Bush Dances - Other Formations

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Some unusual formations

Last update: 23 February 2020

Between Two (Ryng Dhui)
Lines of 3, all facing anticlockwise around the room
32 bar galop

A1 (8) Centre person with outside person, take 2 hands and galop anticlockwise around the room
   (8) Return

A2 (8) Centre person with inside person, take 2 hands and again galop anticlockwise around the room
   (8) Return

B1 (4) Centre person right arm turn with outside person
   (4) Centre person left arm turn with inside person
   (4) Centre person right arm turn with outside person
   (4) Centre person left arm turn with inside person

B2 (12) Reel of 3, centre person pass outside person by the right shoulder to start
   (4) Centre people progress forward (anticlockwise) to the next line

Note that the reel of 3 is quicker than usual, to allow time for the progression

Borrowdale Exchange
3 couples in a circle 
Scatter mixer
32 bar jig or reel

A1 (16) All circle left and right

A2 (8) Forward and back
   (8) Do si do partner

B1 (8) Right-hand star holding hands with person opposite and with nobody else
   (8) Undo the star: the woman whose hand is lowest goes under (her new partner pulls her out while the others arch),
       then the next. Keep hold of the hands

B2 (16) Promenade around and make new sets 

This can be done in groups of other than 3 couples. Indeed, as the dance continues, the dancers tend to make 
groups of fairly random numbers of couples

Bunyips Bandicoots
Music: Sung by the dancers

Formation: A series of concentric circles, ie a small circle in the centre, 
a slightly larger circle around them and so on. Aim for 4 circles, but 3 
is okay

The dance is very simple: 

(8) Circle left
(8) Circle right
(8) To the middle and back
(8) Turn single (hopping around rather than simply walking around)

While singing (to the tune Frere Jacques): 

Bunyips, bandicoots, bunyips, bandicoots, 
Possums too, possums too, 
Wallabies and wombats, wallabies and wombats, 
Kangaroos, kangaroos  

Do it a few times so that everyone is familiar with the song and steps. 
Then comes the crunch: sing and dance it *as a round*. That is, just 
the centre circle starts, then the next circle joins in etc. 

At kids' dances I like to finish with this dance: it's easy, everyone 
can join in, the whole family can dance together, it's highly distinctive 
and very memorable. 

Here is a similar dance with a Christmas theme (it also includes 
a more difficult version in a square set).

CHOGM Pentrille
by Norm Ellis
Music: 5x64 bar jig or reel

Formation: 5 couples in a pentagon (really just a circle), 
numbered anticlockwise 14253 (yes, you read that correctly)

A1 (8) Forward and back
   (8) Circle left

A2 (8) Forward and back
   (8) Circle right

B1 (16) Split the circle: everyone still holding hands, couple 1 go 
        between lady 2 and man 5, then separate and go around the 
        outside to their original place, dragging everyone else with them

B2 (16) Split the circle the other way, lady 2 and man 5 going 
        through couple 1

C  (8) 1 swap with 2, 2s making an arch
   (8) 1 swap with 3, 3s making an arch
   (8) 1 swap with 4, 4s making an arch
   (8) 1 swap with 5, 5s making an arch

D1 (16) Swing partner

D2 (16) Promenade

The numbering looks a bit unusual, but it makes sense when you get to 
the part where the 1s cross with each other couple in turn. 

The renumbering after each time through is not really a problem: couple 
1 are obvious and they drive the dance. Note that it doesn't really matter 
if they split the circle in the wrong place, everyone still ends up where 
they are supposed to be.

Ghost of a Chance
Peter Foster 27 Oct 2017
Gender neutral, 7 people: 3 facing 3 in a longways set and another person (the Ghost) at the top

Actions for the 6 people in the longways set:

A1  (8) Lines set twice
    (8) Pass through to the other side

A2 (16) Reels of three on the sides, centre people start by coming in and up. 
        Finish with the centre people still in the middle of the set facing up

B1 (16) Stars of 3 people: right hand on the womans side, left hand on the mens side 
        (if the centre people put out their outside hand, that is the appropriate hand to use) 
        The stars will turn about twice (more or less)

B2  (8) Collapse the stars into the lines of 3 (order does not matter) and go forward and back 
    (8) Lines go forward and back again

Actions for the Ghost:

A1 (16) Ghost goes around the outside of the set looking for a suitable target person

A2 (16) Ghost stands behind this person and follows them for the reel of three 

B1 (16) Ghost joins in the star and is free to switch to the other star if desired (and 
        may even switch back if there is time)

B2 (8) The star with the Ghost collapses into a line of 4 (order does not matter, except the Ghost 
       must not be at the top), lines go forward and back 
   (8) Lines go forward and back again, line of 4 shifts up one place to pop off a new Ghost

Note that the stars in B1 are deliberately a bit random, collapsing into lines wherever the 
people happen to be. This randomises the lines a bit, so more people get the chance of 
becoming the ghost

Levi Jackson Rag
by Pat Shaw
Music: 5x32 bar rag

Formation: 5 couples in a horseshoe, ie 4 couples in a becket 
set with a 5th couple at the top. This top couple is facing 
down, others facing across, everyone standing next to their 
partner with the woman on the right

A1 (8) Sides right and left WHILE top couple go halfway down the middle
       (tops go down just after the sides cross over)
   (8) Sides right and left WHILE top couple go down to the bottom

A2 (8) Sides hands 4 with the couple across and circle left 
       WHILE tops separate and cast to the top
   (8) Everyone do si do partner

B1 (8) All 5 ladies chain: ladies right hand star, go 2 places 
       around (past your partner, past the next, to the next), 
       do a courtesy turn with this man
   (8) 5 ladies chain again. Stay in the ladies chain hold

B2 (4)  Promenade one place around the set
   (12) Balance and swing 

B1 is where the dance falls apart. Men must take an active part here, 
both to assist the women into the star and then to take the appropriate 
woman out

The Mediocre Seven
by Peter Foster
Music: 7x32 jig or reel

Formation: Seven couples arranged in an elongated square containing one couple at the top, 
one at the bottom, two couples on each side and one couple in the middle

A1 (8) Top and middle couples, half ladies chain. Middle couple do an extra half turn, then...
   (8) Middle and bottom couples, half ladies chain

A2     Centre couple swing WHILE
   (8) Others promenade 2 places around the rectangle…
   (8) …then forward and back. Finish in the nice neat rectangle formation

B1 (8) Left hand star 3/4: women in the bottom square, men in the top square
   (8) With the one you meet, right hand turn 1+1/2 to put the other person in

B2 (8) Left hand star 3/4, men in the bottom square, women in the top square
   (8) Swing partner

You keep your partner but progress to a different position in the set. Do 7 times to 
get everyone home. 

In the second half, the stars are a bit tricky - just go 3/4 around, then turn whoever is 
standing there. Note that if the first star takes you into the middle then you will also 
be involved in the second star.

In A2, the couple in the middle swing. This swing should use an equal hold (not a ballroom hold). 
Finish the swing with the man above, woman below, and let go of left hands. Then these people will 
be well placed to go into the subsequent stars.

Don Richmond, of the Australian Colonial & Folk Dancers, has a fun addition for an extra challenge: 
in A1 have the sides do a ladies chain across and back while the others are doing the ladies chains 
up and down. So first the top square does a 4 ladies chain (as the bottom square just chains across), 
then the bottom square does a 4 ladies chain (as the top square chains across). Shouldn't be confusing 
at all...

Based on The Magnificent Seven by Bob Archer. 

Ninepenny Bit
Peter Foster 16 Feb 2019
Square set, with an extra person in the middle (note gender free dance)
32 bar jig or reel 

A1 (8) Middle person right hand star with couple 1…
   (8) … and left hand star with the opposite couple (couple 3)

A2 (16) Middle person reel of 3 with the side couples, starting right shoulder 
        to couple 3 (side couples take promenade hold)

B1 (16) Middle person give right hand (or left hand) to any person and swap places 
        to bring them into the middle. This new middle person then swaps with any 
        other. And swap again. And again

B2 (16) Circle left and right around the new middle person, who can show off

In B1, the swaps can be a touch chaotic. The middle person simply swaps with any of the other 
people in the set. The new middle person swaps with another, etc. There is no requirement that 
exactly 4 swaps are done, and no requirement that all the swaps are with different people. So 
this part is a bit random (deliberately so). 

The dance is really gender free, no need to have an opposite sex partner (besides, the set 
very quickly gets jumbled up). 

Adapted from the dance Fivepenny Bit

Push and Mini Shove
Peter Foster 11 Feb 2017
4x32 jig or reel

Three couples in a triangle, standing next to your partner (numbered anticlockwise 123)

A1 (16) Couple 1 separate and go around the outside (men clockwise, woman anticlockwise) 
        until they are standing behind a same sex person (so woman 1 is behind woman 2, man 1 
        is behind man 3). 
        Gently push these people in to the centre and take their places, the pushed people go 
        to the empty gap in the set (in this case, first place) and swing

A2 (16) The same woman (with a different man) separate, go around to the same sex person and 
        push them in to the centre for them to swing to the gap 

        All are now reunited with partner, but progressed one place round the set

B  (32) Partner dosido
        Grand chain all the way around the set and swing partner (finish in progressed positions)

The new number 1 woman leads the dance next time

This is a 3 couple version of Push and Shove that was hastily thrown together when we had 
a sparsely attended dance

Saturday the Thirteenth
13 Feb 2016
12 person square (a square with a line of 3 on each side)
by Peter Foster
Music: 32 bar jig or reel

A1 (8) Head lines go forward and back
   (8) Side lines go forward and back

A2 (16) Threesomes do a reel of 3

B1 (7) Middles right hand star 3/4 to face a new couple on the outside
   (3) Middles change left hand with one of these new people
   (6) These new people star right halfway to meet a new couple (see note)

B2 (16) Threesomes basket 

Certainly a bit different 

For the reel of 3, I suggest starting with the middle person passing their right 
hand person by the right shoulder, although it doesn't really matter much who you 
start with. 

As the middles make the right hand star, the people left behind should move sideways 
toward each other to close the gap between them, so that they are a clearly defined 
couple. This makes it easier for the people in the middle to find them.

In B1, after the initial star right 3/4, the middles stay in the centre, facing 
a new couple. The middles then select one of these people and do a left hand 
half turn to swap places, so they finish on the outside, the new person finishes 
in the middle. Then these new people star right halfway (across the set). This 
results in one person progressing right and another progressing across, so you 
will quickly get to meet everyone else in the set. 

Southern Cross
Music: 5x64 bar jig or reel

Formation: 5 people in a cross - imagine a square set with an extra 
couple in the middle, except they are single people rather than couples. 
Numbered anticlockwise, with number 5 in the middle

A1 (16) 4 outside people circle left and right (number 5 can show off)

A2 (16) Number 5 grand chain around the set: right hand to 1, left 
        to 4, right to 3, left to 2 (5 finishes in the centre)

B1 (16) Arches: 2, 5 and 4 take hands in a line of three and make 
        arches. 1 and 3 go clockwise through the arches (ie through 
        the arch on their left and returning through the other arch). 
        Go through the arches twice (but if they use the centre person 
        as a support they can go through lots of times...)

B2 (16) Arches on the other axis, made by 1, 5 and 3

C1 (16) Reel of 3 up and down (with 1, 5 and 3)

C2 (16) Reel of 3 across (with 2, 5 and 4)

D  (8) Progression: 5 swing with 1, leaving 1 in the centre
   (8) 5 swing with 2, leaving them in position 1 
   (8) 5 swing with 3, leaving them in position 2 
   (8) 5 swing with 4, leaving them in position 3 
       (5 finishes in position 4) 
   These swings should use the crossed-hand hold

Spider Web
Peter Foster 30 Nov 2019
32 bar jig or reel
4 couples in a circle, women on right of partner
Each person is numbered from 1 to 8. These numbers do not change

A1 (8) Everyone forward and back
   (8) Partner dosido

A2 (8) Corner dosido (remember who it is!)
   (8) All circle left

B1 (8) Drop hands and come back in the other direction single file
   (8)  Lead person (1, then 2 etc) turn out and go clockwise around the outside as 
        the others make a left hand star and continue moving

B2 (16) Outside person is caught by their corner for a swing, then all swing corners

The seven person left hand star is the spider web. The dancers can extend their right hands 
in an attempt to "catch" the lead dancer (the fly). But it is only their corner who succeeds 
in catching them for a swing, then the others also swing corner (tip for the men: your corner 
is behind you). 

The others should not swing their corners until the lead dancer finds their corner, otherwise 
it's easy for the set to get out of order. So if the lead person misses their corner, just keep 
going round until you see them again.

Note that you only form the web when the lead person turns back. So there is the single file 
march, then get closer and take left hands to form the web as the lead person turns out. 

This is a partner change dance. It is rather important that people remember who their corner 
is this time through, especially for the lead dancer. That is why there are those 2 dosidos: 
dosido partner to say goodbye, then dosido corner to introduce yourselves. And remember who 
it is! 

Origin of Spider Web: at a bush dance I was given a thank you gift with a redback spider design, 
and a suggestion that I write a redback spider dance. I had no luck with that theme, but 
thinking instead about a spider's web I came up with this dance and we did it as the last 
dance of the evening.

Three’s a Crowd
Lines of three around the room
Music: 32 bar jig or reel
by Peter Foster, 4 June 2012

A1 (8) Lines of 3 go forward. End people turn around to make a wavy line of 3
   (8) Lines return (middle person going backwards)

A2 (4) Balance forward and back
   (4) Middles turn right hand person
   (4) Middles turn left hand person, remake the wavy line
   (4) Balance forward and back

B1 (16) Middle person move forward to a (semi random) new couple (end people 
        can "launch" the middle person) 

B2 (16) Basket with your new threesome. Optionally finish with a different person in the middle

Anyone not finding a new couple at the end of B1 should go into the middle of the room. They can then easily spot any spare couples.

In B1, an alternative is for everyone to move forward, rather than just the middles. In this case, 
the "couples" need to keep pace with each other to avoid being separated

For beginner dancers, leave out the balances in A2 (so just do right hand turn, left hand turn)

Music: own tune

Formation: Line of three people, everyone facing the front (can also 
do it as threesomes around the room, all facing anticlockwise)

A  (8) 8 steps forward, on the 8th step raise hands and shout "Oy!"
   (8) 8 steps back, again shout "Oy!"

B  (8) Arches: centre and right hand person make an arch, left hand 
       person go through the arch and around the centre person to place 
       (others need to turn under their joined hands)
   (8) Arch on the other side 

C  (12) Circle left 12 steps 
   (4)  3 stamps
   (12) Circle right 12 steps 
   (4)  3 stamps while breaking into a line of 3 (may optionally break 
        in a different place to put someone else in the middle)

When doing it around the room, the centres progress to a new line 
during the first part

The band should increase the tempo as the dance continues

Any comments - email pfoster@pcug.org.au

Last modified 29 June 2008