NOTE: Waltzing Matilda is almost identical to a few other dances we do (just the sticking is different). See below for the sticking for these additional dances:

  • Donkey Riding
  • (Very) Young Collins

Waltzing Matilda

NOTE: In Waltzing Matilda, anyone that drops a stick buys a round for the team (in theory).

Tradition: Fieldtown

Set: 6 dancers

Props: Sticks

Stepping: Double

Figures: Standard Fieldtown, each followed by a Chorus


Sticking: D-D-F-B / D-D-Toss-B

Two Dibs (the first one leaning farther out of the set), followed by Forehand and Backhand clashes.

Repeat, replacing the Forehand clash by Tossing the stick straight away from one’s right shoulder and catching the partner’s stick in time to do a Backhand clash.


  • During the later part of the dance, musicians will stop playing during the sticking to allow the sticking to be even more clearly heard. (Keep sticking, but don’t sing yet.)
  • During the final sticking the dancers sing (“Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, you’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me”).
  • Final Half Hey at the end of the dance ends with a Caper Out.


* * *

Donkey Riding

NOTE: The tune “Donkey Riding” is a capstan shantie popular on timberships. The term “donkey riding” refers to the process of loading logs through the timber ports in the stern of the ship. Someone (usually a ships boy) rode the log in order to guide it through the port.

This dance is identical to Waltzing Matilda except for the sticking. Here is how the sticking works for Donkey Riding:


Swinging the stick in a circular motion, clash Down (Forehand), Up (Backhand), Down (Forehand), lean Back out of set (holding stick vertically).

Grasping stick at both ends, clash three times rapidly (XXX), holding stick at an angle.

Turn the stick 90 degrees and clash three times rapidly again (XXX).


* * *

(Very) Young Collins

NOTE: Very Young Collins is identical to Young Collins. We added the “Very” because we often danced it with our youngest dancers.

This dance is identical to Waltzing Matilda except for the sticking. Here is how the sticking works for (Very) Young Collins:

DDD / XXX (low) / DDD / XXX (high)

That is, three quick Dibs, followed by three quick Clashes with the sticks held low, three more Dibs, and three more Clashes with the sticks held high.

The sticking can also be done this way:

  • B-B / T-T-T

In this version, the dancers use the butts of the sticks to clash low twice (or in some versions, three times), using a forehand motion, then they use the tips of the sticks to clash high three times quickly, also using a forehand motion.