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The Number 2 Garland Dance

Rumworth practised this dance literally for years before eventually dancing it out in public, with at least one break because certain key dancers were not able to attend enough practices.

The chorus is a simple step up and back and then the second couples move up between the first couples to make a line of four. The step up and back is repeated and then second couples move out to place in front of the first couples who move back into second couples' place. This followed by a four bar "tag" when everyone faces in and dances a step up into line and back to place. This change of positions before a figure and the step up into line movement is another Rumworth feature as it occurs in more than one of our dances.

There are five figures:

  • Lines for Four
  • Lines for Eight
  • The Wigan Weave
  • Centres for Four
  • Centres for Eight

The Weave is repeated after Centres for Eight. Its name is derived from the Wigan St John's Morris dance, and its purpose is to get everyone back to their home position as each Eights figure leaves the set reversed.

Each figure (apart from the Weave) begins with everyone dancing into the centre of the set, so that all eight dancers are in line. They then move into the appropriate formation for the figure, which usually involves turning the wrong way; the most important thing is simply to know where you want to end up.

The Centres figures are named after the basic figure that they involve, which means everyone putting their hands in to the centre and moving around them (known in Royton as Hands Across). In Centres for Four there are two groups of four; in Centres for Eight there’s one group of four while the other four dance around the perimeter of the set in a circle.

Centres for Four
At the end of the final chorus the dancers move into a quadrille formation to dance Cross Morris in a similar (but not identical) fashion to the original Garland dance. It does however finish in the usual Rumworth way bringing the garlands down and remaining motionless and in silence until the Conductor's whistle signals the end of the dance.