Arrrrr you ready to dance on deck? Pirates had nothing better to do at sea but to sing and dance, like the Ray Stevens song says. So, for my September dances in honor of Talk like a pirate day on September 19th I put together a pirate line dance to the tune of Drunken Sailor with four famous pirate women.
History of Piracy:
Piracy dates to antiquity. In early Greek writing piracy was an honorable occupation. The word “pirate” comes from the from Greek (peiratēs), “brigand” and the Latin pirata (“pirate, corsair, sea robber”). Vikings raided and pillaged from the 8th to 13th century. By the 1300’s the term Viking became known as one who robs at sea.
Privateering was the legal form of piracy. These were basically pirates with a commission or letter of marquee from a government or monarch allowing them to capture ships from enemy nations. Privateering, also known as corsair, lasted from 1560 until 1815.
Four famous female pirates:
Pirate code prohibited women as crew. The code prohibited seducing or carrying women to sea, or in disguise. The penalty was death. This did not stop enterprising ladies from pursuing piracy as an occupation. My favorite female pirate is Grace O’Mally, the Irish Pirate Queen, who was featured in the musical “The Pirate Queen’. There she was known as “Guanuaille,” or bald, because of her habit of cutting her hair short. The story goes she did this because her father told her she could not go to sea with him because her hair would be caught up in the rigging. She was an Irish buccaneer who took over her father’s merchant fleet, which rivaled the British navy. When captured, she negotiated with Queen Elizabeth for the return of her fleet.
Following Grace O’Mally were the Irish lawyer’s daughter Anne Bonny, and English peasant Mary Reid. In their youth both dressed as boys to make ends meet. Practiced at wearing the pants in their families, they found their way to “Calico” Jack Rakam’s ship the William, flying under the Jolly Roger’s flag he created. Once together this formidable pair fought like banshees when attacked by pirate hunters. When they were captured by pirate hunters in 1721, Anne and Mary were given a stay of execution because they were “quick with child.” Mary died in prison from a fever after childbirth, and Anne disappeared after this instance.
The Siren of the seas, and only American female pirate was Rachel Wall. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Wall married a fisherman and later turned to piracy to make ends meet. Rachel’s Husband scraped up a crew and put the attractive Rachel on deck as if the ship was distressed. Like a siren she lured her rescuers to their death as the crew looted her would be saviors. This continued until 1789 when she was arrested, and was the last woman hanged in Boston.
Pirates had ample time at sea with need of diversion. The Pirate code stated that musicians on a ship shall only rest on the sabbath or by favor of the ships Captain. Slang for the ship’s fiddler is ‘Catgut Scraper.’ Why was this so important? So, they could dance!
As the artist Ray Stevens said, pirates want to sing and dance. To pass the time at sea, Pirates would drink, sing sea shanties, and dance a jig or two. Popular dances would include a hornpipe and jig. Physical prowess would be demonstrated in their dance skills. Join our four famous female pirates in this pirate line dance how to.
Pirate Line Dance How To:
Step 1, Down up.
Begin with a plie or squat down to right count 1, come up on the right foot pointing left foot 2, plie or squat down to left count 3, come up on the left foot pointing right foot 4. Repeat figure for counts 5,6,7,8.
Step 2, Tripple and rock:
Triple to right, step side (RF), close (LF), side (RF) count 1&2, rock forward left foot count 3, replace weight to right foot count 4. Triple to left, step side (LF), close (RF), side (LF), count 5&6, walk around turn forward left foot turn ¼ to the right count 7, replace weight to left foot, count 8.
Step 3, Heal Toe Triple Step
Right heal out to right side, count 1. Right toe in front of left foot, count 2. Triple Step to right, step side (RF), close (LF), side (RF) count 3&4. Repeat to left. Left heal out to left side, count 5. Left toe in front of right foot, count 6. Triple to left, step side (LF), close (RF), side (LF), count 7&8.
What do you do with a drunken sailor, Cooper Cannell YouTube license free music.
Narrator/Dancer- Holly Tomazin as
Grace O’Mally, Anne Bonny, Mary Reid, & Rachel Wall.
Ship on Grass:
Wolf Golf Pirate ship in Colorado Springs before it was burned to the ground in 2022 by arson attack.
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