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The Polka

This was the first dance that Rumworth performed. It is closely based on a written description of the Milnrow Morris Dance from the early 1900's and was developed by Geoff Hughes and Rumworth; in many ways it has come to define the team’s style.

Like many North West dances, the Polka Dance has a “figure and chorus” format.

The chorus is a "Step Up and Polka" movement - just walking steps and polkas finishing feet together. In fact this "feet together" is a feature of the dance and gives the dance its characteristic feel.

The figures are very basic: Cross Over, Corners Cross, Down the Middle, Outsides, Hands Across and Polka on the Spot. At the end of the first set of figures first and second couples are in reversed positions. These figures are repeated to bring the dancers back into their original position in the set for the final 3 figures. This change of position has become a feature of many of Rumworth's own dances.

"Down the Middle", Bolton Town Hall Square, 1984
At the end of the final chorus, the dancers bring their feet together and their hands sharply down to their sides remaining completely motionless for several seconds. This sudden end of movement and sound is one of the most thrilling moments in Rumworth’s repertoire and is always guaranteed to bring an enthusiastic reaction from the audience – particularly indoors where the unexpected silence can be most impressive.