Longways Dances

Last updated: May, 2022

Arkansas Traveller

Music:  40-bar:  40s: David Holt & Josh Goforth - *Billy Wilson;  39s: Dominique Dupuis - Gravel Walk.

or traditional, 48-bar reel:  48s: WttD, CD1, 15 The Four Leaf Clover - The Flop-eared Mule/Turkey in the Straw set ;  53s: Noel Hill - Duke of Leinster;  50s jig: Mark Arrington - Sweets of May.

32-bar:  36s: 2nd South Carolina String Band - Arkansas Traveller;  33s: Geslison & Groberg - Arkansas Traveler set… , Tom Anderson - Soldiers Joy, Lazy Farmer - (rant) Arkansas Traveller.

Form:  Longways, proper, “as many as will” – best with an even number of couples (but not essential).

Preparation:  take hands in fours from the top.  In long lines, join hands.

40-bar Main Figure:

A1:   Lines balance (forward & back),  (2 bars)
Forward, release hands, turn (Cw.), back-out (cross-over with partner).  (2)
Repeat - to return home.  (4 bars)

A2:   In fours, r. hand star, l. hand star.  (8)

B1:   ‘1’s swing.  (8)

B2:   ‘1’s (having swapped sides) lead down, turn as a couple, lead back and cast down a place.  (8)

C1:   Full ‘right and left thru'’.  (4+4)

or a 48-bar alternative:

A1:   Join hands along the line, lead forward & back.  (4 bars)
Release hands, change places (passing right shoulders) with your partner - and turn 180º.  (4 bars)

A2:   Repeat - back to home place.  (8)

B1:   In fours, make a right hand Star,  (4)
left hand Star.  (4)

B2:   ‘1’s swing in the centre.  (8)

A3:   ‘1’s (crossing-over sides) lead down, turn as a couple (Cw.), lead home and cast down a place to the next ‘2’s.  (8)

B3:   Full right and left thru' with a new couple.  (4+4)

The Bonny Breastknot

Music:  32-bar reel.  31s: WttD, CD1, 13 - Woodley Yeomen - B. B. (Boldovan Reel, Victoria Hornpipe);  36s: Country Fiddle Band - Miller’s Reel;  Liz Carroll & Doyle - *Ricky’s White Face/Boys … ;  35s: Corrina Rose Logston - *Highlander’s Farewell, The Elderberries - *Torn Jacket/Boy in the Boat/Toss … set;  34s: Sharon Shannon - *Miss Thompson’s/The Derry Reel, Máiréad Nesbitt - The Butterfly.

Form:  Three-couple, longways set.

A1:   ‘1’s lead down between the two ladies, separate (man down/lady up), cast round one person.  They meet in the middle, without taking hands, go between the men, separate, cast round one person to lines of three across (‘2’s facing down and ‘3’s facing up).  (8)

A2:   In those lines, Balance & KickRepeat  (4).
On the start of the next phrase, the first couple leap back to the middle of their line.  This leap/jump counts as the first jump of another pair of Balance & Kicks.  (4)

B1:   ‘1’s right-elbow turn their partner, then left half-turn their first ‘corner’, right three-quarters turn partner, left half-turn their other ‘corner’.  ‘1’s meet (it doesn't matter on which side they end-up).

B2:   ‘1’s swing down to third place (‘progressing’); all swing partners.

Boston Tea Party

Author:  Jean Butler

Music:  32-bar jig;  35s: Lissa Schneckenburger - Jefferson and Liberty/Bert Ferguson;  34s: Sláinte - Celtic Jig/Leitrim Fancy Jig;  33s: Crowdie House - *Blue Bonnets;  32s: Trinculo - Drummond Castle/Shortys Revenge;  31s: Sláinte Mhath - *The Scrutch Blanket Set, The Dunne Family - Strike the Gay Harp/Jimmy Ward’s/Doberman’s;  30s: Adam Agee & Jon Sousa - An Giorra… (The Hare in the Corn)/… set.

Form:  5 or 6-couple longways.

A1:   The top couple galop down, two-handed, between the lines to the bottom of the set.
They arch up over the ladies’ line - man in the centre.

A2:   At the top of the set they arch down over the men - man stays in the centre.
They return, two-handed, up the middle to the top and, still holding inside hands, face down the set.

B1:   All couples, except the ‘1’s, face up the set.  The top couple ‘duck and dive’ down the set.

B2:   The top couple, now at the bottom, make an arch…  the new top couple, followed by the rest, as they're passed, cast-out, go through the arch and back to place.

Botto ms Up

Music:  32-bar jig.  34s: Kevin Burke & Cal Scott - *The Green Fields of Woodford/Seanamhac … ;  33s: Crowdie House - *Blue Bonnets, Patrick Street - *The Shores of Lough Gowna/Contentment is … set;  32s: Tiger Moth - *Oats and Beans and Barley Grow, Trinculo - *Drummond Castle/Shorty’s … , Sean Mcguire - *Erin's my Home/Larry O’Gaff;  15s jig: Blazin’ Fiddles - *Thursday Night in the Caley.

Form:  5-couple longways set.

Prep.:  both lines hold hands.  Bottom couple join free hands to make a horseshoe-shaped set.

A1:   Top two men make an arch.
Ladies ‘thread the needle’ (see lower down).  The top man needs to ‘unwind’ under his raised right hand as his adjacent man unwinds.

A2:   Top two ladies make an arch.  Men ‘thread the needle’.  The top lady needs to ‘unwind’ under her raised left hand as her adjacent lady unwinds.

B1:   Heads join hands to make a circle of ten, circle left & right.

B2:   Bottom couple galop up (leap sideways… and close [a side-slip step] - repeat) to the top, where the top couple place their hands on the waists of the bottom couple, and the foursome galop to the bottom - the original top couple go to the very bottom place.

Enhancement:  If spry enough, the ‘eye’ of the needle could move forward - towards the ‘tip’ - allowing the needle to be ‘thread’ twice in eight bars.  The top person needs to ‘unwind’ twice as his/her adjacent person unwinds.

Bridge of Athlone

Music:  48-bar jig.  WttD, CD2, 07 Greensleeves Country Band - B. of A./Rakes of Kildare/… Pipers set;  53s: Greg Joy and various artists (faster) - *Blarney Pilgrim;  48s: Cheviot Ranters - The Frost is all Over/Pet of the Pipers/Smash the Windows;  46s: Jon Boden et al. - *Bridge of Athlone;  44s: Eliza Carthy - Zycanthos Jig/Tommy’s… (reel);  42s: Threepenny Bit - Coffee Zycanthos.

Form:  longways, four or five-couple sets.  Standing opposite partner, men have their left shoulder to caller, ladies with right shoulder to caller.

A1:   Everyone joins hands in their lines and dances four steps forward-and-back (4 bars).  The men, keeping their hands joined and raising their arms above head-height, take eight steps, passing right shoulders (to the left of their partners), to cross to the ladies’ side while the ladies duck under the men’s arch to cross to the men’s side.  All half-turn to the right.

A2:   Repeat - back to places.

B1:   1st couple in each set galop (side-slip step) down the set, two-handed, for 8 steps and back for 8 steps.

B2:   1st couple followed by the other three couples cast down the back of their own sides and make an arch at the bottom.  The other couples pass through the arch and lead to new places where they make two-handed arches with partner (tunnel).

C1:   The 1st lady (at the bottom) goes up through the tunnel and down the outside to the bottom while the 1st man goes up the outside and tunnels down the middle.

C2:   Everybody swing.

Repeat for the other three/four couples.

Broken Sixpence

Author:  Don Armstrong

Music:  reel.
39s: Sam Bartlett - Rumblestrip;  36s: Sam Bartlett - *Mary Devlin’s, We Banjo 3 - Good Time Old Time;  35s: Caladh nua - *By Heck, Celtic Fiddle Festival - Twilight in Portroe/… set, Trip to Durrow/… set (34s);  34s: Sharon Shannon - Woodchoppers;  33s: Altan - *The Triple T, Monster Ceilidh Band - *Messis.

Form:  longways, duple minor.

Prep.:  take hands in fours from the top.  ‘1’s (couples with their backs to the stage) improper.

A1:   Do-si-do neighbour;
Men do-si-do.

A2:   Ladies do-si-do;
‘1’s two-handed swing down the set between the ‘2’s.

B1:   Line of four walk down the set, turn alone, hold hands and, as they come back, the outside man (‘2’) curls round - dragging the line to a circle of four.

B2:   Circle left;
Star by the left hand, peeling-off to face a new neighbour.  End couples swap designation, sides, and wait-out a ‘go’.

Clopton Bridge

Devised by John Chapman

Music:  hornpipe.  45s: Patrick Street - Down by the Old Fairy Fort/The Whistler … .

Form:  4-couple longways, proper.  The dance is done with a step-hop throughout (or, for B1, ‘1-2-3 hop’).

A1:   Top man and bottom lady right arm turn followed by left arm turn.

A2:   Top lady and bottom man right arm turn followed by left arm turn.

B1:   Middles star:  2nd and 3rd couples do right hand star (leading partner puts left hand behind back - following partner grabs it - ready for… ), then, (still holding left hands only) left hand star.  Optionally, end couples cross and walk a big square.

B2:   1st couple swing down the middle (others move up to progressed places), all swing.

Country Bumpkin

Author:  Michael Barraclough

Music:  32-bar, versatile.
38s reel: Tom Doherty - The Three Sisters Reel;  36s reel: Trinculo - Touchstone/London’s Glory;  36s reel: The Fretless - *MacLeod’s Farewell/Palmer’s Gate;  35s reel: Sláinte Mhath - *The White Crow, Fiddlers3 - Billy Thom’s/Rannie Maclellan/Growling Old Man & Woman;  34s reel: Flook - *Larry Get Out the Bin/Elzics Farewell, Patrick Street - Devanney’s Goat/Leitrim …/… ;  33s: Celtic Fiddle Festival - *Le Printemps, The Four Star Trio - Reel of Rio/The Belles of Tipperary, Brendan Carey Block - *Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie;  32s: The Gothard Sisters - Against the Grain, The Green Lads - Valley Greens.
35s jig: Lissa Schneckenburger - Jefferson and Liberty/… ;  33s: Mark Arrington - Kesh Jig/Haymakers, Monster Ceilidh Band - *Reasoning.

Formation:  Longways, 5 or 4 couples.

A1:   Holding hands, lines forward & back.  4 bars
Men arch, couples cross over - passing by the right shoulder.  4 bars

A2:   ‘1’s two-handed galop (side-slip) down, to the bottom of the set, turn out individually (if enough room), and back up the outside - straight into…  8 bars

B1:   The ‘1’s, facing each other (the rest facing ‘up’) start a Grand Chain - initially passing by the right hand, then carrying on (passing by alternate hands) down the opposite line - the others follow.  When they meet at the bottom, the ‘1’s make a two-handed arch.  8 bars

B2:   The 2nd couple lead their remaining line round the outside of the arch, up through it and back to progressed places…  swing - if there’s time.  8 bars

The Devil’s Dream

Watch at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgA20Q1Iqfg

Music:  32-bar American reel.  30s: WttD, CD1, 05 - Orange and Blue - (2-bar intro.) Devil’s Dream (Up Jumped the Devil/Fred Radem’s/The Flop-Eared Mule);  35s: Bucketboy Bluegrass Band, Bryan Sutton (33s) - *Kitchen Girl;  34.5s: Caladh Nua - *By Heck;  34s: Govannen - *Billy in the Low Ground/Blackberry Blossom;  30s: Ray Price - D. D..

Form:  Longways, ‘1’s improper - “As many as will”.  ‘1, 2-3, hop’ step for A1 & A2.

Prep.:  'From the top, take hands in fours down the line’.  ‘1’s face down the centre, ‘2’s face up the outside.

A1:   ‘1’s lead (all the way) down while the ‘2’s go up the outside.  4 bars
All half-turn alone and lead back to give their neighbour e.g. ‘1’ man with ‘2’ lady, a nearest short-arm/cupped-elbow half-turn.  4 bars

A2:   ‘1’s, facing down, go down the outside, while ‘2’s go up the middle.  4 bars
All half-turn alone and lead back - to turn neighbour (ladies turn ¾) into…  4 bars

B1:   Ladies’ Chain across the set…  and back.  4 bars + 4 bars

B2:   Promenade that person (i.e. neighbour) across the set - passing to the right of the oncoming couple.  (Ladies could add a flourish by twirling Cw. under the man’s l. arm as she half-circles around him.)  Half ‘right and left through’ (back into a ‘progressed’ place) - ready to restart - facing along the set.  End couples need to turn around (as a pair) and change their designation.  Remember your new neighbour.  4 bars + 4 bars

Drops of Brandy

Music:  Hornpipe.  49s: Katherine Liley - The Peacock’s Feathers;  45s: Tulla Ceili Band - The Peacock’s Feather
or Slip-jig. 48s: Natalie Macmaster - *Patricia Kelso’s;  45s: Mark & Holly - The Peacock Followed the Hen/Foxhunters/Drops of Brandy.

Form:  Four or five longways couples.  Use ‘step-hop’ - or skip - with a short-arm (forearm, w/o thumb!) grip.  (‘Passives’ can do the stepping too.)

The first couple Strip the Willow (single - the lady goes down the men’s line),
the man strips up the ladies’ line,
they both (double) strip down the set.

New top couple restart when previous couple are out the way.

The Foula Reel - pronounced ‘Fooler’

Music:  32-bar jig (double?):  39s: Spælimenninir - Da Shaalds o Foula;  34s: The Kilfenora Band - Jig It/Patsy Geary’s/… set;  33s: Ale Möller – after 2m08 (but slow until 3m19) Unst Bridal March/Maggie O’Ham/Foula Reel;  32s: The Falconers (WttD, CD 1, 17) - Shaalds of Foula, Celtic Fiddle Festival - *Maureen’s Fancy/ … /Swinging Jig double-jig set, Olive Hurley - Shandon Bells/Nova Scotia/… jig set;  31s: The Ranchers (WttD, CD 1, 07) - Jigs: Lady Mary Douglas/Jump at the Sun/There Came a Young Man.

Form:  longways, 4-couple.

Difficulty:  2 - the poussette can be unfamiliar.

A1 & A2:  ‘1’s cross and lead down the middle of the set.  At the bottom they turn once with a right short-arm or cupped-elbow (no thumbs!) to ‘Strip the Willow’ back up (“right arm to your partner, left arm to the line” [of opposite gender]).

B1:   Back at the top, ‘1’s make an arch (with the man inside) and carry it down over the men’s heads, then back up over the ladies’ heads.

B2:   The 1st couple poussette to the bottom of the set: all couples take two hands.  The 1st man pushes his partner (4 steps) while all the other men initially pull their lady.  The 1st couple weave their way down the set alternately pushing and pulling, weaving in and out, passing each other couple in turn as they go to and fro’ down the set.

Four around Four

Music:  32-bar jig.  31s: (WttD, CD 1, 07) The Ranchers - Jigs - Lady Mary Douglas/Jump at the Sun/There Came a Young Man;  34s: Celtic Fiddle … - Stan Chapman's/… ; 33s: Patrick Street - *The Shores of Lough Gowna/Contentment is … set, Mark Arrington - Kesh Light Jig set;  31s: The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra - *Jake’s Jig/Going to the Well for Water/… set, Séamus Egan - Garrett Barry’s/The Hag at the Churn, Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis - Calliope House/Cowboy Jig;  30s: The Bothy Band - The Kesh Jig/Give Us a Drink/… set, Danú - Brown Eyed Bridget, Lissa Schneckenburger - *Jimmy Boyles/The Roaring Bar Maid/…, B Block - Kates/ ;  29s: Blazin’ Fiddles - Braehead Cottage.

Form:  Four-couple longways.  Easy.

1-8:   Lines hold hands.  First woman pulls her line around the outside of the men.

9-16:   First man pulls his line around the ladies.

17-24:   Top couple side-slip (galop) to the bottom and back.

25-32:   Top couple cast out, form an arch at the bottom, all pass under, and swing.

Repeat:  New top woman pulls her line around a new line of men.

Jack’s Maggot

Music:  32-bar reel.  Own tune:  33s: Tasker’s Chance - Newcastle/Jack’s Maggot.

or:  40s (then 32s): Adam Agee & Jon Sousa - *John Brennan’s/Man of the House;  34s: Sharon Shannon - Bonnie Mulligan, Séamus Egan - Poultry in the Parlour/Rolling in the Ryegrass.

Form:  longways, duple, proper.  “As many as will”.

Prep.:  take hands in fours from the top.  Couples with their backs to the stage are ‘1’s.

A1:   1st man crosses down between the two ladies, passing second woman by the right shoulder.  They hey (so top lady faces down the line) - ending with the man back in his place.

A2:   1st lady goes down between the two men, passing second man by the left shoulder.  They hey (so the top man needs to face down the line).

B1:   (In pairs of couples) right hand star, left hand star back.

B2:   1st corners cross (with right shoulder leading), 2nd corners cross.
Hands-four (circle left) half-way round, 1st couple cast outside ‘2’s, into ‘2’s place as 2nd couple lead up.

Maid of the Mill

Music:  32-bar reel.  38s: Tom Doherty - The Three Sisters Reel, Celtic Fiddle Festival - Loch Leven Castle/Mary Macdonalds/… /… ;  35s: Adam Agee & Jon Sousa - *The Maids of Holywell/Cor Pheait/… Reel set;  34s: Patrick Street - Devanney’s Goat/Leitrim …/… , Wild Asparagus - Faheys/Woman of the House/… set, Máiréad Nesbitt - *The Butterfly, Kevin Burke - The Doon Reel/… set;  33s: The Tune Makers - The Bucks of Oranmore, Brittany & Natalie Haas and Friends - Bill Malley’s/*The E-B-E Reel, Celtic Fiddle Festival - *Le Printemps, Brendan Block - Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie’s;  32s: Malachy Doris - *Bonnie Kate, Natalie MacMaster - Three Reels, Catharsis, Wild Asparagus - Congress Reel/Fisherman’s Island/Return to Milltown, Dominique Dupuis - *Westburne Reel (Andy Renwick’s Ferret), Celtic Music - Doherty Reel set, Kilfenora Ceili Band - Sheehan’s/Merry Blacksmith/… , Blazin’ Fiddles - **Fashion, Leahy - *Seamus Coyne’s;  31s: Lissa Schneckenburger - Lamplighter’s Hornpipe/Suffer the Child, Caitlin Warbelow & Cuomo - Headlands March/Sporting Paddy/Wing Commander Donald MacKenzie’s/Road to Errogie set, The Demon Barbers - *Kiss Me Quick/My Mammy’s … ;  30s: Banter - Harpers Frolic/Bonny Kate, Anna Ludlow - *The Hurricane, Lissa Schneckenburger - Hipper than Hip/Hapenny Reel/… .

Form:  longways, duple, proper, ‘As many as will’.

Prep.:  take hands in fours from the top.  Couples with their backs to the stage are ‘1’s.

A1:   ‘1’s r. h. turn (palm-inward Allemande) twice.
They then cast around ‘2’s to stand between them - to make a line of four, all facing up.

A2:   Holding hands four abreast, walk three steps forward (‘up’ the set), kick, still facing up - three reverse steps, kick, three steps forward, kick, three steps back, kick.

B1:   ‘2’s curl upwards to make a circle of four, circle left (Cw.) eight steps, right eight steps.

B2:   R. h. star, then l. h. star back.

Restart the dance from the progressed place, i.e. the ‘1’s have moved down the line to their next ‘2’s.
Single couples left at either end swap their designation e.g. from a ‘2’ to a ‘1’…  and ‘wait out’ a ‘go’.

Nottingham Swing

Music:  16-bar hornpipe, e.g. a 32-bar hornpipe played without the usual repeats).  27s: Steamchicken - *… Devil's Dead/In Party Mood;  25s: Cooper, Bulwer, Hawkins - Washing Day/Old Mrs Huddledee (Kafoozalum)/The Keel Row, Martin Simpson - *The Keel Row, Ardan - *Boys/California;  24s: WttD, CD 2, 16 - Greensleeves Country Band - Nottingham Swing (Philebelula All the Way/Paddy McGinty’s Goat/Country Garden);  24s: Banter/Bellowhead - *Kafoozalum;  23s: John Carmichael Band - Canadian Barn Dance.

32-bar:  56s: Déanta - (0m22) *King of the Blues;  50s: Ardan - *The Boys of Bluehill/Off to California {from Dancing With The Celts}, Altan - *Dance of the Honeybees;  46s: Tulla Ceili Band - The Peacock’s Feather.

Formation:  longways, duple, proper.  ‘As many as will’.

Prep.:  take hands in fours from the top.  Practise ‘Step-hop’.

Difficulty:  moderate.

A bars 1-4:   1st man and 2nd lady meet to ½-turn by right elbow.

A bars 5-8:   1st lady and 2nd man meet to ½-turn by right elbow.

B bars 9-12:   ‘1’s take two hands to take two steps down the set (‘2’s, outside, can do the converse), then two steps back up and cast (or simply do-si-do) around the ‘2’s.  Everyone's progressed.

B bars 13-16:   All swing (cross-hand hold).  End couples sit-out a turn and change their designation.

Orcadian ‘Strip the Willow’

Music:  Often 6/8 double or 9/8 slip jigs.  32s: Waxies Dargle - Father O’Flynn/Irish Washerwoman/Blackberry Blossom;  30s: Leahy - Wedding Day Jig.

Slip Jigs:  50s: Altan - A Fig for a Kiss;  49s: The McNamara Family - The Barony Jig/The Leitrim Quickstep/Moll Roe;  48s: Anne Marie Hildebrandt - Sixpenny Money/The Creel of Turf;  46s: Fiddlers Dram - Peel the Tatties/The Pig in the Kitchen/The Barony Jig;  43s: Spinach for Norman - Road to Dublin/The Foxhunters Jig/Drops of Brandy set.

Form:  longways couples - ‘as many as will’.

The Orcadian Strip the Willow dance is simply a continuous, rolling, double Strip the Willow figure i.e. right, cupped-elbow/short-arm swing with partner for one complete turn, then progress with left cupped-elbow/short-arm swings [½-turn] down the opposite gender line alternating with right elbow/arm swings [½-turn] with partner down the centre.  Each top couple commences their right elbow turn a couple of bars after the previous top couple start swinging down the set.

Couples can join, or leave, the dance as desired, at the bottom of the line.

OXO Reel

Author:  John Tether

Music:  32-bar jigs/reels.  36s: Jon Boden et al. - 11, OXO Reel (FSCD 002, 2005);  35s: unidentified - (0m04) OXO Reel;  33s: Dominique Dupuis - *Jack Daniels’.

Formation:  6-couple longways, duple, proper.

Difficulty:  1

A1:   Lines go forward and back.  Do-si-do partner.

A2:   Lines go forward and back.  Do-si-do.
Or  R. h. turn, l. h. turn.

B1:   Top two couples circle left; bottom two couples circle right; middle two couples right hand star - "OXO!"  Then back the other way.  (8 steps + 8 steps)

B2:   Tops slip-step (galop) to the bottom;
all swing.


Music:  Own 32-bar tune.  35s: Lissa Schneckenburger - Petronella;  44s: Ross & Moor - Yarmouth Reel;  33s: The Boys of the Lough - The Lancers/Petronella/… .

Form:  longways, ‘2’s improper, ‘as many as will’.

Prep.:  take hands four from the top.

A1:   ‘1’s Petronella turn: rotate ¾ Cw. while also moving Acw. into position (man at the bottom of the foursome - facing up, lady at the top - facing down).  All join hands and ‘balance’ (four steps: pull-in, close with a tap/stomp, out, stomp).  Release hands and Petronella turn into the next position Acw., join hands, balance, release hands.  8 bars

A2:   All Petronella turn, join hands, balance and release hands…  repeat one more time.  8 bars

B1:   ‘2’s retire (to face each other) as ‘1’s lead down (first noting the identity of the ‘2’s )…  turn alone, and come on back… .  Giving ‘inside’ hands, turn ¾ around the ‘2’s into a progressed place.  8 bars

B2:   ‘Right and left thru'’ across the set, i.e. cross the new set - giving right hand to your partner, then, along the set - giving left hand - to swap places with your new neighbour.  Finish with a courtesy-turn (man turns ¾ Acw.)… or ladies could twirl Cw. under the man’s left arm as he rotates Acw..  4 bars

Repeat, back to the progressed place.  Couples left at an end will need to turn back - as a pair - swap their designation…  and ‘wait out’ a ‘go’.  4 bars

Sir Roger de Coverley

Music:  (in 9/8) AABBCC Triple jig (or Slip jig).  36s: unspecified Flautist, or Feast of Fiddles (34s), or Blowzabella (32s) or The Seven Dials Band (31s) - Sir Roger de Coverley;  50s: Mark Arrington - *Foxhunter’s Slip Jig set;  48s: Rún - *Hardiman the Fiddler;  42s: Street Fiddlers - Nead Na Lachan (The Foxhunter’s Jig).

Form:  five-couple longways - can employ a running step.

Prep.:  explain that ‘calling’ will be curtailed as different sets lose synchrony.

First corner (top man, bottom lady) skip (or run) towards each other and turn by a right arm hold e.g. linked-elbow or short forearm or cupped-elbow - no thumbs!…  then they retire.  The finishing couple can make a slow, wide cast to clear the way for the following couple, until returning through their own place.

As soon as the first corner has vacated the centre, the second corner (top woman and bottom man) advance and turn by a right arm hold.

Then the first, followed by second corner, turn by:
the left arm,
two, crossed hands,
do-si-do (pass Cw., back-to-back, round each other).

Top couple ‘Strip the Willow’ to the bottom, i.e. a right, cupped-elbow/short-arm swing with partner for one complete turn, then progress down the set with left cupped-elbow/short-arm swings (½-turn) down the opposite line alternating with right elbow/arm swings (½-turn) with partner down the middle.  16 bars

Top couple dance (running step) up the middle to the top, cast-out, dance to the bottom - followed by the rest - meet, arch and the rest pass through it.  Leisurely variation: the top couple walks up the set.  As each couple in the set is passed (beginning with the bottom couple and working up the set), they fall into line behind the other couples.  The lead couple casts down behind the lines - everyone follows them.  They all stop when the lead couple reaches the bottom.  The other couples are now back in their original order.

Stoke Golding

Watch at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=incobjf8FWc

Music:  Slip Jig.  51s: Sean Softley - Open Slip Jigs;  49s: Trinculo - Any Jig Will Do/Tall for a Night;  48s: Natalie MacMaster - *Patricia Kelso’s;  46s: Fiddlers Dram - Peel the Tatties/The Pig in the Kitchen/The Barony Jig, Noreia - The Butterfly;
Jig:  30s: WttD 1 - Stoke Golding (Keel Row etc.).

Form:  longways, 4 or 5 couples.

Prep.:  explain that calling will be curtailed as different sets lose their synchrony.

1:    Top man and bottom lady (first corner) swing.  (around 5 bars)

2:    Top lady and bottom man swing.  (c.5)

3:    Top couple Strip the Willow (double) to the bottom.  (“Right to your partner, left to the line”.)  (c.14)

4:    Where, with the lady outside the set, they take a single-handed arch up over the ladies, and back down over the men.  (c.8) …  The lady continues-on to swing the new top man.

T. A. G. (Terry Armstrong Graham - not a bloke)

Roger Whynott

Music:  jig.  35s: Syncopaths - *East of Glendart/… , *Bronwyn Leigh;  34s: Sláinte - Celtic Jig/Leitrim Fancy Jig;  33s: Donegore Tradition - Off She Goes/Sgt Cahill’s Favourite/The Fair Night;  32s: Kevin Burke & Cal Scott - *The Green Fields of Woodford/Seanamhac …, Trinculo - Drummond Castle/Shorty’s Revenge, Malachy Doris Céilí Band - Cock O’ the North;  31s: Climax Ceilidh Band - *Spike, The Blue Rock Boys - Doctor O’Neill’s set, Mandolin - Shandon Bells/Parson in Boots/Donegal Lasses, Thingumajigs - Medley of Jigs.

Form:  4-couple longways.

Prep.:  it helps if the lines/stars are close together to allow easier swapping between them…  and dancers stay in their stars as long as possible before swapping-over.

Difficulty:  2

A1:   The top couple cross, lead down the centre, come back up (their own side) and cast out (the second couple don’t ‘assist’).

A2:   As the top couple cast, all the men raise their left arms and follow the top man into a left-hand star while all the ladies follow the top lady into a right-hand star.  As each couple meet each other at the bottom, they cross to the other star - the lady crosses in front of her partner to join the men’s (left-hand) star…  while men join the right-hand star.

B1:   As partners meet at the bottom again, they swap stars back into ladies doing the right-hand star while men do the left-hand star.

B2:   As tops meet yet again at the bottom, they join hands and lead everyone (holding hands) up to the top and cast…  others follow.  The tops make an arch at the bottom and the others duck thro' it - back to place.  Couples can swing - if there's time.

Thady You Gander (Irish Trot)

Music:  32/40-bar jig;  or own tune (hornpipe): Candleford Ceilidh Band - T. Y. G..

Form:  four-couple longways, (skipping-step or step-hop).

A1:   The top couple join inside hands and dance to the bottom, cross over and each returns on the outside (to the top of the ‘opposite’ line)…  (8 bars)

A2:   …where the top lady leads the line of men around her partner, down the outside of the ladies’ line and back to place.  (8)

B1:   Top man leads the ladies around his partner and down the back of the men’s line.  (8)

B2:   Top couple ‘Strip the Willow’ (right arm/elbow ½-turn then both short-arm or cupped-elbow swing down the lines).  (c. 8)

New top couple restart with music (as the previous couple are finishing - on their own side).

Thread the Needle

Music:  32-bar jig.  33s: Crowdie House - *Blue Bonnets, Mark Arrington - *Kesh/Haymaker’s Jig;  32s: Old School Band - Shearer’s Gem/Whittle Springs,  31s: Kevin Burke & Cal Scott - *The Green Fields of Woodford/Seanamhac …;  31s: Old School - Sarsaparilla Jig;  (16-bar) 15.5s: Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis - Calliope House/Cowboy Jig -> Patrick Street - *Mrs O Sullivan’s Jig/Calliope House;  30s: Open House - Devil’s Jig/The Trip to Bantry/… set, Natalie MacMaster - Jig Party.

Form:  three (or four)-couple longways.

Prep.:  join hands along the lines.  Bottom couple also hold their partner’s hand - to form a horseshoe-shaped set.

1-8:   Thread the Needle:  the top two men (1st and 2nd) raise their joined hands to make an arch;  the top lady leads everyone through the arch - curving left, down the back of the men’s line, round the set and back to place.  The top man should ‘unwind’ under his raised right hand as his adjacent man unwinds.

9-16:   Repeat 1-8 - but with the top two ladies making the arch and the top man (curving right) pulling his line.  When everyone has passed through, the top lady needs to ‘unwind’ under her raised left hand as her adjacent lady unwinds.

17-24:   All circle left (men just continue their movement).  All circle right.

25-32:   First couple, side-slip step, two-handed, down the middle (four steps) and back, then, followed by the others, cast to the bottom of the set and make an arch for the others to lead up the set to their advanced places.

Wilder variant.

Three Around Three

Music:  polka.  35s: Cheviot Ranters - Call of the Pipes/Barren Rocks of Aden/… ,  Brian Roe - Sean Ryan’s;  34s: Mary Duff (dulcimer) - Jenny Lind/Three Around Three, Craig Duncan - Grandfather/Clarinet Polka set;  32s: Art Stamper - Barndance Polka;  31s: Eliza Carthy & KoC - Trip to Fowey/Amery/Queen;  30s: John Carty - Lakes of Sligo.

Form:  three couples, longways.

A1:   Top lady pulls the line of ladies (skipping) upwards and around the back of the men’s line.  (8)

A2:   Top man pulls his line around the ladies’ line.  (8)

B1:   Top couple cast to middle place, & swing.  (8)

B2:   Old tops right-hand star with couple above.  (No left-hand star back.)  (4)
Old tops dive under an arch made by the 3rd couple.  (4)

The new top lady needs to be ready to re-start.

Virginia Reel

This is an adapted version (for Americans) of the English dance, Sir Roger de Coverley.


40-bar (5 x 16 beats) reel:  43s: Kenny Thomson - High Society, Colin Dewar Scottish Band - Virginia Reel Medley (Mairi's).

32-bar:  33s: The Dam Beavers - *Hayward Medley (Mairi’s Wedding/… );  32s: Melodian Band - Virginia Reel Medley (>9 mins long), Geslison & Groberg - V. R. or Black Rose - V. R..

64-bar:  63s: (WttD, CD 1, 12) Blue Mountain Band - Virginia Reel (Turkey in the Straw/Lord Alexander’s Reel/Hell Broke Loose in Georgia/Billy in the Low Ground) set.

Form:  Longways, proper, four or five couples.

A1:   2nd corner couple only (top lady and bottom man) advance four steps.  On the 4th beat, all ‘clap-clap’.  Repeat by 1st corner couple,  i.e. 2nd in, ‘clap-clap’, 1st in, ‘clap-clap’,

A1:   2nd corner couple reverse out, on the 4th beat, all ‘clap-clap’.  Repeat by 1st corner,  i.e. 2nd out, ‘clap-clap’, 1st out, ‘clap-clap’.  (4-bars)

Alternative for A1:
(involving all couples i.e. no ‘passive’ couples) all advance 3 steps, all ‘clap-clap’ and retire 3 steps, ‘clap-clap’.

A2:   All advance, single turn partner with hooked right-elbow,  (4)  If the music is Black Rose, all can kick-up heels!

A2:   All hook left-elbow to turn back.  (4)

B1:   All turn partner Cw. with both hands.  (4)

B1:   All do-si-do (passing by the right shoulder).  (4)

B2:   Head couple join hands and side-slip eight steps down the set…  and back.  (8)

B3:   Head couple cast-off to the bottom where they make an arch, others follow through the arch and return up the set having progressed a place).  (8)

Alternative for A1-B2:

A1:   Head lady and foot man hook by right-elbow and turn while remainder 1, 2, 3, ‘clap-clap’ (8 beats) …  followed by the 1st corner turning…  and the remainder 1, 2, 3, ‘clap-clap’.

A2:  Head lady and foot man left-elbow turn…  then 1st corner.

B1:   Head lady and foot man do-si-do passing right shoulders…  then 1st corner.

B2:  Head lady and foot man do-si-do passing left shoulders…  then 1st corner.

A 64-bar alternative:

From bar 24 (B2) - i.e. a 40-bar alternative…  so, okay for five couples:
Head couple join hands and do eight side-slips down the set, the couple then Strip the Willow up the set, cast, and arch at the bottom for the rest of the set to duck under and return to a progressed place… and swing.

Waves of Tory

Music:  polka/jig.  48-bar for 5 couples or 64-bar for 7 couples.  (Often AAB AAB [48 bars] - for 5 couples; AAB AABBB [64 bars] - for 7 couples).

(5 x) 48-bar jig:  The Blue Mountain Band (WttD, CD 1, 11) - WoT (Shandon Bells, The Devil in Dublin, The Coleraine);  50s: Mark & Holly etc. - Morgan Rattler/Zakynthos Jig;  48s: Steeleye Span - Mooncoin Jig;  46s: Jon Boden et al. - *Bridge of Athlone… ;  44s: Blowzabella - *Horizonto, Eliza Carthy - Zycanthos Jig/Tommy’s Foot;  42s: The House Band - Zakynthos Jig, Threepenny Bit - Coffee Zycanthos.

32-bar jig (twice through - for 7 couples):  32s: Michael O’Donoghue - Haymaker’s Jig, Sean McGuire - *Erin’s …/Larry O’Gaff set (3 x 64);  31s: Olive Hurley - Shandon Bells.

Form:  Longways set of 5 or 7 couples (odd number needed for the ‘waves’).

Step:  Jig or walking step.

A1:   Hold hands in lines, four steps forward and four steps back.  (4)

Couples 1 & 2 and couples 3 & 4 r. h. star, couple 5 r. h. turn.  (4)

A2:   Lines forward and back.  (4)

Couples 1 & 2 and couples 3 & 4 l. h. star, 5 l. h. turn.  (4)

B1:   Top couple two-handed side-slip steps (galop) eight steps down and eight steps back.  (8)

B2:   At the top, they cast out, the remainder follow.  At the bottom of the set, the top couple make an arch for the rest to pass under.  (8)

C1 & C2:   (B music phrase is repeated twice more - or, for 7 couples, phrases A1-B2 are repeated en bloc for bars 33-64.)
There's now a new top couple.) Everybody remember their new position.  Everybody, except the original top couple, face down and hold hands.  The original ‘tops’ start a ‘dip and dive’ i.e. alternately ‘duck under’ and ‘arch over’ approaching couples.  Other couples either push apart to ‘arch’ or pull together to ‘dive’, moving forwards until they eventually join in (by following the couple in front).  When they reach the ends, couples can either turn about individually…  or (as an embellishment), since their inside arms are already raised (into an arch), the lady can swap places with the man using a California Twirl (to stay on his right).  They then continue the wave by ‘diving’ under the arch made by the oncoming couple - back to their places.  Then wait for everyone to complete i.e. back to where they started the ‘waves’.  (16)

Alternative Waves of Tory

Music:  5 x 48-bar jig.  The Blue Mountain Band (WttD, CD 1, 11) - WoT.

Form:  Longways set of 5 couples.

A1:   Each line join hands and advance four steps & retire.  (4)
Lines advance & pass through by the right shoulder (8 steps).  (4)

A2:   Advance & retire.  (4)
Advance & pass left shoulder.  (4)

B1:   Swing partner.  (8)

B2:   Top couple cast off: men follow the man, ladies follow the lady.  The top couple form a two-handed arch at the bottom of the set and the others, following, pass through and up to the top of the set.  (8)
The original top couple finishes as the bottom couple.

C1-C2:   Holding inside hands, new top man turns his lady under his arm, faces down the set and they ‘duck and dive’ with the set.  (16)

Repeat as required until everyone has been the top couple.

Weaver’s Galopede

Written by Mike Barraclough

Music:  32-bar jig  or 45s: Yarmouth (Galopede) Reel (from Ross, Moor, Krylov).

33s: Jimmy Blair and his Scottish Dance Band - Lord Rosslyn’s Fancy,  32s: Trinculo - *Drummond Castle/Shorty’s Revenge;  31s: Caitlin Warbelow & Friends - *Father Kelly’s/Reconciliation/… /… set, The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra - *Jake’s Jig/Going to the Well for Water/… set;  30s: Danú - Brown-Eyed Bridget, Blazin' Fiddles - *Thursday Night in the Caley;  29s: Altan - The Wedding Jig.

Form:  5-couple longways.

Prep.:  both lines hold hands.  The bottom couple join free hands to make a horseshoe-shaped set.

A1:   The top two men make an arch and the top lady leads a ‘Thread the Needle’.

A2:   Still holding hands, the top two ladies make an arch and the top man leads a ‘Thread the Needle’.

B1:   The top couple side-slip (galop) down… as they pass, the rest cross by the right hand; top couple galop back up, the rest cross back with left hand.

B2:   Top couple galop down again and the rest cross by the right hand; all swing - ending-up back on their own side.

The Willow Tree

Author:   Hugh Rippon

Music:  48-bar jig four or eight times through.  55s: Damien O’Kane & David Kosky - Morgan Rattler;  50s: ITMA Staff - Humours of Ennistymon/Cliffs of Moher/Out on Ocean, Mark, Holly & Bruce - Morgan Rattler/Zycanthos Jig;  47s: Spiers & Jon Boden - Oswestry Wake/Morgan Rattler;  44s: Blowzabella - *Horizonto, Eliza Carthy - *Zycanthos Jig/Tommy’s … ;  42s: Threepenny Bit - Coffee Zycanthos.

Form:  8-couple longways/crossways set.

Difficulty: 2

A1:   Top couple take two hands and slip-step (galop) to the bottom of the set; 1st man takes bottom lady with two hands and both slip back to the top, leaving 1st lady behind.  (8 bars)

A2:   1st lady and bottom man slip up the set; bottom man returns with his own lady.  (8 bars)

B1 and B2:   End couples right elbow turn once and ‘Strip the Willow’ (i.e. left cupped-elbow/short-arm swings [½-turn] down the opposite line, alternating with right elbow/arm swings [½-turn] with partner down the centre), then, when the two end-couples meet in the middle of the set (i.e. passed 3 couples), they join raised hands in a circle (the 4th and 5th couples will need to leave space between them to allow the end couples… ) to form four arches.  (16 bars)

C1 and C2):   Sides cast (top six people cast down, bottom six cast up), in through the side arches - out through the end-arches, back to place; swing if there's time.  (16 bars)