Little Egypt Dance on Home Territory: The Angel
3 June 2018

The newish landlords at the Angel Inn, Glemsford had invited us to dance a couple of sets at the pub on Sunday afternoon, with the promise of some fine ale.
Little Egypt, never slow to appreciate full tankards, agreed.

These accounts most usually concern the dances danced and the magnificent response from the massive audience.
This time, let's focus on just one dance and take a look at the huge amount of care and preparation involved.

We're talking about “Steamboat”.


“Steamboat” is a dance we often practise but seldom perform in public, left to us by a certain Mark Mikurenda before he departed to the depths of Dorset.
It all starts with a call from the Squire for ”Eight of our finest men for Steamboat, please”.
No one moves.
There's a further cry and eventually eight assorted dancers take up their positions.

 
Eight men!  I'm all ears 

A briefing from the Squire reminds the men of the various moves in the dance, and his instructions are instantly absorbed and memorised.
The band starts playing and eventually Squire calls “This Time”


The sticking starts and the men move as one fluid body, rather like a Busby Berkeley production if viewed from above.
A shambolic videographer decides to record the dance for posterity.

 
Without whose precision none of this would work. Smile! You're on Youtube 

Squire calls “Inside Out” or sometimes “Outside In”, just to keep the men guessing.

 
I'm in charge 

This results in an intricate display of men, sticks and bells interweaving with total precision in the hope of ending up roughly where they started from.

 
Your guess is as good as mine. 

Finally, the dancers lead off in pairs to the final few bars from the musicians and rapturous applause from the audience.

 
Last one off's a cissy  They're always with us 

Proving yet again the fun that is Little Egypt

 
   

And that, as they say, was Steamboat

 

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