Each child needs a broom (do not use sticks as they tend to roll when stepped on and could potentially cause ankle injuries.)
1 – 8 (a) Holding the broom in the right hand, dance 14 ‘step hop’ steps (an exaggerated skip) around the broom. Lay the broom on the floor and stand at the opposite end to the bristles (N.B the music allows for 16 steps here but 14 steps and time to orientate yourself makes life much easier).
9 – 12 (b) Take 2 small jumps with feet straddling the broom, cross legs over the broom and jump twice again, jump twice again with feet straddling the broom again. Now take 1 large jump to turn and land facing back the way you came with legs straddling the broom. Once again jump twice with legs open, twice with legs crossed, twice with legs open, and turn (N.B although this has been written out in detail for use of the teacher, usually the simpler ‘jump jump cross cross jump jump turn!’ saying is preferred by children).
13 – 16 (c) Pick up the broom (bristles remain on the floor) raising one leg at a time, pass the hand under to the other hand 7 times, and put the broom on the floor again (this is known as ‘weaving’).
(a) and (b) alternately form the dance and may be repeated as often as desired ending by repeating part (a). The music on the CD allows for 3 repeats.
Broom dances are known all over Cornwall, all with the same verse and chorus pattern but each village having its own ‘verse’ step. Although this may seem, to an adult, quite a complex version to choose, the children adore it and will fight to achieve it (perfection is not necessary!). This Truro version was maintained by St George’s Guides into the mid 1980s so it appears always to have been a children’s favourite.
A good hint for teaching the ‘weaving’ step is to begin with the children sitting down as this eliminates balance problems and stops the children reaching behind themselves for the broom which they will all try to do at first.