Bush Dances - Sicilian Circles

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These are usually couple facing couple. Some are 3 facing 3 or 4 facing 4. The number 1 couples are those facing anticlockwiswe.

If the hall is crowded then these dances can usually be done in columns instead.

Last update: 15 July 2016


Belgian Waltz
48 bar waltz
Sicilian circle

A1 (2) Take 2 hands with partner, sway toward and away from the other couple
   (2) Drop hands and solo twirl through the other couple (women through the middle)
   (2) Take right hand with partner, balance forward and back
   (2) Swap with partner, women turning under
A2 (8) Repeat back to place
	
       Now repeat with opposite, except starting with the balance:
B1 (2) Take right hand with opposite, balance forward and back
   (2) Swap with opposite, women turning under
   (2) Take 2 hands with opposite, sway toward and away from the other couple
   (2) Drop hands and solo twirl through the other couple (women through the middle)
B2 (8) Repeat back to place
 	
C1 (4) Right hand star
   (2) Clapping: do a clap, clap-clap 
       (two bars contain 6 beats, the claps occur on beats 1, 3 and 4) 
   (2) Turn single over right shoulder

C2 (4) Left hand star
   (4) Waltz on to a new couple

Chain Double Quadrille
Double sicilian circle (2 couples facing 2 couples)
48 bar reel
Medium 

A1 (8) Centre 4 people (centre 2 people in each line) right hand star
   (8) Left hand turn partner 1+1/2 to put the others in the centre

A2 (8) New centre 4 right hand star
   (8) Left hand turn partner 1+1/2 

B1 (8) Set to partner, twice
   (8) Swing partner, finish in your line of 4 facing the other line of 4

Now the ladies chain around the set:
B2 (8) Ladies chain with the couple across, courtesy turn either 3/4 or 1+1/4 
       to finish facing the other couple in your line
   (8) Ladies chain along the line, again turn either 3/4 or 1+1/4
C1 (8) Ladies chain with the couple across
   (8) Ladies chain along the line (to original partner)

C2 (8) Lines advance and retire
   (8) Pass through to a new foursome

Circassian Circle part 1
Sicilian circle 
32 bar jig or reel
Medium 

A1 (16) Right and lefts (all the way)

A2 (8) Set to partner, twice
   (8) Swing partner

B1 (16) Ladies chain across and back. Stay in 
        the ladies chain hold

B2 (16) Promenade around the other couple and then 
        continue on, passing them to progress to a 
        new couple

Circle Galop
Sicilian circle (can't really be done in columns)
32 bar jig or reel
Easy 

A1 (8) 2s separate, 1s take both hands and galop 
        anticlockwise through the stationary 2s
   (8) 1s galop back

A2 (16) 2s repeat, starting by galoping clockwise

B1 (16) In your foursomes, circle left and right

B2 (4) 1s arch, pass through (2s go under the arch), 
       do not turn around
   (4) 2s arch, everyone back up (1s go backwards under the arch)
   (8) 1s arch, pass through (2s go under the arch) to a new couple

Diane's Waltz
32 bar waltz (eg Fanny Power, Planxty Irwin)
Sicilian circle

A1 (2) Advance, drop partner's hand, face partner, take inside hands on the side
   (2) Retire (away from partner)
   (2) Advance, drop hands, take partner's hand again, face opposite couple
   (2) Retire (but donít go too far back)

A2 (4) Right hand star
   (4) Half ladies chain 

B1 (4) Left hand star
   (2) Gents turn left hand one quarter (which is not very far), 
       while ladies cast right, take partner's right hand in a line of four in balance in line formation 
       (lines are like the spokes of a wheel)
   (2) Balance in line (ie rock forward and back)

B2 (2) Let go of partner, gents turn left hand three quarters, 
       ladies move clockwise one quarter, 
       again take partner's right hand, ready for another balance in line 
       (everyone facing in or out of the centre of the room, these lines are along the line of dance). 
       Ladies may also join left hands to make a large circle around the room
   (2) Balance in line 
   (4) Take ballroom hold and waltz on to a new couple

Written for my wife

Margarets Waltz
by Pat Shaw
Sicilian circle 
32 bar waltz
Medium 

(numbers in parentheses are bar counts)

A1 (4) Advance and retire
   (4) Turn opposite right hand

A2 (4) Turn partner left hand
   (4) Ladies chain across only. Stay in the ladies 
       chain hold

B1 (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and right, so 
       that the men are standing left shoulder to left shoulder
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and left, so 
       that the couple you are dancing with is behind you 
   (4) Right hand star with that couple until you get back 
       to where you started the dance (actually 3/4 of the 
       way around)

B2 (4) Do si do opposite
   (4) Waltz with partner on to a new couple

Nevada Waltz 
Sicilian circle
32 bar waltz
Peter Foster 30 March 2016

The opposite sex person you are facing is your neighbour (terminology 
borrowed from contra) 

(numbers in parentheses are bar counts)

A1 (2) Balance the circle
   (2) Nevada twirl with neighbour, to a ballroom hold facing the other couple 
   (4) Waltz half way around the other couple

A2 (4) Partner left shoulder dosido 
   (4) Left hand star

B1 (4) Right hand star
   (4) Neighbour dosido (right shoulder)

B2 (2) Balance the circle
   (2) Nevada twirl with partner, to a ballroom hold facing the other couple 
   (4) Waltz on to a new couple

A Nevada twirl is a California twirl but with the other hand. That is, it starts 
with the man on the right, woman on the left. The man and woman swap places, woman 
twirling under the joined arms. Normally this would result in facing the other direction, 
but in this case you instead finish in a ballroom hold, facing the other couple. 

The men will probably need to be told that they need to MOVE during the Nevada twirl. Normally, 
twirling the woman to a ballroom hold involves the woman doing the moving while the man 
keeps fairly still. In this case however, the men need to move as well, so that you finish 
in the appropriate place for the waltz around. 
Specifically:
 - after the first Nevada twirl you are with neighbour, one couple is on the outside, 
      one on the inside (you then waltz halfway around the other couple to swap places)
 - after the second Nevada twirl, you are back with your partner in your original places, 
      ready for the waltz on to a new couple



The Terraces
32 bar jig or reel
Sicilian circle

A1 (16) Right hand star, left hand star

A2 (16) Circle left and right

B1 (8) Dosido partner
   (8) Dosido opposite

B2 (8) Advance and retire 
   (8) Pass through to a new couple

This is a simple variation of The Cottages, replacing the basket with dosidos

Name?
by Peter Foster
Sicilian circle 
32 bar waltz
Medium 

(numbers in parentheses are bar counts)

A1 (2) Advance, take neighbour with both hands
   (2) Men take the women back with them (men going 
       backwards, women forwards). Take ballroom hold
   (4) Waltz half way around the other couple, face them 

A2 (4) Men's chain: men cross by the left hand, turn partner right  
       hand and take a low promenade hold (ie right in 
       right, left in left, arms crossed in front, the so called 
       skater's hold) 
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and right
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and left, to face a 
       new couple

B1 (4) Right hand star halfway. Again, take a low promenade hold 
       with partner
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and left
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and right, to face 
       your original couple

B2 (4) Left hand star halfway, take ballroom hold with partner
   (4) Waltz on to a new couple

The zigzag/stars sequence is from Beauty In Tears by Barry Moule. 
It's an interesting sequence, but 4 bars is a bit too much time to 
star just halfway. Starring 3/4 would fill the time better, but it 
makes a more complicated dance - see The Mother In Law.

The Mother In Law
by Peter Foster
Sicilian circle (double progression)
32 bar waltz
Medium 

(numbers in parentheses are bar counts)

A1 (2) Circle left just 1/4 
   (2) 2 hand half turn with neighbour, take a ballroom hold
   (4) Waltz on (past your partner), face a new couple 

A2 (4) Men's chain: men cross by the left hand, turn the other 
       woman right hand and take a low promenade hold (ie right in 
       right, left in left, arms crossed in front, the so called 
       skater's hold). Everyone is now facing in their original 
       direction, although they are not with their partner
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and right
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and left, to face a 
       new couple

B1 (4) Right hand star 3/4. Finish as couple facing couple around 
       the room with a new person next to you (man on the right, 
       woman on the left). Take a low promenade hold with this new 
       person
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and left
   (2) Slide 2 steps diagonally forward and right, to face 
       another new couple that includes your partner

B2 (4) Left hand star 3/4, take ballroom hold with partner
   (4) Waltz on to another new couple

The zigzag slides and the 3/4 stars can be a bit disorienting:  
during this part, the men always go in the same direction around 
the room, but the women shuffle back and forth (for the women, 
the second zigzag brings them back the other way). You could 
say it's easier for the men but more interesting for the women. 

In A2, after the men's chain you are with your shadow. That is, 
you will always be with this person at this part of the dance 
(it's a bit like a secondary partner). A dance should avoid 
having too much interaction with a shadow, as you don't choose 
your shadow but you are stuck with them for the entire dance. In 
this dance the shadow becomes a feature. Here is how I described it: 
"Look at the person you are now with. At this part of the dance, 
you are always going to be with this person. You will be returning 
to your partner each time through, but you will also keep running 
into this person. It's a bit like getting married: you don't just 
get a partner, you get a whole family as well. So men, if you think 
of your partner as your wife then think of this woman as your 
mother-in-law".

First danced at Bob and Margaret's wedding. And yes, I made sure 
the groom's mother-in-law was in the appropriate place.

Numeralla Jig
3 facing 3 around the room 
32 bar jig 
Easy 

A1 (16) All 6 people, circle left and right

A2 (8) Centre people right hand star with the 2 
       people on their right (includes one person 
       from the other line)
   (8) Centre people left hand star with the 2 
       people on their left 

B1 (8) Arches: take hands in your original lines of 3, 
       arch on the left hand side and person on the right 
       go through that arch and around the centre person 
       to place (centres will need to turn under their 
       own arm)
   (8) Arch on the other side, left person go through

B2 (8) Lines of 3 advance and retire
   (8) Pass through to progress
 
In B1, experienced dancers can do the arches a lot more than just once

Named for the village of Numeralla, site of an annual folk festival.

The Old Bark Hut
by Peter Foster, version 5 April 2014
3 facing 3 around the room 
32 bar jig (note that if you play the tune The Old Bark Hut then you will 
need to play the chorus twice to make 32 bars)

A1 (16) Centres turn contra corners. Finish on the other side (between your corners)

A2 (16) Reel of 3 in the lines, starting right shoulder to your first corner. 
        Middles finish in their original place (so cross back to own side at the end, facing them ready for...)

B1 (16) Basket for 3 people. Optionally, finish with a different person in the middle

B2 (8) Lines forward and back
   (8) Pass through to a new line of three

Contra Corners:
- middle people drive the figure, the other people are corners
- first corner is on your right diagonal
- second corner is on your left diagonal
The figure involves 4 hand turns and takes 16 beats:
 - middles turn by the right, just over halfway
 - middles turn first corner by the left
 - middles turn each other right hand, 3/4 around
 - middles turn second corner by the left

After the contra corners, the middles stay on the other side of the set. So middles do the subsequent reel of three in the other line. At the end of the reel of three (actually, just before finishing it) they cross back to their original line

This dance is a 32 bar variant on Walpole Cottage

Orion's Belt
by Peter Foster	13 April 2013	
Sicilian circle (progresses backwards!)
32 bar waltz
Medium 

(numbers in parentheses are bar counts)

A1 (2) Advance to the other couple
   (2) Take 2 hands with opposite, men bring the women back with them (so women forward, men back)
       During this, take a ballroom hold, facing the other couple

   (4) Waltz halfway around that couple, finish facing them (so facing your partner)

A2 (4) Left hand star 3/4. Then you and your partner face a new couple for...
   (4) Right hand star all the way with this new couple. Finish facing this same couple, in a low promenade hold with partner

B1 (2) 2 sliding steps forward and left (so that the women are standing right shoulder to right shoulder)
   (2) 2 sliding steps forward and right, to face a new couple 
   (4) Left hand star once around with this couple

B2 (8) Waltz once around this couple, finish facing away from them (in your original direction)



The finish is a fairly leisurely 8 bar waltz around the other couple. Caution the dancers not to rush this waltz (there is 
plenty of time). 

The progression is 2 steps backward, one step forward. So you get a bit of a sneak preview of the next people you will be dancing with.

This is another variant of the Mother In Law (and Beauty In Tears), this time with the stars going all the way around. 

The name refers to the constellation of Orion: the dance has three stars, and in the constellation, the belt comprises 3 stars. 


Prince of Orange
Sicilian circle 
32 bar reel (dance is just 16 bars)
Easy 

Figure
A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Advance and retire again

Chorus
A2 (8) Individually clap, clap, clap-clap-clap, 
       stamp, stamp, stamp-stamp-stamp
   (8) Pass through to a new couple

The figure can be anything: star, circle, rights and lefts, 
ladies chain, do si do opposite then partner, basket, etc. 

The first few times through the caller can specify the figure. After 
a while, allow each foursome to individually decide what they would like 
to do. 

I sometimes use this dance fairly early in the evening to teach a number 
of figures. 

Soldiers Joy
Sicilian circle 
32 bar reel
Medium 

A1 (8) Advance and retire
   (8) Swing opposite in a ballroom hold. Finish 
       in a line of 4 across the set with the men 
       back to back in the middle

A2 (8) Men turn over their left shoulder to their
       partner, swing partner in a ballroom hold in 
       the "wrong" direction (anticlockwise)
   (8) Swing partner in the proper direction. During 
       this swing get back to your original place

B1 (16) Ladies chain across and back. Stay in 
        the ladies chain hold

B2 (16) Promenade around the other couple and then 
        continue on, passing them to progress to a 
        new couple

Waving Around
Sicilian circle
32 bar jig or reel

A1 (8) Circle left
   (8) Star right (still in same direction!)

A2 (16) Ladies chain, across and back

B1 (8) Left hand star
   (8) Circle right

B2 (16) Dip and dive past four couples

Any comments - email pfoster@pcug.org.au

Last modified 29 June 2008