Clog and step dancer.  Pupil of Tommy Cannon.

Her grandmother (born c. 1837) attended dancing classes in Dentdale when living at Haverthwaite Hall. The teacher taught in a barn and played whistle and fiddle.  The dances included the waltz cotillion and other dances where two lines were formed, men in one and women the other, and the men would step dance and generally dance more vigorously than the women.

Mrs Hawes’ grandfather’s brother, from Witherslack, was a step-dancer.

Mrs. Hawes’ mother (born c. 1869) was from Sedgewick and loved dancing at the ball there, her favourites being squares such as Quadrilles, Lancers, Swinging Sixes, Cottagers and Square Eight.

Mrs. Hawes’ father taught her the La Vasovania.

She remembered dancing the Swinging Sixes at an open air event in Kendal.

Mrs Hawes’ first dancing teachers were the Robinsons from Bowness. Her uncle was musician for them. She took a class with them at a barn between Milnthorpe and Crooklands. She could do some step-dance but preferred social dances.

The men put stepping into the social dances such as the Square Eight.

She then took classes with Tommy Cannon. (when she was c. 12);  she described him as the finest step-dancer. Tommy played the fiddle.

She was able to describe how he taught in detail including the stepping.

He taught her the following dances:

Doris Waltz
Eva Three Step
Five Hand Reel (as a demonstration dance)
Jockey Dance
Napoleon’s Grand March
Quadrilles (half set)
Quaker Girl Waltz
Sword Dance
Three Hand Reel (also as a demonstration dance)

She was able to provide notations for Five Hand Reel, Three Hand Reel, Jockey Dance and the Sword Dance, and for a number of steps: shuffle-off, single shuffle, sidestep, swivelling crunch.

Information derived from an interview by Tom Flett with Mary Hawes (undated).

See also:

Flett, Tom, further correspondence 1962

  1. Letter from Mrs M F Hawes, Kendal, 12 October 1962
  2. Letter to Mrs M F Hawes, 10 November 1962
  3. Letter from Mrs M F Hawes, 14 November 1962