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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: 23 Feb 2020
Back and Forth Peter Foster 6 May 2019 32 bar waltz Sicilian circle The opposite sex person you are facing is your neighbour (you do a fair bit of the dance with this neighbour) A1 (2) In a circle of 4, balance forward and back (4) Circle left 3 places (2) Two hand half turn with neighbour, open out facing the other couple (men are home, women have swapped places) A2 (2) Pass through (right shoulder) (2) Take left hand with neighbour and swap places, women twirling under. Finish in ballroom hold facing the other couple (so facing partner) (4) Waltz past this couple to meet a new couple (now facing a shadow) B1 (4) Repeat the pass through and twirl neighbour to ballroom hold, facing this couple (4) Waltz past this couple to meet partner again B2 (4) Half ladies chain (to partner), ladies twirling under to ballroom hold (4) Waltz past this couple to meet a new couple The pass through and twirl to ballroom hold is a modified half rights and lefts: the pass through (without hands) means that the woman can easily turn toward neighbour, left hand at the ready, for the twirl. At the start of B1 you will be facing a shadow. That is, you will always see this person at this part of the dance.
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. But they don't rejoin their line, they face their line. This way they can go straight into a basket. Note that, after the basket, if the same person finishes in the middle then the 2 end people will be swapped. 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
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