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longways 4/5 couples

32 bar reel (FLORIDA: bernard in the cafe) [ ]

[]   Men pass partners by the left shoulder, turn to the left and in single file chase up to the top and down own side, to end inverted

[]   Ladies pass opposite person by the right shoulder, turn to the right and in single file chase up to the top and down own side, to end inverted

[]   Swing partner, and end facing up

[]   Top couple make an arch, and others lead up through the arch and cast down own sides

If you prefer to end the dance on the swing, start at B2

The dance can also be done by sets of 3 couples (leisurely) or 6 couples (frantically)



longways 4 couples (2s & 4s improper)

32 bar march (NEW VICTORY BAND: one more dance and then)

[]   In fours, star right; Ladies Chain halfway across

[]   Ladies Chain halfway across; In fours, star left

[]   Dixie-needle, start with 1st man going under arch, then 1st lady under arch for


[]  1st couple lead to bottom; All set, and cross with partner

Dixie-needle:  This is Thread The Needle with a Dixie twirl – so BOTH lines move



circles 3 witches

32 bar reel (GORDON PATULLO: flowers of edinburgh; miss monaghan; far from home)


[]   All march in (“eye of newt, and toe of frog”) and fall back;

      Set left and right, turn single left

[]   All march in (“wool of bat, and tongue of dog”) and fall back;

      Set left and right, turn single left.


[]   Circle right (“mingle, mingle, mingle”);

      Star left (holding an imaginary and enormous spoon!)


[]   All scatter and reform circles in new groups of three.

      (flying on broomsticks OR running randomly making witch-like shrieks)




32 bar waltz (PORTLAND SELECTION: pretty peggy) [ ]

[]   Step and honour right, then left; Swing partner with peasant hold (clockwise)

[]   Step and honour left, then right;

      Swing partner with peasant hold (counter-clockwise)

[]   Two-hand hold: sway and spin down and up

      (optionally, replace “spin” with “roll” – i.e. do not release hands)

[]   Two-hand hold: balance forward and back twice (optionally with kisses on cheeks); Two-hand turn (or waltz)

Peasant hold:

(Clockwise):  standing slightly to the left of partner, each put right arm round partner’s waist, and turn as a couple.

(Counter-clockwise): standing slightly to the right of partner, each put left arm around partner’s waist, and turn as a couple



circle 3 couples

32 bar hornpipe (SAWDUST BAND: broken hornpipe; rickett's hornpipe)

This dance is a variation on several similar ones, known variously as

Borrowdale Exchange, Dunedin Festival Dance, Kentucky Reel

[]   Circle left and right

[]   Right-hand turn with partner; Left-hand turn with corner

[]   Star right and left

[]   Releasing hands from the star, ladies slide to the right into a promenade hold with partner, couples promenade away from the circle and join up with two new couples 



longways becket (double progression)

32 bar jig (ALTAN: johnny boyle's; king of the pipers)

[]   California Twirl, then (going backwards) change places with opposite couple – couples on the men’s file make the arch; In fours, circle right (option: circle left halfway)

[]   Repeat to places (other couple will arch this time, and the circle goes to the left)

[]   Yearn (progression); With new opposite dancer, do-si-do

[]   Do-si-do partner; Swing partner

California Twirl:

Standing side by side, hold nearer hands (man’s right, lady’s left) and change places with the lady turning under the joined hands into her partner’s place WHILE the man moves in an arc to his lady’s place (both now facing in the opposite direction to how they started – i.e. facing away from the other couple in their foursome)


Looking from the top of the room (where the caller usually stands), the men’s file is on the right and the ladies’ file is on the left.


A figure attributed to George Walker, an American contra caller.

The easiest way to learn this is first to slide to the left (to end facing a new couple – except for two of the end couples who now face a blank space), then slide another place to the left (except for those two end couples who move across to the other side and turn as a couple).

If instead of the “slides” couples go forward diagonally left and then backwards diagonally left, this is the “Yearn” figure.



longways duple improper

32 bar reel (RODNEY MILLER: sail away ladies)

This started as a variation on “Galloway House”

[]  Circle left and right, opening to line of 4 facing down with 1st couple in the centre

[]   Line leads down, ends turn as couples; Line leads up, curl to face across

[]   Men cross (right shoulder), then ladies same; Do-si-do partner

[]   With next couple: Five changes, starting right-hand with partner.



line dance

64 step reel (RAY PARKER JR: ghostbusters)

1-4               Step forward on left foot, lock right foot behind left, step back on right

foot, close left foot to right

5-8              Slide to left, twice

9-12       Vine to the right (step right to side, left foot behind, step right to side, close)

13-16      Shimmy (shake body, moving down and up … or raise arms and “whoo”)

17-32     Repeat 1-16

33-36     Step forward on left foot, brush right foot and step forward and..

37-40     Cross left foot in front of right, pivot turn half-way

41-48         Repeat 33-40 but starting on the right foot

49-52           Jazz Box (Step forward on left foot, cross right foot in front, step 

   back on left foot, and step to side on right)

53-56         Repeat Jazz Box

57-60           Clap four times

61-64          Spin round counter-clockwise ¾ to end facing ladies’ wall



square set

40 bar reel (DANELAW: lt. shortland’s reel)

This is really a dance for five couples, with the fifth couple starting in the centre of the set, facing up.  However, this fifth couple are ghosts, so cannot be seen.

Active couple is the couple in the centre of the set

[]   All in promenade hold, active couple does reel of three with Head couples, started by passing 1st couple by the left shoulder

[]   Active couple does reel of three with Side couples, started by passing 4th couple by the right shoulder

[]   Active couple change places with 1st couple, passing left shoulder (promenade hold), then that original 1st couple change with 4th couple … Who change with 3rd couple, who change with 2nd couple

[]   Centre couple do-si-do and gypsy WHILE others circle right and left

[]   All swing partners



sicilian circle

32 bar jig (RODNEY & RANDY MILLER: maggie brown's favorite; shetland boston)

[]   In fours, star right and left

[]   Do-si-do left shoulder with your contrary; Do-si-do right shoulder with your partner

[]   Butterfly arches with opposite couple; Reverse butterfly arches with couple behind

[]   Swing partner, moving counter-clockwise around opposite couple once-and-a-

half, to end facing a new couple.

Butterfly arches:

Face other couple and hold partner’s hand.  Couples facing counter-clockwise make arch and go over the opposite couple, who move forward under the arch; then go back (with the other couple arching) but without turning around.

For the reverse butterfly with the couple standing behind you, do the same movements but start going backwards.


The left-shoulder do-si-do is sometimes called “seesaw”



longways 9 couples

24 bar jig (OLD SWAN BAND: bonnets so blue; starry night for a randy; uncles jig)

[]   Those who can, do-si-do left shoulder on the left diagonal;

      Those who can, do-si-do right shoulder on the right diagonal

[]   In three group of three couples, grimstock hey

[]   Top couple gallop to bottom

      WHILE other couples swing as soon as they have been passed.



square set

32 bar reel (3D: english reels)

[]   Balance (twice); Swing partner

[]   1st couple “House” (i.e. dance around the inside of the set)

[]   Head couples cross (1s arch), then Sides cross (2s arch);

      Repeat to places, other couples arching

[]   Promenade



longways 3 couples (2s improper)

32 bar reel (SIBBY: leaving of liverpool)

variation on “Leaving Of Liverpool”

[]   Lines forward and back; Middle couple lead up centre and cast round top to place

[]   Lines forward and back; Middle couple lead down and cast round bottom to place

[]   All hold hands and circle to left, then to right

[]   Top couple cross, cast below middle couple, cross again and cast to bottom

      WHILE other couples do-si-do partner and cross over to opposite side



threesomes circle

24 bar rant + 8 bar final phrase of “Oranges & Lemons”

[]   Holding hands in lines of three: March forward 4 steps, back 4 steps;

      Forward 8 steps

[]   Lady swings right-hand man by right arm; Then left-hand man by left arm

[]   Lady steps (rant) with each man in turn (start with right-hand man)

[]   Men take two-hand hold to form a tunnel round the room:

      Ladies progress through tunnel to a random new pair of men

          (on the phrase “ chop off your head”)



square set

64 bar american reel 

more challenging than the version in SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

[]   Active couples promenade around the outside of the set (counter-clockwise)

[]   Same couples go round second time, arching over the standing couples

[]   Allemande left corner; Grand Chain ...

[]   ... and swing partner.

[]   Holding hands in circle, go forward and back;

      Balance left & right, and ladies roll left one place

[]   Repeat figure 5

[]   Active couples Ladies’ Chain (full) WHILE others Ladies’ Chain halfway in-between

[]   All promenade (counter-clockwise)


Heads (with Partners);  Sides (with Partners);

Heads (with original opposites);  Sides (with original opposites)



square set

32 bar polka (RATTLE ON HE STOVEPIPE: over the waterfall)

[] []   Circular strip the willow, started by 1st man and 3rd lady with right-hand turn*

[]   Side couples promenade halfway round outside; then right-and-left halfway across

[]   All 8 circle left and right

*The general direction of the active dancers is counter-clockwise (although it seems to start clockwise!), turning only dancers of the opposite sex.

So 1st man and 3rd lady turn each other once-and-a-quarter in the centre, then go to their Corner for a left-hand turn;

then turn in the centre three-quarters (right), and turn own partner (left);

then turn in the centre three-quarters (right), and turn remaining dancer (left);

then turn in the centre once-and-a-quarter (or more!) and fall back to home places.

Next time, the figure is danced by 2nd man and 4th lady;

Then 3rd man and 1st lady;

Then 4th man and 2nd lady



big circle

32 bar jig (HEKETY: jake's jig; battleswing)

[]   Holding hands in circle, slip to the left

[]   Keep partner’s hand held (man’s right to lady’s left) and turn to face outwards, the lady going under the man’s arm. Set forward and back. Release hold for gypsy figure, moving clockwise around partner, and end facing the next person around the circle (the one on the other side to your partner when you started the gypsy figure)

[]   Make three changes of a grand chain, with hand-shakes: Shake right-hands with the person you face, and pass by to face the next, shake left-hands and pass by to the next, shake right-hands and pass by to the next – and this one you “honour” and take in a ballroom hold

[]   Gallop away (do not gallop in a circle) anywhere in the room, but get back in a random position in a Big Circle in time to start again.




reel “Viva Espana”

Verse                Couples march (proudly) side-by-side 1-2-1-2-3 and turn.

Repeat to place.

Then man kisses lady’s hand (passionately) and spins her round on

the spot.

Chorus             Right-hand turn;

Gypsy halfway clockwise (clapping hands in air).

Repeat to left (turn and gypsy),

Hold right hands: Man drops to knee (romantically) and lady walks

around him (disdainfully, or mysteriously, or however she


Man rises and swings partner



circle 9 dancers

32 bar reel (LEAHY: alabama)

Dancers are numbered 1-9 and retain their numbers throughout the dance

[]   Slip circle left and right

[]   All forward to centre and shout “bank”, then fall back;

     Set and turn single – lowest numbered dancer ends facing counter-clockwise and

      others face clockwise.

[]  Progressive reel, started by lowest numbered dancer passing the facing dancer by the right shoulder

[] Continue the reel to whatever final position is reached by the end of the music,

      which will stop.

One dancer is eliminated at random (“Number x, you are the weakest link; goodbye”) and leaves the floor

For the final time, when there are two dancers left, the sequence is:

2-hand turns; balances, set and turn single; do-si-do and gypsy right; do-si-do and gypsy left.

After the final elimination, the “winner” skips a lap of honour to the extra 8 bars



longways duple improper

32 bar reel (RODNEY & RANDY MILLER: lamplighters; kildare fancy)

variation on Tony Parkes’ “Shadrack’s Delight”

[]   Do-si-do contrary, then move forward by right shoulders to form wavy line across the set; Balance, right-hand turn halfway at ends and reform wave

[]   Balance, men left-hand turn halfway;

      Swing partner, ending in promenade hold, men in centre

[]   Promenade in the direction you face, turn as a couple;

      Promenade back, and men turn ladies three-quarters to face across

[]   Ladies’ Chain halfway; Right-and-Left halfway. Face new couple

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