English Country Dances (Tried and True)

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Master List of All Dances

Duple minor longways

Triple minor longways

Three-couple set

Four-couple set

Circle mixer


After the Rain ****
October 2021
Four-couple longways
Tune: Bluebell Knoll, by Rachel Bell

A In fours:
1-4 Face across, take near hand with neighbor: set and link
5-8 Partners taking right hands, balance forward and back, and change places as in Duke of Kent’s Waltz
9-12 Repeat A 1-4: near hand with neighbor, and set and link
13-16 Circle left once round (all are now improper)
B 1-2 All who can, change places on the right diagonal by right hand
3-4 Similarly, change places on the left diagonal by left hand
5-8 Repeat B1 1-4 from these positions (ending in 4-3-2-1 order)
9-12 Half poussette counterclockwise as follows: begin in fours, but end couples poussette around two such that top couple ends in 3rd place and bottom couple in 2nd place
13-16 Partners 2-hand turn, ease out to line and take new neighbor’s inside hand

Ends in 3-1-4-2 order. Repeat 3 times more to place.

At the end of bar 8 of B, end couples can notice that one person is in motion and the other is not. To begin the poussette, the moving dancer goes forward, and their partner goes back. If you are a middle couple, you are both moving, so if you are not confident about which way is counterclockwise take your cue from the nearer end couple (with whom you trade places).

Both the tune and dance were written to celebrate the health of Sharon Cassidy from Rochester, NY.

After the Rain ***
Duple minor longways variation

A 1-16 As above
B 1-2 First diagonals change places by right hand
3-4 All cross set, passing opposite by right shoulder, and loop right to face in
5-6 New right diagonals change places by right hand
7-8 All cross set by right shoulder (passing partner) and loop right to face in
9-12 Partners back to back
13-16 Partners 2-hand turn, ease out to line and take new neighbor’s inside hand

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After the Storm **
Duple minor longways
July 2017
Tune: After the Storm, by David Smukler

A1 Couple 1:
1-4 Set and turn single
5-8 Take right hands: Assisted half figure-8 down
A2 Couple 2:
1-4 Set and turn single
5-8 Take right hands: Assisted half figure-8 up, continuing around neighbor to end in the middle of a line-of-4 facing up
B1 1-2 Line dance up the hall with two waltz steps
3-4 Fall back, bending the line into a ring
5-8 Circle left all the way around
B2 1-2 Second diagonals (original 1st corners) change places, passing right shoulders
3-4 First diagonals the same
5-8 Twos cast and lead while ones lead and cast

For the assisted half figure-8, the person on the right (a first corner, whose arm is across own body) “hands” their partner into crossing the set while moving down or up, and then follows up with their own path in the half figure-8. This was intentional. I wrote the dance using gendered role terms, and my idea was that the two roles should have equal opportunities. Since the dance was written to celebrate a wedding this felt important to me.

In A2 6-8, ones can choose to cast out to the ends of the line-of-4.

Written to celebrate the wedding of two strong individuals: Jennifer Fuller and Jonathan Avery.

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Always Possible ****
Duple minor longways
Tune: Kill Him With Kindness (in Barnes I)

A1 1 Neighbors lead out of the set
2 Neighbors gate clockwise halfway to face in (or California twirl)
3-4 Begin to cross the set passing partner by right shoulder; those who can catch left hands, turn half and lead out to original place, while others finish crossing over to the other side (all are next to partner facing out)
A2 1-4 Repeat A1 to place — leading out with partners, turning as two, and crossing or catching left hands — to end at home; then all turn over right shoulder into…
B 1-2 Single file clockwise halfway
3-4 Turn single over left shoulder and face neighbor on the side
5-7 Three changes of rights and lefts, starting with neighbor
8 Honor new neighbor

I originally created this variation of the 18th century dance, Kill Him With Kindness, as an improper dance, but have written these directions without reference to specific gender roles. The tune is in 3/2 time — three steps to the bar.

The title comes from a sentiment attributed to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

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Bastille Day ***
June 2020/August 2023
Duple minor longways
Tune: Peace Walk, by Debbie Jackson

A1 1-4 Circle left halfway, keeping neighbor’s hand fall back to line
5-8 Partners set and turn single
A2 1-4 Circle left halfway to home, keeping partner’s hand (and facing up or down) fall back a step
5-8 Neighbors right-hand turn once around, ending in long wavy lines (first corners facing in and second corners out)
B 1-2 Maintaining the wave, balance gently forward and back
3-4 “Box circulate,” re-forming long waves, as follows:
First corners (who are facing in) dance straight across to partner’s place
Meanwhile second corners (facing out) turn over right shoulder into neighbor’s place as if doing a right-hand turn halfway
5-8 Balance again and repeat the box circulate with other corners crossing or turning to right (this time do not form a new wave)
9-12 First corners change places; second corners the same
13-16 Three changes of a circular hey, partners pass right to begin
Tag (last time only)
1-2 Partners step right and honor
3-4 Facing the presence, all step left and honor

Debbie Jackson sent me “Peace Walk” for a dance I was writing to celebrate the birth of my second grandson, and I instantly fell in love with it. Later she sent the tune to Karen Axelrod and the two of them played it “together” (Karen live with Debbie on the BOSE speaker) during Karen’s “In the Moment” FaceBook event on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, which by happy coincidence was the very day Leo was born!

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Distances ****
December 2020
Duple minor longways
Tune: Distances by Dave Wiesler, © 2020, 4 steps per bar

A1 1-2 Partners “swirly” siding (starting left shoulder)
3-4 Two changes of rights and lefts
5-6 Partners 2-hand turn once around, open out to face neighbor on the side
A2 1-2 Neighbors right shoulder swirly siding
3-4 Second corners change places passing left shoulders;
First corners change places passing right shoulders (and turn in to face partner; first corners will go forward in the poussette)
5-6 Partners poussette clockwise 3/4 into a line facing up
B1 1-2 Line-of-4 up a double and back, face partner
3-4 Half hey-for-4: partners pass right shoulder to begin, end facing down
B2 1-2 Line-of-4 down a double and back; maintaining line across all face the center
3-5 Middles (original second corners) dance right shoulder around each other and out to own side. There they briefly stand pat, offering a supportive right hand to the approaching neighbor and facing up or down. As the neighbor arrives, they back up to gate their neighbor 3/4. Meanwhile…The end two (original first corners) give the middles a 4-count head start, and then dance an “Ƨ” pattern starting with a clockwise arc to cross the set and ending with a counterclockwise gate turn with their neighbor.

Bars 3-5 in B2 are not difficult, but they are unusual enough that they are likely to require careful teaching. In the first two bars all get back to own line, left-file dancers facing up and right-file dancers facing down. The gate turn 3/4 happens on the last bar and leaves all progressed. Note that first and second corners have very different roles. Awareness of what others are doing will help dancers be ready when their roles change at the ends of the set.

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Doctor Fauci’s Return ****
February 2021
Duple minor longways
Tune: Doctor Fauci’s Return, by Debbie Jackson, © 2021, 3 steps per bar

A1 1-3 Circle left
4 Partners cross passing right shoulders
5 Loop left to face back in
6-8 Partners left-shoulder back-to-back
A2 1-3 Circle right
4 Partners cross passing left shoulders
5 Loop right to face back in
6-8 Partners right-shoulder back-to-back
B1 1-2 First corners change places (3 steps to cross, 3 to loop to face back in)
3-4 Second corners the same
5-6 Partners the same
7-8 Ones cast up while twos lead down (all are home)
B2 Modified Petit Fours and Progress
  Ones: Twos:
1 Pass by right shoulder and immediately face down Fall back
2 Lead down the center Come up the outside
3 Fall back Pass by right shoulder and immediately face down
4 Come up the outside Lead down the center
5-6 Cross and cast down one place California twirl and lead up
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn Partners 2-hand turn

“Petit Fours” in B2 are a variation on the figure Gary Roodman invented for his wonderful dance, Mary Kay.

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Doctor Morris’s Fancy *****
May 2019
Duple minor longways
Tune: Naja’s Waltz, by Fredrik Sjølin (3/4 time, AAB, 14 bar A-part, 20-bar B-part)
Please email me if you need a copy of the tune

A1 In A1, “#1R” (first dancer on right file) is the leader
1-2 #1R set to partner (then cast into…)
3-4 All four dance single file clockwise halfway (to corner’s place)
5-8 Leader with both opposites: right-hand star, once around
9-10 Each dancer releases the star in turn: leader loops left to cast around standing neighbor; leader’s partner follows but the next does not, instead looping to the right into #1R place
11-12 Leader (now in second place) cross the set as partner finishes the cast 
13-14 Ones: left-hand turn halfway, fall back to line
(All are progressed and crossed over)
A2 (Repeat A1 with roles reversed; new #1R is now the leader)
1-2 New leader set to partner and cast into…
3-4 All four dance single file clockwise halfway (all back in original place)
5-8 Leader with both opposites: right-hand star, once around
9-10 Leader loops left to cast around standing neighbor; partner follows, original #1R loops right into home place
11-12 Leader cross the set as partner finishes the cast
13-14 Twos: left-hand turn halfway, fall back to line (all are home)
B 1-4 Taking hands-4, balance the ring; Petronella turn one place to the right, spinning halfway more to face out
5-8 Partners lead away, California twirl (see note), and lead back
9-12 Balance in a ring; Petronella turn one place to the right, end facing partner and give right hand
13-14 Partners balance forward and back
15-16 Two changes of rights and lefts
17-20 Ones cross and cast down while twos 2-hand turn halfway and lead up

Petronella turn: Within your ring-of-4, all move one place to the right while turning single over right shoulder. For the first of these, spin ~1½ times, enough to end facing out. For the second one, spin ~once to face in.

California twirl: Each couple makes an arch, the leader from the A-part is on the right and dives under the arch while their partner dances behind them such that partners have changed places and changed direction.

For Bob Morris and Pat Hanley.

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Eliza Doolittle Day ***
April 2020
Duple minor longways
Tune: John’s March, by John Wobus

A1 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Partners back-to-back
A2 1-4 Circle right once around
5-8 Neighbors left shoulder back-to-back
B 1-4 Ones cross and cast down one place while twos meet and lead up
5-8 Twos cross and cast, and into the center of a line-of-4 facing up while
Ones lead up and cast out to the ends of the line
9-10 Up the hall 4 steps
11-12 Set to the presence
13-14 Fall back, ends closing in to form a ring
15-16 Circle left halfway (change hands with your partner to form a ring with the next neighbors)

Created on the twentieth of May (hence the title) 2009. Revised April, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Gap ***
October 2020
Duple minor longways
Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch
Video from 2/4/2024 in Rochester, NY

A1 1-2 All change places on right diagonal passing right shoulders, end facing up or down
3-4 Fall back along the line into partner’s place (two single steps)
5-8 Original foursomes, star right hands across, once around
A2 1-4 Similarly, all change places on left diagonal passing left shoulders, and fall back to original place
5-6 Original foursomes circle left halfway
7-8 Partners 2-hand turn halfway, end facing up
B 1-4 Half double figure-8, ones cross up and twos cast down to begin
5-8 Twos gate the ones once around
9-10 Retaining neighbor’s hand and facing across; step right and honor
11-12 Releasing hands, cross the set passing left shoulder
13-16 Same four star left hands across, end by easing out to lines (second corners begin next round by passing right shoulder with the same person whose left hand they had in this star)

The diagonal action in the A-parts followed by falling back is chevron-like, but not actually a chevron. All do the same things at the same time and dancers are really facing more or less up or down the set the entire time (so, there is less a sense of changing direction). Here are some other guidelines:

  • The diagonal change is always down for those starting the dance on L-file, and always up for those starting on R-file.
  • First corners change places with current corner, but second corners change places with former corner. This gives the second corners a greater challenge. The star and circle are with the current neighbors behind them, not those with whom they just interacted.
  • When a diagonal change sends you out of the set at either end, dance it anyway with a “ghost” to end up in the correct place for the moves that follow.
  • Neutral couples at either end may choose to stay out of the action altogether, but one of you will have a diagonal approaching you to change places. If you are that person, you may support by participating in the two chevron-like figures. Those are the only figures that will need you. Your partner will have a similar opportunity at the opposite end of the set, and can be helpful now by simply standing aside, out of the way.)

If twos face in as the double half figure-8 ends, they naturally offer the correct hand for the gate.

Note about the tune: This is a slow air. Typically, it would be played rubato, but for the dance it must be played with a regular beat. The pace of dancing is slow and stately. Encourage dancers to use as much space as possible and focus on matching movements to the musical phrase.

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Heartsore ***
July 2018
Duple minor longways
Tune: Heartsore, adapted from Tjønneblomen (Water Lilies) by Gjermund Haugen

A 1-4 First corners set right and left
Trade places passing right shoulders
5-8 Second corners the same
9-12 All four circle left halfway; turn single left
13-16 Left hands across star halfway and turn single right
B 1-4 Partners back-to-back
5-8 Two changes of rights and lefts (start by giving right hand to partner)
9-12 Partners back to back again
13-16 Partners 2-hand turn 1-1/2, end facing down
C 1-8 Full double figure 8 (ones cross down and twos cast up to start)
9-10 Ones lead down while twos cast up
11-12 Partners 2-hand turn halfway

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Jeanne’s Joy ***
May 2019
Duple minor longways, originally written as improper
Tune: Whitehall Minuet (Playford, 1701)

A1 1-4 All set to partner and turn single
5-8 Partners back-to-back
A2 1-4 All set to neighbor and turn single
5-8 Neighbors right-hand turn 1-1/2
B1 1-3 Chase: Single file clockwise halfway around, curl in to face partner
4 Partners 2-hand turn, just halfway, into…
5-8 Draw poussette clockwise halfway, end facing up
B2 1-8 Twos cast down (2 bars), half figure-8 (4), and lead up (2); while
Ones lead up and cast back (4 bars), then half figure-8 up (4)

Composed for Jeanne and Jon Gehret. I originally created this as an improper dance, but have written these directions without reference to specific gender roles.

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Kayner’s Charms **
March 2021
Duple minor longways
Tune: New Dawn, New Day by David Allen Kaynor

A1 1-4 Neighbors set and turn single
5-8 Neighbors 2-hand turn 1-1/2, changing places
A2 1-4 Partners set and turn single
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn 1-1/2, changing places
B1 1-4 Circle left once around
5-8 Partners back-to-back
B2 1-4 Neighbors back-to-back
5-8 Three changes of rights and lefts, starting with neighbor

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Lisa’s Maggot ***
September 2010
By Carmen Giunta and David Smukler
Duple minor longways
Tune: Max, by Charlene Thomson

A1 1-4 Ones cross and go below one place
5-8 Next twos gate the ones down
A2 1-4 Ones half figure-8 down throught the same twos
5-8 Original twos gate the ones up
B1 1-16 Original foursome, full double figure-8 (ones cross up and twos cast down to begin)
B2 1-4 Ones back-to-back
5-8 Ones 2-hand turn

Created by Carmen with a few contributions by me, the dance honors Lisa Brown–historian, dance mistress, and Jane Austen aficionado–who loves maggots. Huzzah!

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Local Produce ***
January 2022
Duple minor longways
Tune: Sage Hen Waltz by Tim Ball

A 1-4 Facing corners, all set forward and turn single to place
5-6 Right-hand star halfway, pulling in close at the end of the phrase
7-8 A large turn single left, into…
B1 1-4 Swirly siding, partners passing left to begin
5-8 Ones lead up, cast back, and lead to the center of a line-of-4; while
Twos cast down, lead up, and cast out to the ends of the line
(Ones in center, all improper)
C 1-4 Dance up the hall 5 steps and pause; fall back, “flip” on last beat to face down, turning toward neighbor
5-8 Similarly, dance down the hall and fall back to place (end facing down, no flip)
B2 1-2 Twos gate the ones 3/4 to face across (ones above)
3-4 Partners 2-hand turn halfway, fall back (all home)
5-8 Taking inside hands with neighbor, set and link

The tune was named for the Sage Hill Farm in Lodi, NY, where dancers Margaret Shepard and John Henderson grow wholesome veggies—including ~80 varieties of garlic—using sustainable practices, nurture free-ranging chickens and bees, and maintain a large orchard of apple and various other fruit trees.

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Master Barton’s Arrival ***
February 2018
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Argos Inn, by Rachel Bell

A1 1-2 Ones cast down one place as the twos lead up
3-4 Ones half figure 8 up through the twos
5-6 Twos cast down one place as the ones lead up
7-8 Twos half figure 8 up through the ones
A2 1-4 1st corners (on second diagonal) left-hand turn 1-1/2, trading places
5-8 2nd corners (right diagonals) right-hand turn 1-1/2
(All are now in progressed place)
B1 1-3 Circle left (use 9 steps, going between three-quarters and once round depending on group)
4 Turn single left
5-7 Left-hand star back to progressed place
8 Turn single right
B2 1-2 Starting with partner, two changes of rights and lefts with hands
3-4 Three quick changes without hands, continue to face out
5-6 Lead away with neighbor
7-8 Return and cross the set by the right shoulder
9-10 Partners 2-hand turn once around

B2 is modeled on Peter and Peggy by Gary Roodman, a dance I love.

Rachel Bell generously created a tune for me to use to write a dance for my first grandson. What a spirited welcome to Isaac Benedick Smukler Barton (born September 19, 2015)! My dance Just Born, More Later was also written for Isaac.

I’ve revised this dance twice. In the summer of 2017 I changed the A-parts from “Trip to Paris” spins to the current form. Then, on February 7, 2018, I made one, small, final adjustment.

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Mrs. McAfee’s Gardens **
May 2019
Duple minor longways
Tune: Le Cultivateur, by Benoit Bourque

A1 1-4 Starting with neighbor, two changes of rights and lefts
5-8 First corners go once around by right shoulder
A2 1-4 Starting with partner, two changes of rights and lefts
5-8 Second corners go once around by left shoulder
B1 1-4 Half poussette counterclockwise
5-8 New neighbors, right-hand star
B2 1-4 Partners 2-hand turn
5-8 Original neighbors, left-hand star

For Cheryl and Tom McAfee.

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On Eagle’s Wings **
November 2020
Duple minor longways
Tune: The Noon Moose of Maine, by Andrea Beaton, 4 steps per bar (mostly…)

A1 1-2 Ones cross and cast down while twos lead up and turn out
3-4 Mirror hand turns, ones between twos to begin
5-6 Ones back-to-back
7-8 Ones 2-hand turn
A1 1-2 Twos cross and cast down while ones lead up and turn out
3-4 Mirror hand turns, twos between ones to begin
5-6 Twos back-to-back
7-8 Twos 2-hand turn
B 1-2 Down the hall 4 steps, turning toward neighbor at the end of bar 1 to face up; fall back 4 steps to keep moving down the hall
3-4 Up the hall 4 steps, turning again at the end of bar 3 to face down; fall back 4 steps moving up the hall, end by “bending the line” (ones release hands and back out)
5 All cross the set passing partner by the right, and re-form the line facing up with ones still in the center
6-7 Line dance up (4 counts), honor the presence (2), and fall back (4)
8 Neighbors gate, ones going forward, to end progressed

Bar 6 of the B-part has an extra 2 counts, just enough for a small bow to acknowledge the “presence” Although this creates a pause in the dancing…
(1) Let musicians know there is no additional ritard (i.e., that note is held for exactly 2 extra beats), and
(2) let dancers know that there is not enough time to “step and honor”; it is simply a brief honor.

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Rainy Day Walk **
September 2021
Duple minor longways
Tune: Rowing from Isla to Uist

A1 1-4 Partners back-to-back
5-8 Neighbors back-to-back
A2 1-4 First corners cross by right; second corners the same
5-8 Circle left once around
B1 1-2 Neighbors lead out, then turn to face each other
3-4 Neighbors set
5-8 Come back and cross set, passing partner by right shoulder; loop right to face in
B2 1-8 Four changes of rights and lefts, starting with partner

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String Figures ****
July 2023
Duple minor longways
Tune: Barefield Waltz, by Elvie Miller

Begin with all four dancers in a line on the first diagonal, first corners facing in on that diagonal and second corners between them facing out. All are facing partner with right hands joined.

A “Celtic Knot”
1-2 Partners balance forward and back
~3-5 Partners pass right shoulder; those now in the center go left shoulder round 3/4, while others orbit 1/4 clockwise (crossing the set to their home), so that all are now on the second diagonal facing partner in or out
~6-8 Pass partner again [no balance]; those now in the center go left shoulder round 3/4, while others orbit 1/4 clockwise (dancing up or down the set), putting all back on the first diagonal with original line inverted
9-16 Repeat bars 1-8 from these positions, starting with the balance and ending in original places on first diagonal
B 1-4 First corners, followed by their partners, single file 3/4 until all are in progressed places, facing partner squarely across the set
5-8 Partners 2-hand turn and ease out to lines
9-10 Right shoulder to right shoulder siding using 2 small waltz steps for partners to come into the center
11-12 Turn single left back to the side lines
13-16 Siding by left shoulders in 2 waltz steps, and turn single right, spiraling into the diagonal line with new neighbors; partners take right hands

The Celtic knot figure is adapted from a similar figure in Kathy Anderson’s contra dance: “Tropical Gentleman.” Throughout the figure, your partner is your anchor; always come back to face partner.

The A-part happens on the two diagonals. To set up the first diagonal, have first corners face each other and take a small step back. Then second corners step in and face their partners to form the line-of-4 on the first diagonal. In the B-part you come into lines facing across, until the end of the B brings you back to the first diagonal. Neutral couples waiting out at either end should participate in the second half of the B-part: siding and turning single, in order to help establish the next first diagonal.

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It Is a Gallant Town ***
May 2016
Triple minor longways
Tune: Portsmouth (in Barnes I)

A1 1-8 Crossover mirror heys-for-3
A2 1-8 Cross back and hey, ending with all on original side
B1 1-4 Ones go straight across the set (passing right shoulders) and down the outside one place, as twos meet and lead up
5-8 Ones half figure eight up through the twos
B2 1-4 Ones between the threes: mirror hand turns 
5-8 Ones between the twos: mirror hand turns

There is a triple minor version of Portsmouth in the Neal Collection that begins with a crossover hey. I created this modification, drawing on both the duple and triple versions. Later, I learned that a very similar sequence had been devised by Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett several years before my dance. Theirs (We’ll Bed and We’ll Weed) appears in their collection Impropriety III. The only difference in the choreography is in the progression (B1), and both progressions are fairly standard. However, the tunes are quite different, so each dance has a unique feel.

The crossing over in each A part can be for the ones only as in Prince William, or (for greater challenge) all three couples can do it, each crossing in turn as they reach the top.

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Hope Reclaimed ****
March 2021
Three-couple longways
Tune: Hope Comes in Threes by Dave Wiesler, © 2021

A1 1-4 Ones cast out, others follow them into mirror stars
(left-hand star on L-file; right-hand on R-file)
5-8 As ones meet at the bottom, begin to successively “swap the stars”: each pair cross up by left shoulder to join other star with other hand
As ones meet again, take partner’s near hand to lead up into . . .
(others are completing the second star and will follow the ones into the next figure)
A2 1-4 – Ones: lead up above top of set and a big cast down to 2nd place;
– Twos: meet, lead up to the top and turn single away; and
– Threes: complete second star, meet to face up, and turn single away into 3rd place
(end improper in 2-3-1 order)
5-8 Partners set and turn single right
B 1-3 All six, circle left halfway, into . . .
4 Cross the set (passing partner by right) and take hands in lines-of-3 facing out
5-6 Lines-of-3 lead out four steps and pause
7-8 Lines set right and left
9-12 Releasing hands, loop over right shoulder, and 2-hand turn with partner 1-1/2 to own side, end facing up

Ends in 3-1-2 order. Repeat twice more to place.

A1 is borrowed from a square dance figure called, “Venus and Mars” (also used by Roger Whynot in his dance T.A.G.). It should feel like a cascade. Pairs enter and leave the stars one by one in turn. The pattern feels more coherent if dancers maintain the star they’ve got until it is time to cross and join the new one.

Similarly, in the first four bars of A2, pairs come out of the second star one by one. Ones need a large sweep to fill four measures with their cast to 2nd place. Twos follow them up but remain at the top with a mirror turn single. And threes turn out from the star to end back at the bottom. Each pair is doing a version of a large mirror turn single up the hall. Use space to fill the music. Note also that the result of this figure is that ones and twos have changed places.

At the end of A2, the original ones (now the middle couple) can make their turn single wide, ending farther from the center to create a rounder circle. The circle goes just halfway in 9 steps. Encourage dancers to pace themselves so that they continue without stopping into the pass through.

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Love’s Triumph ***
DM II: 1 (1710); my interpretation May 2021
Three-couple longways (originally triple minor; final figure adapted for progression)
Tune in Barnes I

A1 1-2 Ones and twos meet (dance forward a double toward corner)
3-4 Turn single back to place
5-8 Same four circle left halfway, 2-hand turn partner halfway
A2 1-8 Ones and threes repeat A1 (ending 2-3-1 order)
B1 1-2 Ones cast up to middle place, threes leading down
3-6 Ones only, back-to-back…
7-8 …and turn single right
9-16 Ones and twos, four changes of rights and lefts, starting with partner
B2 1-2 Ones right-hand turn with first corner about 3/4
3-4 Ones right-hand turn with that person’s partner about 3/4 more, ending with all on own side in 2-1-3 order
5-8 Partners all back-to-back
9-12 Ones lead up through twos and cast back to place
13-16 Ones lead down to bottom and turn single away while threes do a wide cast up into middle place

Ends in 2-3-1 order. Repeat twice more to place.

The ones’ path at the top of B2 is a clockwise triangle. Both turns are by right hand, and all end where they began.

Love’s Triumph has already been interpreted by Bernard Bentley, Fried de Metz Herman, Philippe Callens, Colin Hume, Scott Higgs, and others. My version largely follows Colin Hume’s 2007 interpretation, because I liked how he neatly solved the problem of returning 2s and 3s to their original side, something not specified in the original directions.

I chose to re-interpret Love’s Triumph because none of the authors mentioned above manage to include the final “Back to Back with your Partners,” which is clearly indicated in the original directions (see highlighting above). I accomplish this by making the two preceding turns just 4 counts each. Using right hand twice in a row makes for smooth flow despite fairly quick turns. I also note a small difference in the original directions between the two instances of back-to-back. The first reads, “Back to Back with your Partner” (singular), and the second is “…with Partners” (plural). So, in this interpretation, the first back-to-back, in B1, is for the ones only, while the second, in B2, is for all.

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Behind the Mask ***
December 2020
Four-couple longways
Tune: La Pipe, by Daniel Roy

A1 1-2 Foursomes single file clockwise one place
3-4 Balance into the center and back
5-8 Repeat
A2 1-4 Neighbors lead out a couple steps, gate turn halfway and return
5-8 Partners right-hand turn 1-1/2 (all are home)
B1 1-4 Single file clockwise halfway around entire set (skipping), face partner across
5-8 Partners back-to-back
B2 1-4 Single file counterclockwise to home (skipping), in fours face neighbor up or down
5-8 Neighbors left-shoulder back-to-back
C1 1-2 Top four circle left halfway
3-4 Same partners change places across
5-8 Middle four repeat
C2 1-4 Bottom four repeat
5-8 Partners all set and turn single

The gate turn in A2 is counterclockwise: right-hand person forward; left backs up.

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Banjo’s Mistress **
December 2007
Circle mixer
Tune: Joyce R’s Waltz, by Bob McQuillen

A 1-2 Holding hands in one big circle, all dance forward two waltz steps
3-4 And back out
5-8 Circle left
9-12 Forward and back again
13-14 Half slow chassé to trade places with partner (with two single steps, right-hand person sliding left in front and left-hand person sliding right behind)
15-16 Take promenade position with the next and do a courtesy turn 3/4 to face counterclockwise in pairs
B 1-4 These new partners promenade
5-6 Face partner and fall back (into or out from the center)
7-8 Balance to the right and left
9-12 Coming forward, partners back to back, ending in waltz position
13-16 Partners waltz, end by opening up to face the center

This dance was originally composed May 3, 2004. It was slightly altered and retitled on December 19, 2007, to fit with a Bob McQuillen tune composed for my friend and colleague, Joyce Rossbach. Bob’s original composition repeats the A and B parts, but for purposes of this dance, Joyce R’s Waltz should be played without repeats.

Banjo was Joyce’s very enthusiastic canine companion when she and her husband John lived in Syracuse.

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