Longways Dances

Last updated: January, 2024

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)

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

or traditional, 48-bar reel:  48s: ‘Welcome to the Dance’, ‘WttD’, CD 1 - 15 The Four Leaf Clover - Arkansas Traveller set (The Flop-eared Mule/Turkey in the Straw);  53s: Noel Hill - Duke of Leinster;  50s jig: Mark Arrington - Sweets of May.

32-bar:  36s: 2nd South Carolina String Band - Arkansas Traveller;  34s: Tom Anderson & Bain - Soldiers Joy;  33s: Geslison & Groberg - Arkansas Traveller set, Lazy Farmer - (rant) Arkansas Traveller.

The Bonny Breastknot
Devon Version

Form:  Three-couple, longways set.

A:    ‘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)

B:    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)

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

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

Music:  32-bar reel.  31s: ‘Welcome to the Dance’, ‘WttD’, CD 1 - 13 Woodley Yeomen - B. B. (Boldovan Reel, Victoria Hornpipe);  40s: The Old Swan Band - Devon Bonny Breastknot/Getting Upstairs;  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.

Boston Tea Party

Author:  Jean Butler

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 ‘dip and dive’ (alternately 'duck' and 'arch') 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.

Music:  32-bar jig;  35s: Lissa Schneckenburger - Jefferson and Liberty/Bert Ferguson;  34s: Sláinte - Celtic Jig/Leitrim Fancy Jig;  33s: Countercurrent - *The Legacy/The Tumbledown/Manus Lunny’s Terracotta Plower Pop;  32s: Trinculo - Drummond Castle/Shorty’s 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;  28s: The House Band - Donald MacLennan’s Tuning Phrase/The Zakynthos Jig.

Bottoms Up

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) .

A2:  Top two ladies make an archMen ‘Thread the Needle’.  The top lady could ‘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 (c. seven side-slip steps) 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:  See "Wilder Variant" below - where the ‘eye’ of the needle moves forward - towards the ‘tip’, so that the needle is ‘thread’ twice.  The top person could ‘unwind’ twice as the adjacent person unwinds twice.

Music:  32-bar jig.  34s: Kevin Burke & Cal Scott - *The Green Fields of Woodford/Seanamhac … , The Good Tune - *Maids Of Selma/Lisnagun Jig;  34s (double-jig): Patrick Street - *The Shores of Lough Gowna/Contentment is … set;  (reel): Whapweasel - Crisps;  32s: Tiger Moth - *Oats and Beans and Barley Grow, Trinculo - *Drummond Castle/Shorty’s … , Sean Mcguire - *Erin's my Home/Larry O’Gaff; 31s: Fara - *Billy’s Short Leg;  30s jig: Blazin’ Fiddles - *Thursday Night in the Caley.

Bridge of Athlone

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 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 a tunnel (two-handed arches).

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.

Music:  48-bar jig.  ‘Welcome to the Dance’, ‘WttD’, CD 2 - 07 Greensleeves Country Band - B. of A.: Rakes of Kildare/… Pipers set;  53s: Greg Joy and various artists (faster) - *Blarney Pilgrim;  48s: Cheviot Ranters - B. of A.: 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.

Broken Sixpence

Author:  Don Armstrong

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’.

Music:  reel.
39s: Sam Bartlett - Rumblestrip;  36s: Sam Bartlett - *Mary Devlin’s, We Banjo 3 - Good Time Old Time;  35s: Countercurrent - *Tunes in Seattle, 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 - *Reasoning;  32s: Airdance - *Cloud Nine/Broken Heart/….

Clopton Bridge

Devised by John Chapman

Watch at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EohpgkE3ulY

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

A1:   Top man and bottom lady right arm turn (eight ‘change, hops’) 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 right hand star, then left hand star.  Optionally, end couples cross by the right and walk a big square (passing by l., r., l.).

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

Music:  hornpipe.  26s: Steamchicken - Some Say the Devil's Dead/… ;  45s (64 bars): Patrick Street - Down by the Old Fairy Fort/The Whistler … .

Country Bumpkin

Author:  Michael Barraclough

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

Music:  32-bar, versatile.  38s reel: Tom Doherty - The Three Sisters Reel;  36s reel: Trinculo - Touchstone/London’s Glory;  35s: Countercurrent - Tunes in Seattle, Spike Island Lasses/…/… , Fiddlers3 - Billy Thom’s/Rannie Maclellan/Growling Old Man & Woman;  34s: Contrasaurus - Tipsy Parson/The Breakdown, 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 Green Lads - Valley Greens.
;  36s jig: Lester (/Fiddler’s Dram) - Will’s Way;  35s jig: Lissa Schneckenburger - Jefferson and Liberty/… ;  33s: Mark Arrington - Kesh Jig/Haymakers, Monster Ceilidh Band - *Reasoning.

The Devil’s Dream

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

Form:  Longways, ‘1’s improper - “As many as will”.  ‘1, 2-3, hop’ step (step ‘2’ trails just behind ‘1’) 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:   Memorize your neighbour.  ‘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.  4 bars + 4 bars

Music:  32-bar American reel.  30s: ‘Welcome to the Dance’, ‘WttD’, CD 1 - 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..

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, then the man strips up the ladies’ line,
then they both (double) strip down the set.

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

Music:  Hornpipe or Slip Jig.  49s: Katherine Liley - The Peacock’s Feathers;  45s: Tulla Ceili Band - The Peacock’s Feather
Slip-jig.  49s: Katie Grennan - Don't Stick to the Floor/Knock on the Door/Ellens Dance;  46s: Mark & Holly - The Peacock Followed the Hen/Foxhunters/Drops of Brandy;  43s: Spinach for Norman - *Rocky Road to Dublin/Foxhunters Jig/Drops of Brandy.

The Foula Reel - pronounced ‘Fooler’

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”).

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.

Music:  32-bar jig (double?):  39s: Spælimenninir - Da Shaalds o Foula;  34s: The Kilfenora Band - Jig It/Patsy Geary’s/… set;  32s: The Falconers (WttD, CD 1, 17) - Shaalds of Foula, Celtic Fiddle Festival - *Maureen’s Fancy/ … /Swinging Jig;  double-jig set, 32s: Olive Hurley - Shandon Bells/Nova Scotia/… jig set;  31s: ‘WttD’, CD 1 - 07 The Ranchers - Jigs: Lady Mary Douglas/Jump at the Sun/There Came a Young Man;  30s: B C Block - Turn 3/Dawning Dark/Groton….

Four around Four

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.

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/Haymakers 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/Mill … ;  29s: Blazin’ Fiddles - Braehead Cottage.

Jack’s Maggot

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.

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.

Maid of the Mill

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.  Couples ejected at either end swap their designation eg. from a ‘2’ to a ‘1’…  and ‘wait out’ a ‘go’.

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;  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/… , Leahy - *Seamus Coyne’s.

Nottingham Swing

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

Prep.:  take hands in fours from the top.  Demonstrate a ‘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, do the converse), then two steps back up (or simply do-si-do) and cast 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.

Music:  16-bar hornpipe, eg. a 32-bar hornpipe played without the usual repeats).  26s: 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;  24s: WttD, CD 2, 16 - Greensleeves Country Band - Nottingham Swing (Philebelula All the Way/Paddy McGinty’s Goat/Country Garden), Bellowhead - *Kafoozalum;  23s:  Steamchicken - Gobby’s Christmas…, 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.

Orcadian ‘Strip the Willow’

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

The Orcadian Strip the Willow dance is simply a continuous, rolling, double Strip the Willow figure for as 'many as will'.  Each new, 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.

Music:  Often 6/8 double or 9/8 slip jig.  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;  Trinculo - Any Jig Will Do/Tall for a Night;  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.

OXO Reel

Author:  John Tether

Formation:  6-couple longways, duple, proper.

Difficulty:  1
Two versions

A1:   Lines go forward and back.  Couple at the top galop (slip-step) down the set.

A2:  Lines go forward and back.  New tops galop to bottom.
A1:  Lines forward and back, right shoulder do-si-do;
A2:  Lines forward and back, left shoulder do-si-do.
B1:  as below
B2:  Top couple galop/swing to bottom, others swing as soon as the top couple is clear.

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

B2:  The bottom couple slip-step (galop) to the top.
All swing.

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’.


Watch at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91iEhbX5eEI

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

Prep.:  take hands four from the top.

A1:   ‘1’s Petronella twirl (putting the man at the bottom of the foursome - facing up, lady at the top - facing down).  (2 bars)
All join hands and ‘balance’ (four steps: small step right, close with a tap/dip, step back left, close).  Release hands.  (2)
All Petronella twirl into the next position Acw..  Join hands, balance and release hands.  (4)

A2:  All Petronella twirl.  Join hands, balance and release hands…  repeat.  8 bars

B1:   Petronella turn one more time.  ‘2’s retire (to face each other) and ‘1’s lead down (first noting the identity of the ‘2’s )…  turn alone, and come on back…  where,with arms around waists, ‘1’s turn the ‘2’s (¾ around) into a progressed place.  8 bars

B2:  ‘Right and left thru'’ across the set, i.e. cross the set - giving right hand to your partner, then giving left hand along the (new?) set - to swap places with your (new?) neighbour (ladies could twirl Cw. under the man’s left arm as he rotates Acw.  4 bars
Repeat - back to place.  4 bars.   Couples left at an end will need to turn back - as a pair, swap their designation…  and ‘wait out’ a ‘go’.

Music:  Own 32-bar tune.  36s: Lissa Schneckenburger - Petronella.

Sir Roger de Coverley

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 eg. 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:  right, cupped-elbow/short-arm 1¼-turns with partner, then progress down the set with left cupped-elbow/short-arm ½-turns down the opposite line alternating with right elbow/arm ½-turns to partner down the middle.  At the bottom, the couple finish with a complete turn.  Lines can assist by offering their left hand to the couple at the appropriate time.  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 walk 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.

Music:  (in 9/8) AABBCC Slip jig (or Triple 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).

Stoke Golding

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

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.  (about 5 bars)

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

3:    Strip the Willow 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.

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;  42s: Alban Fuam - The Rocky Road to Dublin.

Suffolkation (Goodman variation)

by Ron Coxall

Form:  Longways, proper, or double circle (men inside).  Double progression.

Prep.:  Hands four, ‘1’s are facing down (or Cw).

A1:   Star r., star l.,  (8)

A2:  Balance & swing partner.  (8)

B1:   Ladies dance between the men and cast back to place, men dance between the ladies.  (8)
or Alternative 1 for B1:   1st corner do-si-do, 2nd corner do-si-do.
or Alternative 2 for B1:   First corner cross, second corner cross; circle left halfway.

B2:  Face neighbours, holding inside hand with partner, forward and back,  (4)
‘1’s arch, ‘2’s dive under.  Continuing round, ‘2’s arch over subsequent diving ‘1’s.  (4)   End couples turn individually, swap designation and join in immediately.

Music:  32-bar jig.  34s: Celtic Fiddle Festival - Stan Chapman’s/… Daley’s;  33s: Countercurrent - *The Legacy/Tumbledown/… .

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

Roger Whynott

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-over, lead down the set, turn round as a pair and 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 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 thru' it - back to place.  Couples can swing - if there's time.

Music:  jig.  35s: Kathleen & Jim Fownes - The Old Favorite/The Orphan;  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 …, Craig Duncan - *Drummond Castle/…Dunse/…Repentance, Malachy Doris Céilí Band - Cock O’ the North;  31s: Climax Ceilidh Band - *Spike, Mandolin - Shandon Bells/Parson in Boots/Donegal Lasses, Thingumajigs - Medley of Jigs.

Thady You Gander (Irish Trot)

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

A1:   The top couple cross over, join inside hands and dance to the bottom.  They each return 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’ they turn 1¼ times by the right arm/elbow then both swing down the opposite line (“Right to your partner, left to the line”).  (c. 14)

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

Music:  40-bar own tune (hornpipe):  34s: Candleford Ceilidh Band - T. Y. G..

Thread the Needle

Form:  (three) four or five -couple longways.

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

1-8:    Ladies Thread the Needle.

9-16:   Men Thread the Needle.

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.

Music:  32-bar reel/jig.  34s reel Whapweasel - *Crisps; 33s jig: Crowdie House - *Blue Bonnets, Mark Arrington - *Kesh/Haymaker’s Jig; Countercurrent - The Legacy/Tumbledown/… … ;  32s: Old School Band - Shearer’s Gem/Whittle Springs, Leahy - *Seamus Coynes, Monster Ceilidh Band - Parmogeddon;  31s: Kevin Burke & Cal Scott - *The Green Fields of Woodford/Seanamhac …, Old School - Sarsaparilla Jig;  (16-bar) 15.5s: Alasdair Fraser & Paul Machlis - Calliope House/Cowboy JigPatrick Street - *Mrs O'Sullivan’s Jig/Calliope House;  30s: Open House - Devil’s Jig/The Trip to Bantry/… set, Natalie MacMaster - Jig Party.

Three Around Three

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.

Music:  polka.  35s: Diatonics - … Dance and Sing/… Phil, 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/Cuckold … Amery/Indian Queen.

Virginia Reel

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

Form:  Longways, proper, four or five couples.

A1:   Only 2nd corner couple (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’,  (4-bars)

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 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)

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 (2nd corner) 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 B2…  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.

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

32-bar (two revolutions needed):  33s: The Dam Beavers - *Hayward Medley (Mairie’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.

Waves of Tory

Form:  Longways set of 5 or 7 couples (odd number needed for the ‘waves’).  "Dip under" when commencing from an end.

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 take eight, two-handed side-slip steps (galop) 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:  There's now a new top couple.  Everybody needs to remember their new position relative to the top/bottom of the set.  Everyone, except the original top couple, faces down and hold hands.  The original ‘tops’ break their arch and start a ‘dive & arch’ 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

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.

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).  (For C1 & C2, B music phrase is repeated twice more - or, for 7 couples, phrases A1-B2 are repeated en bloc for bars 33-64.)

(5 x) 48-bar jig:  The Blue Mountain Band (WttD, CD 1, 11) - WoT (Shandon Bells, The Devil in Dublin, The Coleraine);  54s: Damien O'Kane - Morgan Rattler;  50s: Mark & Holly etc. - Morgan Rattler/Zakynthos Jig;  48s: Steeleye Span - Mooncoin Jig;  46s: Jon Boden et al. - *Bridge of Athlone… ;  45s: 422 - Zycanthos Jig set;  44s: Blowzabella - *Horizonto, Eliza Carthy - Zycanthos Jig/Tommy’s Foot;  42s: The House Band - Zakynthos Jig.

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.

Weaver’s Galopede

Written by Mike Barraclough

Form:  5-couple longways.

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

A1:   In a horseshoe, the top lady leads a ‘Thread the Needle’.

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

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.

Music:  32-bar polka: 33s: Fred Hanna Ceili Band - Siege of Ennis (Banks of Inverness);  32s: Art Stamper - Barndance Polka;  31s: Notorious - Jolly Jacks Polka, The Old Swan Band - Going to the Well for Water/Kings of Kerry.

The Willow Tree

Author:   Hugh Rippon (based on a Dutch dance)

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-step 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’:  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 (having passed three 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:   Lines cast (top six people cast down, bottom six cast up) and go back in to the set through the side arches - out through the end-arches, back to place;  swing.  (16 bars)

Music:  48-bar jig four or eight times through.  54s: Damien O’Kane & David Kosky - Morgan Rattler;  50s: ITMA Staff - Humours of Ennistymon/Cliffs of Moher/Out on Ocean, Mark, Holly & Bruce - Morgan Rattler/Zakynthos Jig;  47s: Spiers & Jon Boden - Oswestry Wake/Morgan Rattler;  44s: Blowzabella - *Horizonto, Eliza Carthy - *Zycanthos Jig/Tommy’s … ;  42s: Threepenny Bit - Coffee Zycanthos.

Unidentified dance

Form:  3-couple longways set.

Prep.:  middle couple acknowledge their ‘diagonal’ people.

A1:   Middle man right-arm (or elbow) half-turns his right diagonal (bottom) lady.
Middle man left-arm half-turns his left diagonal (top) lady.

A2:  Middle lady right-arm half-turns her right diagonal (top) man.
Middle lady left-arm half-turns her left diagonal man.

B1:   Hey (reel of three - ‘figures of 8’) down the line.  Start with the top couple facing down.

B2:   Top couple continue their hey - down to the bottom, ending with others having moved up a place.


B2:  The top couple dance (galop/swing) to the bottom.  Other couples swing when the top couple has passed.

Music:  reel.  33s: John Whelan - The Bradstone Inn/Big Snugs/Beth Patterson’s.