick towards the dancer to his right, and takes the tip of the stick coming from his left in his left hand. This results in a linked circle.

Dancers 2 and 3 make an arch, then dancer 1 passes under the arch, and does a half right hand turn to end up facing inwards, raising his left arm over his head. 2 and 3 do a full turn in the direction 1 is pulling them in: they will need to lift first one arm over their heads and the other in order to complete the turn

At the end of this move, all dancers will be facing inwards and their sticks will cross in the centre, making a wheel with six spokes
5-12 Circle left for eight beats. Bonus marks for keeping the sticks together in the centre
13-16 Unravel. 2 and 3 turn in the opposite direction they did to get into the snare, and raise the stick joining them together. They will need to raise first one arm and then the other over their heads to be able to complete the turn

1 does a half left hand turn,raising his left hand over his head, and backs under the stick held between 2 and 3

After unravelling, let go of your neighbour's stick. Return to place
Chorus (AB)
Lead Out and Finish (A)
Count Moves
1-16 Active dancer turns out and the others follow to eventually form a line up in front of the band, facing the audience. Optional right hand twirls, as the fancy takes

Line up in front of the band and on the last count, raise sticks horizontally held in both hands and give a loud yell
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