Born 1914. Clog dancer originally from Crewe.
Members of the IRT visited Sam Steele in Ely, Cambridgeshire in late 1980. Sam’s steps had been published in 1971, however interestingly Sam had never seen a copy of the printed article. It transpired that he had written out his clog steps at the request of Russell Wortley, then the editor of the Folk Music Journal who had simply published them verbatim. Unsurprisingly they were occasionally inconsistent and not entirely clearly notated. Additionally he knew steps in waltz rhythm which had not been published. In fact he remembered performing these at a concert in Crewe in 1924 dressed in Dutch costume.
Sam and several of his siblings (he had a total of 7 brothers and sisters) learned to dance from his father, who in turn had learned from his father taking the steps back to at least the second half of the nineteenth century. The IRT later interviewed his younger sister Elsie Brookes.
On their visit the IRT were able to collect 7 steps in 4/4 time and two waltz steps.
The material collected from Sam and his sister Elsie Brookes, including a comparison with the previously published version, was published in Metherell, C., The Steele Family Steps, Newcastle: Newcastle Series (nd).
Information on this page derives from an interview with Sam Steele on 15/11/1980.