Bush Dances - Longways Sets

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These dances are in longways sets (ie a line of men facing a line of women, men's line is on the right from the caller's point of view). Some are for specific numbers of couples, others are more flexible.

Last update: 15 July 2016


Anderson Ferry Reel
by Eric Conrad
Longways for 5,6 or 7 couples
32 bar reel
Easy (mixer!)

Begin with everyone facing up, holding inside hand with partner

A1 (8) 4 steps forward, 4 steps back
   (8) Repeat

A2 (8) Dosido partner slightly more than once, to face a new partner (leaving two loners at the ends)
   (8) Swing this new partner. Finish on the sidelines, facing this person

B1 (16) The two loners “ride the ferry”: the lone man weaves down the women’s line to the bottom of the 
        men’s line, while the lone woman weaves up the men’s line to the top of the women’s line

B2 (8) Lines forward and back while shifting left (to face another new person across)
   (8) Swing this new partner (person directly across) and end facing up

Axes to Grind
Peter Foster 7 July 2014
4 couple longways
4x64 jig or reel
Medium-Hard

A1 (16) Top couple lead a cast off, pick up partner (taking inside hands) and lead back up (no arch!)
A2 (16) Top 3 couples peel off as couples to finish in head lines (see note), 
        Lines go forward and back

B1 (8) Ladies chain up and down, finish facing across
   (8) Ladies chain across, finish facing up and down
B2 (8) Ladies chain up and down, finish facing across
   (8) Ladies chain across, finish facing up and down


C1 (16) Give and take (women take) and swing, finish facing across
C2 (16) Give and take (women take) and swing, finish facing up and down
D1 (16) Give and take (women take) and swing, finish facing across
D2 (16) Everyone forward and swing partner, finish facing up with the woman on the right

Finish in order 2341 (standard progression)


Notes:
A2 - first couple cast left, second couple cast right, third couple cast left, finish in head lines 
(so couples 4 and 1 are in a line facing up, couples 2 and 3 are in a line facing down).
NOTE that the bottom couple does NOT participate in this cast off!

For the give and take, the lines go forward, then take opposite by both hands and the women pull the 
men back with them (so women back, men forward) 

Instead of always having the women take, can instead alternate men take, women take, men take (rather 
surprisingly, this still leads to the same progression). 
This is probably more interesting but also more confusing. I prefer to stick with "women always take", being 
the simpler alternative

Inspired by Pam Gainsford's Delight by Noreen Grunseit

Boston Tea Party
6 Couple Longways (or 5 or 7)
32 bar jig or reel
Easy

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Top couple galop to the bottom

A2 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Same couple galops back to the top

B  (32) Everyone face up and take inside hand with partner, except 
        top couple who face down (stay on own sides):
        Top couple (and only the top couple) dip and dive to the bottom. 
        Everyone else, as they pass the dip and dive they cast off. Top 
        couple makes an arch at the bottom, other couples come through 
        the arch to progress. Swing to use up any remaining music

Bottoms Up
My variation of a dance by Graham Spencer
Longways for 5 couples
32 bar jig or reel
Easy 

Start by taking hands along the side, bottom couple also take hands across the bottom to 
make a horseshoe

A1 (16) Women thread the needle (men 1 and 2 make a single arch)
A2 (16) Men thread the needle (women 1 and 2 make a single arch)

B1 (8) Bottom couple galop up to top
   (8) The two couples at the top galop to bottom (top couple taking bottom place for next turn). 
       The rest of the set moves up as the 2 couples are galloping down

B2 (16) All swing partner

Canberra Trams
5 couple longways (all proper)
5x32 bar jig or reel
by Peter Foster 9 May 2011 (based on Melbourne Trams by Jane Bullock)

A1 (8) Couple 1 cross right hand and cast 2 places, couples 2 and 3 move up 
       (couple 1 finish in third place on the wrong side)
   
   (8) Take hands on the side and advance and retire (don't go too far back!). 
       Lead couple let go of hands, other couples retain hands on the side 
       (this is making tram lines on the side)

A2 (8) Man 1 dance up between couples 2 and 3, woman 1 dance down between couples 4 and 5. 
       Cast right, around the end person only. Support couples then make tram lines across 
       the set, ie they drop hands with that person, turn to face that person, and take 
       their partner's inside hand
   
   (8) Man 1, woman 1 dance through the tramlines and cast left, 
       finishing in third place on their own sides

 Now repeat this in the other direction:

B1 (8) Support couples make tramlines on the side. Man 1 dance down between 
       couples 4 and 5, woman 1 dance up between couples 2 and 3. Cast right, 
       around the end person. 
       Support couples then make tram lines across the set

   (8) Man 1, woman 1 dance through the tramlines and cast left, 
       finishing in third place on the wrong sides

B2 (8) Middle couple (the original couple 1) cross and cast to the bottom, 
       couples 4 and 5 move up

   (8) Everyone advance and retire


Cheltenham Flyer
Longways for 3 couples
32 bar jig
Easy 

A1 (16) Ladies weave (lady 1, followed by ladies 2 and 3, weave behind 1st man, in front of 2nd man, 
        behind 3rd man and up to place)
A2 (16) Men weave (men weave around the ladies)

B1 (16) Tops galop down and back, finishing at the bottom of the set (don't come all the way back!)

B2 (16) All galop down and back

Country Bumpkin
4 Couple Longways
32 bar jig or reel
Easy

A1 (8) Man 1 and lady 2 set to each other twice, man advancing as he sets
   (8) Man 1 swing lady 3 and return to place

A2 (8) Woman 1 and man 2 set to each other twice, woman advancing as she sets
   (8) Woman 1 swing man 3 and return to place

B1 (16) Couple 1 lead down the middle, separate and come back to the 
        top behind their own lines

B2 (8) Couples 1 & 2, couples 3 & 4 circle left only (not back to the right!)
   (8) Couple 1 cast to the bottom, everyone else moves up

Digger’s Jig
by Mark Dabbs
Longways Set for 4,5 or 6 couples
32 bar jig 


A1 (8) Lines forward and back
   (8) Change places with partner passing right shoulder

A2 (8) Lines forward and back
   (4) Go forward again, join right hand with partner, left hand with next
   (4) Set once, then raise hands in air to form arches (do not let go!)

B1 (16) Top lady lead set (with hands loosely joined) down centre of set under arches, 
        let go and cast up outside of set on own side

B2 (16) Top couple only swing down centre of set to bottom

The arches in B1 represent a trench. Note that after going through these arches, you cast off on 
your own original side. The dancers may need to be reminded what side they started on

Downsides 
4 Couple Longways
32 bar jig or reel
Easy 
By Peter Foster (adapted from Upsides)

A1 (16) Top couple galop down the middle and back

A2 (16) Couples 1 & 2, couples 3 & 4 do right hand stars and left hand stars

B1 (16) Couples 2 & 3 do right hand stars and left hand stars while the 
        other couples swing

B2 (16) Top couple lead a single cast, make an arch at the bottom, everyone else 
        come through the arch (progression)

The cast off needs to be fairly efficient, as the dance restarts with the new 
couple charging down the middle and collecting anyone who is still coming through 
the arch

The stars and swing sequence is from Upsides

Empire Reel
by Colin Towns
Longways for 5 couples
32 bar reel 


A1 (8) Top couple individually galop down the outside to the bottom 
       WHILE bottom couple take hands and galop up to the top
   (8) Couple now at the top  individually galop down the outside to the bottom 
       WHILE couple at the bottom take hands and galop up to the top. All are now back where they started

A2 (16) Middle 3 couples right hand star and left hand star

B1 (16) Top 2 couples and bottom 2 couples circle left and right 
        WHILE the middle couple do whatever they want (but finish back in place!)

B2 (16) Top couple weave to the bottom (crossing between couple 2, outside couple 3, between couple 4, 
        outside couple 5). They meet at the bottom and take hands, ready to galop up 

Falling Masonry
by John Kirkpatrick
5 Couple Longways (but see note)
32 bar jig or reel
Easy

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Pass through but do NOT turn around (stay facing out)

A2 (8) Retire and advance
   (8) Pass through backwards (no peeking!)

B1 (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up
   (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up
   (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up
   (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up

B2 (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up
   (4) Couple at the top galop to the bottom, everyone else move up
   (8) All swing partner

In B1/B2, each couple in turn galops to the bottom. Then the original 
top couple go down one more time, which is the progression.

Make sure the next couple goes down at the right time, even if the previous 
couple haven't quite reached the bottom yet. 

When doing this dance for non dancers (at weddings, parties etc) I don't 
insist on 5 couples. Instead, I change B1/B2 to simply continue the galoping 
down the middle until the music runs out. 

The Fire Hose Reel
Longways for 5 or so couples
Jig or reel, any length (the dance is not very structured)
Easy

   (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Advance again and take hands: take partner with man's right and 
       woman's left. Then men reach their left hand over the joined hands 
       and take the free hand of the next woman. Check: everyone is 
       holding 2 people, only the men have their arms crossed. Top woman 
       and bottom man have a free hand

       Now, no-one is to let go hands for a long time: 
      
  (??) All raise their joined hands to make a tunnel. The top woman goes 
       through, dragging everyone with her. When she gets to the bottom 
       she turns right and goes clockwise around the others. The bottom man 
       needs to *keep still* - do not move, do not turn around, do not do 
       anything: as the others continue moving clockwise they will wind up 
       around the bottom man until everyone is in a solid clump. Then... 

       Bottom man (in the middle of the mess, can't move and probably can 
       hardly even breathe) needs to unwind the set. To do this, he should 
       crouch down and make his way through to the outside. When he gets to 
       the outside he turns left and leads everyone around anticlockwise into 
       a circle (a reminder, no-one is to let go hands during any of the 
       winding/unwinding moves)
       
       From the circle, everyone swing partner and reform into a longways 
       set with different couples at top and bottom. 


This is a fun dance with the right crowd. Sets tend to wind/unwind at their 
own pace, so I don't usually try to keep the sets together. 

Five Around Three
By Peter Foster 3 June 2013
Longways for 4 couples
32 bar jig or reel 
Easy-Medium

A1 (16) Man 1 cast, women follow (top man lead the women around the other 3 men)

A2 (16) Woman 1 cast, men follow (top woman lead the men around the other three women)

B1 (16) Right hand stars, left hand stars at top and bottom

B2 (16) Top couple swing to the bottom while the other couples move up


After getting home in A1, the top couple need to immediately turn around to lead back the other way. 

This dance is amusing to watch, as dancers go the wrong way with the wrong people at the wrong time

Galopede
Longways for up to 8 couples
32 bar jig or reel
Easy (very easy)

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Pass through 

A2 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Pass through

B1 (16) Swing partner

B2 (16) Top couple swing to the bottom, everyone else move up

Haymakers Jig
Longways for 3 (or 4) couples
32 bar jig or reel
Easy 

Top man and bottom woman are first corners
Top woman and bottom man are second corners

A1 (8) First corners right hand turn
   (8) Second corners repeat

A2 (8) First corners do si do
   (8) Second corners repeat

B1 (8) First corners honour
   (8) Second corners repeat

B2 (16) Just the top couple do a single cast to the bottom, everyone else 
        move up (progression), everyone swing partner

An honour is a really fancy bow or curtsy. I like to tell people that the 
second corners must do a fancier honour than the first corners. 

There are many, many, many versions of this dance. This particular one is 
probably the shortest and simplest. I suggest no more than 4 couples in a set, 
otherwise there is too much standing around doing nothing.

The Long and Winding Road
Peter Foster  5 July 2014
Longways for 4 or 5 couples. 
Level: easy

Start by taking hands along the side, bottom couple also take hands across the bottom to 
make a horseshoe. These hands are held for most of the dance

A1 (16) Woman 1 lead a thread the needle (woman 1 leads everyone through an arch made by the top 2 men)

A2 (16) Man 1 lead a thread the needle (through an arch made by the top 2 women)

B1 (16) Couple 1 lead down through an arch made by the bottom couple and cast up to place 
        (so man 1 and woman 1 both thread the needle through the bottom couple)

B2 (16) Couple 1 swing down to the bottom, everyone else move up

A very easy dance. As you are holding hands for most of the dance it is almost impossible to go 
the wrong way

Mount Ainslie Reel
By Peter Foster 2 November 2013
Longways for 3 couples
Level: Intermediate 

Begin with everyone facing up, holding inside hand with partner

A1 (8) Walk forward for 4 steps, then back for 4
   (8) Dosido partner

A2 (16) Reels of 3 on the sides, men start right shoulder, women start left shoulder 
        (so the 1s start by going through the middle)

B1 (16) Progressive grand chain: 1s face across, others face up; 1s pass by right hand, 
       then give left to 2s, etc, the 2s and 3s joining in as the 1s reach them. 
       Keep going until everyone is back where they started

B2 (16) 1s cross right hand and cast to the bottom as the other couples move up. 
        Then all swing partner, finish facing up with the woman in the right

The reel of three into progressive grand chain is from Gipsy Hill Jig. Although in that dance 
the reels are specified as right shoulder, which does not flow as smoothly

Opera Reel
Longways for 6 couples
32 bar reel
Level: Easy-Medium

A1 (8) Lines go forward and back
   (8) Top couple take 2 hands and galop (slip step) to the bottom as the others move up

A2 (8) Lines go forward and back
   (8) Couple that is now at the top, galop to the bottom (others do NOT move up this time)

B1 (16) 2 couples at the top do a right hand star and left hand star
        Next 2 couples do a circle left and circle right
        2 couples at the bottom do rights and lefts

B2 (8) Couple at the bottom galop back to the top
   (8) All swing partner

An easier B1 is to have the bottom couples also do stars (instead of rights and lefts)

OXO Reel
6 couple longways 
32 bar jig or reel
Easy 

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Turn partner right hand 

A2 (8) Turn partner left hand
   (8) Advance and retire

B1 (16) OXO: 
        top 2 couples circle left and right
        next 2 couples star right and left
        bottom 2 couples circle left and right

B2 (16) Top couple swing to the bottom, everyone else move up

Designed for 6 couples but more are easily accommodated: either 
add more stars/circles (I've done OXOXO) or have more than 2 couples 
in the various stars/circles.

Snowball Jig
5 couple longways 
48 bar jig or reel
Easy 

A1 (16) Top couple right hand turn, then left hand turn 

A2 (16) Top 2 couples, star right and left

B1 (16) Men 1,2,3 and women 1,2,3 do arches: 
        Hold hands on the sides, 2 and 3 raise hands to make 
        arches, man/woman 1 goes under the arch and goes around 
        the centre person, finishing in original place (centre 
        person needs to turn under their own arm to avoid breaking 
        anything). Then man/woman 3 goes under an arch made 
        by 1 and 2. (Note that this all takes place on the sides, 
        you are not dancing with your partner in this figure)

B2 (16) Top 4 couples advance and retire twice (couple 5 need to 
        fight the temptation to join in!)

C1 (16) Everyone circle left, once around

C2 (16) Top couple lead a cast off, make an arch at the bottom, everyone 
        else come through the arch (progression)

It takes more than 16 beats to complete the cast off, but that's all 
right as the dance can still restart on time with the new top couple

Speed the Plough
4 couple longways 
32 bar hornpipes - step hop throughout
Easy (except for the step hop)

A1 (8) Top couple take inside hands and advance and retire to 
       woman 2 (can do a quick circle if desired)
   (8) Top couple repeat with man 2

A2 (16) Top couple down the middle and back (they can go a 
        long way, it's 8 step hops down, then 8 back)

B1 (16) Top couple lead a single cast, make an arch at the bottom, everyone else 
        come through the arch (progression). All face across

B2 (16) Plough the field: pass through and keep going. After 8 step hops, 
        turn around and come back. Encourage the dancers to do "free form" 
        ploughing in random directions

Tea Break Waltz
Peter Foster - 11 November 2013
Waltz 
Sicilian circle (or in a column)
Music: 32 bar waltzes
Level: Medium

A1 (4) Ladies chain along the set
   (4) Partner dosido

A2 (4) Circle right 3/4 around, take neighbour in ballroom hold
   (4) Waltz across the set (go halfway around the other couple)

B1 (2) Forward 2 steps, take 2 hands with partner
   (2) Men take partner back with them (women forward, men backward), 
       take ballroom hold and aim at the other couple
   (4) Waltz partner across the set (go halfway around the other couple) 

B2 (8) Ladies chain across the set
   (8) Left hand star, finish facing a new couple

There are 2 ladies chains, one along the set, the other across the set

In A2, after the circle right, ooze into your neighbours arms and continue in the same direction, 
this time with a waltz

In B1, men pull their neighbour back and slightly around so that you can take a ballroom hold, aimed across the set

This dance was written during the tea break at the Monday night dance classes. 

Tea Break Reel
Peter Foster - 26 May 2014
Longways for 3 couples
32 bar reel
Level: Medium

A1 (16) Couple 1 face down, right hand in right. Lead down the middle, 
        then cross over (woman in front of man) and come up the outside of the set, 
        finish at the top but on the wrong sides

A2 (16) Second couple swing while the other couples dance rights and lefts (starting 
        right hand to partner). Finish with couple 1 facing down, others facing up for...

B1 (16) Dip and dive (start with 1s going under 2s arch)

B2 (16) Couple 1 (only) continue to dip and dive to the bottom, all swing partner (finish on your own side)

In B2, you may prefer 1s lead a cast off (others follow), 1s make an arch and the others come through to progressed places. Or 1s cast to the bottom, others move up and all swing partner

Another dance written during the tea break at the Monday night dance classes. 

This dance was adapted from Bideford Bridge

Thady You Gander
4 couple longways 
40 bar jig (suggest playing a 32 bar tune AAABB)
Easy 

A1 (16) Top couple take right hand in right and face down. 
        Lead down to the bottom, cross over (woman in front 
        of the man), come to the top behind the lines.
        Finish at the top on the wrong sides

A2 (16) Top woman lead the 3 men around the women's line

A3 (16) Top man lead the 3 women around the men's line

B1/ (32) Strip the willow: top couple turn once by the right 
B2       arm, turn man/woman 2 by the left, meet in the middle 
         and turn right etc until you get to the bottom. Finish 
         on your own sides
        
40 bars is an unusual length. Simplest is to take a 32 bar tune and 
add an extra A or B. I suggest AAABB, because then if you forget to 
play the extra A you still have time to play an extra B.

Trip to Gunsburg
Longways for 4 couples (reverse progression)
32 bar reel
Peter Foster - 26 May 2016
Level: Medium


A1 (16) Top 2 couples and bottom 2 couples, right hand star and left hand star

A2 (16) Woman 1, followed by women 2, 3 and 4, dance anticlockwise around the men's line. 
           Except that woman 4 takes a shortcut, passing between the top 2 men to finish 
           at the top of the women's line
B1 (16) Men go around the women's line, with man 4 taking the shortcut

B2 (16) All swing partner

Note that it is a reverse progression, with the bottom couple finishing at the top

Adapted from the Scottish country dance Trip to Gatlinburg


Virginia Reel
Longways for 6 or 7 (or possibly 8) couples 
32 bar reel, 32 bar jig, 16 bar march
Easy 

(reel)
A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Turn partner right hand 

A2 (8) Turn partner left hand 
   (8) Turn partner both hands

B1 (8) Do si do partner right shoulder
   (8) Do si do partner left shoulder

B2 (16) Top couple galop down the middle and back

(jig)
C/D(64) Strip the willow: top couple turn by the right arm, turn 
        man/woman 2 by the left, meet in the middle and turn right etc 
        until they get to the bottom. Then swing back to the top and 
         keep swinging until...

(march)
E1/2 (32) Top couple lead a single cast, make an arch at the bottom, everyone else 
        come through the arch (progression) 

Some bands play reels throughout and leave it to the dancers to make it fit. I like 
to have distinct tunes for the various parts of the dance.

Waves of Tory
5 couple longways 
48 bar reel
Medium

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Pass through 

A2 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Pass through

B1 (16) Swing partner

B2 (16) Top couple lead a single cast, make an arch at the bottom, everyone else 
        come through the arch (progression) 

C1/C2 (32) The waves: couple that is now at the top turn around and go under 
           an arch made by the next couple, go over the next couple, under the 
           next etc. As each couple gets to the top they turn around and go 
           under. Similarly, as each couple gets to the bottom they turn around 
           and go under. Continue until the couple that started the waves get 
           back to the top. The others continue until they too get back to where 
           they started the waves. 
           
           Note that the progression happens before the waves: the original top 
           couple is at the bottom when the waves start, so when the waves finish 
           that couple will be at the bottom 

In the waves, when turning around I suggest doing a california twirl (swap sides, 
man turning the woman under their joined hands). That way there is no need to let 
go hands and you always have man on the left, woman on the right. 

There is only just enough time to do the waves, so you can't dawdle. In the cast off, 
remind the top couple not to go too far, otherwise the cast off will take too long and 
dancers will struggle to finish in time. 

Note that there is no need to wait until the cast off is completed before starting 
the waves: the first couple through the arch can start the waves as soon as they get 
to the top.

The dance can be made a bit more forgiving by moving the swing to the end. That gives 
people much more time for the waves, and those sets that finish quickly just get 
a longer swing.

Any comments - email pfoster@pcug.org.au

Last modified 29 June 2008