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big circle (no need for partners)

32 bar jig (ALTAN: roaring water)

[]   In to the middle and back, twice

[]   Circle left

[]   One child chooses an animal and demonstrates the noise/action

[]   All make the noise and do the action



sicilian circle

32 bar polka (WHAPWEASEL: vinegar tom)

variation on “Buttered Peas”

[]   Circle left and right

[]   Star right and left (thumbs in!)

[]   With contrary, shake right hands, clap three times, then with left hands;

     Same do-si-do

[]   With partner, shake and clap – but do-si-don’t!  Instead, pass through to next couple



big circle

20 bar (LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: chain gang)

[4]   Set right and left, twice

[8]   Optional call – see below

[8]   Grand Chain, 4 changes taking 2 bars per change, to new partner

Optional calls - suggestions:

Left-hand turn;  right-hand turn

Do-si-do left shoulder; do-si-do right shoulder

Gypsy left shoulder; gypsy right shoulder

Chasse in to centre and out




longways 3 couples

32 bar waltz (MONTVILLE PROJECT: cabri waltz)

variation on “Come Let’s Be Merry” (Young c.1727 interpreted by Tom Cook)

[]   Top couple right-hand turn; honour and cast to middle

[]   Same couple left-hand turn; honour and cast to bottom

[]   Same couple waltz up to top and cast to middle

[]   All circle left halfway (with swoops in and out); two-hand turn partners halfway



sicilian circle

32 bar rag (KLOF: aunt hessie’s white horse)

[]   Couples right-hand star once around; Ladies continue into half-Ladies’ Chain

[]   Right & Left (3 changes, starting with Partner – who is opposite) into a line of four with men in centre (so men will pull ladies after the 3rd change in a complete turn)

[]   Men half-turn left, ends half-turn right, ladies half-turn left

      (partners now together)

[]   Swing Partner, end facing next couple

This dance can be adapted to fit a flowing 24-bar reel – by combining A2 and B1, if necessary shortening the swing



sicilian circle 

32 bar waltz (STEAMCHICKEN: constant billy)

Pat Shaw’s “Freda’s Fancy” changed to waltz time

[]   Couples advance & retire, slide diagonally right; 

      promenade counter-clockwise to place facing other way

[]   Repeat in this direction to end where the dance started

[]   Loop right shoulder around opposite person, then left shoulder around person behind (so making a figure-of-eight)

[]   Waltz on to the next couple



longways duple improper

32 bar reel (WHISKY COLL: duke of perth; jean kirpatrick's fancy; kinclaven brig)

[]   Dip & Dive 4 movements. 1st couples start by arching over 2nd couples.

      When (and if) reaching the end of the set, turn with California Twirl

[]   Continue Dip & Dive for another 4 movements.

[]   Keeping hold of partner’s nearer hand, men make left-hand arch across centre and guide the ladies under, bringing left arms down after ladies have crossed.  Then ladies turn to face each other and join right hands to make clover-circle; Rotate clockwise

[]   Keeping partner’s hand and releasing other, California Twirl to face in and set in

      lines; In fours, circle left ¾ to end facing up or down longways set.



square set

32 bar polka (RAYLEIGH COLLECTION: clarinet polka)

variation on Keith Baxter’s “Southchurch Square Dance”

[]   “Jellyfish”:  Head couples go forward and back AND Side couples do the same

      in-between, ALL maintaining a circle-hold throughout

[]   “Lasso”:  Men lasso ladies so ladies dance counter-clockwise around their standing partner (man’s right-hand holding lady’s left-hand); Then ladies lasso men clockwise

[]   “Rang Tang”:  Partners arm right, then arm left with Corner;

      Repeat, and stay with Corner (progression)

[]   Promenade new partner to man’s home position.



double sicilian circle

48 bar reel (HOGIAU'R GORORAU; gwenynen gwent)

[]   All eight circle left

[]   In fours:  Circle left; then two-hand turn opposite person

[]   Do-si-do partner right and left

[]   Right & Left through in fours (start with partner)

[]   Lines of four advance and retire;

      Advance again and retire in lines of four along the sides

[]   These new lines slide left, curling in to face up or down;

      Then all pass opposite person (right shoulder) to face new couples




32 bar reel (CLIMAX CEILIDH BAND: staten island)

Allocate numbers (ones and twos .. can also do threes and fours etc)

[]   Arm right and left

[]   Two-hand hold: gallop around the room

[]   Clap: own (twice), right (twice) own (twice) left (twice)

      own (twice) behind back (twice) own (twice) both hands with partner

[]   Call out random number –

          these dancers chase around the room and find a new partner.



sicilian threesome (double progression)

32 bar jig (FLORIDA: dory boat)

variation on “Three Meet”

[]   Lines of three advance and retire; Pass person opposite by the right shoulder, then pass those in the next trio by the left shoulder, turn and face this trio

[]   Repeat to original places

[]   In circles of six, circle left and right

[]   In trios, circle left while moving past two other trios (think of being at the bottom of an S-bend and work your way up to the top of it).  Face the next trio



longways 3 couples

32 bar reel (SCOTT HARVEY: dashing white sergeant; tushkar; marie pottinger's reel)

[]   Active (top) couple lead down centre, cast out below 2nd couple and come up between 3rd couple, then right-hand turn partner into a promenade hold moving up to 2nd  lady

[]   Active couple (as a unit) reel of three with second lady and 3rd man

[]   Active couple star left with 2nd man, then star right with 3rd lady

[]   Active couple cast out between 2nd and 3rd couples WHILE they do-si-do partner,  and active couple cast to bottom; All couples two-hand turn



(ROSSINI: william tell overture finale)

The Sibby Sausage Dance (see “Sausage Casserole”) is for sets of 4 couples.  Often, we would finish by getting the sets to join in very long lines, with the “sausage” figure done at breakneck speed first from the top of the set, then from the bottom. There would be preliminary heats, with the winning line then going for the world record!



longways 4 couples (1s & 3s improper)

48 bar polka (BURSLEDON VILLAGE BAND: webbs wonder’s polka)

[]   1st couple only do right-hand turn, then left-hand turn

[]   Top 2 couples star right and left

[]   Top 3 couples circle left and right

[]   Lines of four advance and retire; All cross over with partner by the right shoulder

[] []   1st couple dip-and-dive three moves to the bottom (start by going under arch made by 2nd couple) and swing (ending proper)

        WHILE other couples join in progressively and continue (after 1st couple have 

          reached the bottom) to end (2)3(4)1



longways 5 couples

48 bar jig (HEKETY: thankyou letter)

variation on “Waves Of Tory”

[]   Lines forward, slap right hand with partner, fall back; Middle couple right-hand turn WHILE end couples (in foursomes) right-hand star

[]   As A1, with left hands

[]   Top couple gallop down centre, and cast up outside to top

[]   Top couple gallop down (again), followed by other couples; Top couple make arch at bottom, and other couples go under arch, casting up outside to progressed places.

[] []   Dip and Dive from the top of the set (started by original 2nd couple).

          NB when at ends, start going under.

          Also, turn when reaching end with Califormia twirl



longways becket

32 bar jig (RODNEY MILLER: behind the haystack; darla's jig; myra's jig)

[]   Ladies dance figure-of-eight around men (start by crossing right shoulder)

[]   Men gate partner in complete circle; Ladies Chain half-way

[]   Men advance, stamp (like stags at the rut) and retire; Do-si-do partner

[]   Face partner and star-through, circle left ¾ and progress to left

     (men pull ladies to face next couple)



two longways sets of three couples

32 bar medley (DAVE SWARBRICK: white cockade; doc boyd's jig; durham rangers)

variation on Colin Hume’s “Sting In The Tail”

One set faces up, the other down (so men are in centre lines)

[]   On the right diagonal, do-si do and gypsy

[]   On the left diagonal, do-si-do left shoulder and gypsy left

[]   In lines of four across, full hey

[]   Promenade up and fall back, progress*

*To progress (I call “Cast, Curl, Lead”):

1st couples cast to middle places in current set

2nd couples lead up and curl to left to end at bottom of adjacent set

3rd couple lead up to top of current set



longways becket

32 bar polka (BURSLEDON VILLAGE BAND: gnevequilla polka; wednesday night polka)

[]   Men right-hand turn halfway, gather ladies who move in and under for a

      “Scandinavian Knot”

[]   Pass opposite person, star through with partner; Men start flutter-wheel

[]   Ladies’ Chain halfway;  Partners promenade across halfway

[]   On the right diagonal: Right-and-left halfway; Swing partner

Scandinavian Knot

This is usually started by men holding left hands. In this dance,the other hand is used so the figure proceeds:

Men are holding right hands, and their partner’s right hand in their left hand.

Men raise right hands to form an arch.

Ladies go under the arch, passing the other lady by the left shoulder, then immediately turn (clockwise) to face each other.

Men lower the arch and the ladies join left hands, making a “clover” formation.

In this formation, rotate clockwise



hands four

32 bar polka (BISMARCKS: jenny lind; over the hills and far away)

variation on “Scatter Promenade”

[]   Hands 4: Circle left and right

[]   Ladies’ Chain

[]   Set and swing contrary (new partner)

[]   Promenade away and join up in new foursome

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