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Duel of Honour

Duel of Honour1.jpg

We learnt this dance courtesy of Anonymous Morris, from Poole.

This dance can be done with any even number, but it probably looks best when done a single pair. If you do have multiple sets up, make sure there is space between the to swing the sticks without hitting anyone you shouldn't be. Each pair is dancing their own private self-contained duel with no interaction between one pair and any of the others. One good option is 2-4 pairs arranged around the band like spokes of a wheel.

Notes on the music: On the more flowing figures like 'Parade' and 'Go Right', play smoother. On more militaristic figures like 'Guard' and 'Drill Square', go for a more staccato style. During Drill square, play only the first beat of each bar.


* - Introduction

B - Chorus

A - Parade

B - Chorus

A - Guard

B - Chorus

A - Go Right

B - Chorus

A - Drill Square

B - Chorus

A - Duel of Honour

* can be an A music, or optionally the theme from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.



1-16: For the duration of the introduction, the dancers walk in, trade insults/gesture furiously with their hats/etc. Other theatricalities 

can be organised/improvised as desired, e.g. a 'choose your weapons' scene, seconders helping their combatants prepare. The only real requirement is that the dancers are in position ready for the chorus


No stepping. The chorus is done in a sword-fighting stance, with the stick in your right hand. Some amount of theatricality works here, with the dancers moving either forwards and back along the line between them, or in a circle as they fence

1-6: One-handed stick strikes on every beat, alternating between forehand and backhand (forehand first)

7: The dancers draw back the stick to their right hand sides and take a two handed grip ready for the next strike
8: Dancers strike forehand with a larger clash in the two handed hold

9-14: One-handed stick strikes on every beat, alternating between backhand and forehand (backhand first)

15: The dancers draw back the stick to their right hand sides and take a two handed grip ready for the next strike
16: Dancers strike forehand with a larger clash in the two handed hold



1-2: Take two small steps forward, passing right shoulders with your partner and clashing sticks with them on two
3-4: Continue forwards with a back turn on 4
5: Turn a quarter right, keeping looking at the other dancer
6: Strike your stick on the ground in front of you. Really extend your arm out for the ground strike
7-8: Do another quarter turn left to face your partner, and take two large steps forward, back into line opposite your partner

9-16: This is an exact repeat of the fist 8 beats, starting from the other position


1-2: Dancer 1 attacks first. Dancer number 2 holds their stick horizontally above their head (and as far in front as possible, for additional safety), one end in each hand. Dancer 1 raises their stick two-handed (for better control) over their heads and bring them down to strike on 2. It is not important to hit hard - this figure can look really dramatic and theatrical with fairly gentle strikes
3-4: Repeat beats 1-2
5-6: Dancer 2 performs a half-turn left, keeping their stick high, only now reaching as far back behind their head as they can. Dancer 1 strikes on beat 6, again not too hard
7-8: On 7, Dancer 2 again performs a half-turn left, letting go of the stick with their left hand in the process and bringing the stick into standard one hand grip ready for a strike. Dancer 1 also switches to a single hand hold. The dancers then perform a single handed forehand strike on 8. This forehand strike is the reason that dancer 2 turns left on beat 5, everything flows together nicely whilst making the stick clashes as safe as possible

9-16: The entire process is repeated, but with the dancers swapping roles

Go Right

1-4: Quarter-turn right and step four along the set. This is a great opportunity to use as much of the space as you can, and allows this dance to take up a lot of room, even with only two dancers
5-12: Half-turn right and go back again. Clash sticks in the centre of the set on eight as you pass your partner. You can get up quite a lick of speed in these steps
13-16: Half turn right and take four steps back to place

Drill Square

This is done to a stamped march step, not a double step, ending each step with your feet together. A dancer's facing does not change during this figure

1-2: Stick on shoulder, held like a rifle carried at inspection. Take a step to your right

3-4: Step forward with right foot, passing left shoulder with your partner
5-6: Step left with left foot, now facing out of the set
7-8: Step backwards with your left foot
9-10: Unwind the figure, stepping forwards with the right foot, passing your partner right shoulder
11-12: Step right
13-14: Step backwards with the right foot
15-16: Step left back into place

Duel of Honour

This is done to a stamped march step, not a double step

1-4: Stick on shoulder, held like a rifle carried at inspection. Step towards your opponent and size them up, march stepping on the spot
5-8: The dancers turn smartly right half way and march away from each other
9-12: Still facing away from each other, step on the spot, while transferring your grip to half way up the stick
13: Sharp half-turn right to face each other
14: Step forward with the right foot, whilst also leaning down and striking the butt of the stick on the ground
15: Step with the left foot, this time striking the tip of the stick on the floor in front of you
16: Each dancer takes aim, holding their stick as a rifle - held horizontally, braced against the shoulder and looking down the length of the stick at the other dancer - and pretends to fire. This can be accompanied by a loud drum strike. Both dancers then die theatrically, hamming it up as much as they wish. Optionally, this can be followed by the funeral march and/or an inspection of the corpses.

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