Ring O'Bells

Jump to music »


Traditional. According to tunearch.org the name is in honor of a Lichfield “public house”.


Ring O'Bells (2023)


2 sticks, held loosely down, kind of like divining rods. Starts with two notes. Single steps. All figures start with R foot.

All figures end with a fancy stick self-clash on the last 5 beats: sticks go up, then down (beat 1), then back up (beat 2), then self-clash (beat 3), then down

Dance Around: Like swagger round, but bigger, faster, and with single steps/skips instead of swaggers. Ends with fancy self-clash.


Back to Back: with single steps, ends with fancy self-clash.


Doubling Up: with single steps, ends with fancy self-clash.


Hey: with single steps (2 single steps for each part; e.g. first corners cross with 2 single steps), ends with fancy self-clash


Heading Up and Out:

4 single steps: go to heading up position

4 swingbacks: go back to place

single step to heading out position, ends with fancy self-clash with all 8 in a line facing up.

Heading out position:

5   6  1  2  3  4  7  8

One way to remember this position is this: 1 and 2 move a little left, then it alternates in pairs: 3 and 4 go right, 5 and 6 left, 7 and 8 right.

Note: the article on Lichfield seems to describe a different heading out position for Nuts in May. Are they really different? Is one better than the other?


Main Idea: Ninja Sticking, Plain Capers to a Circle, Circle Sticking

Ninja Sticking: Hold sticks behind the back like ninja swords. Clash to right diagonal with right stick, across with left stick, left diagonal with right stick, across with left stick, then repeat (8 total clashes). (R stick on diagonals, L across)

Plain Capers to a Circle: 4 plain circles, turning as individuals and forming a circle (mostly this means ends move out a bit). Which directing do you turn? Away, over castlering shoulder.

Circle Sticking: Hold left stick horizontally out toward L-hand neighbor, use right stick to clash 3 times on R-hand neighbor’s stick. Last beat: step with left foot to come back to set (and ready to start next figure on R foot).

Aerial Practice


Four-person Notes

  • start like this in a single line.

  • Dance around in a zipper-line formation. 1 and 3 go in a big clockwise circle. 2 and 4 go in a big counter-clockwise circle

  • Rounds are clockwise with Litchfield caper half-way.

  • Rounds have no galley at the end.

  • Rounds do not come back counter-clockwise.

  • At end of Rounds, 2 and 3 do not get back in line but go toward the chorus position.

  • Chorus position with first clash noted with right hand. Second clash with left hand in center. Third clash to other neighbor.

    2 ※ 3
  • Caper clockwise at end of clashing then do tap-tap-tap onto your right-neighbor’s outstretched left stick using your right-hand stick.

  • Down and out

    Down (lrlr): 1342
    Out (rlrl): 4213


Lead in: Two beats
Sequence: 𝄆 AB 𝄇 AA BB
Song: Ring O'Bells (in the key of G)

Figures for For Eight

  • Dance around
  • Back to back
  • Doubling up
  • Hey
  • Up and Out

Figures for For Four
  • Dance around
  • Max Headroom hey
  • Rounds
  • Doubling up
  • Down and out