sibby snowball; wednesday night polka; wife-swapping polka;
ound the bend;merry-go-round; entertainer; jellyfish; hog's back; 
slap the tories; stag gates; animal dance; buttered beans; chain gang; 
come let us be merry; fred's fancy; number chase; scottish variation; 
sibby sausage race; sting

Animal Dance 

big circle (no need for partners)            32 bar jig

[]   In to the middle and back, twice

[]   Circle left

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

[]   All make the noise and do the action


Buttered Beans  

sicilian circle            32 bar polka

variation on “Buttered Peas”

[]   Circle left and right

[]   Star right and left (thumbs in!)

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

     Same do-si-do

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


Chain Gang 

big circle            20 bar “Chain Gang”

[4]   Set right and left, twice

[8]   Optional call – see below

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

Optional calls - suggestions:

Left-hand turn;  right-hand turn

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

Gypsy left shoulder; gypsy right shoulder

Chasse in to centre and out



Come Let Us Be Merry

longways 3 couples 32 bar waltz

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

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

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

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

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



sicilian circle            32 bar rag

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

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

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

      (partners now together)

[]   Swing Partner, end facing next couple

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


Fred’s Fancy 

sicilian circle            32 bar waltz

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

[]   Couples advance & retire, slide diagonally right; 

      promenade counter-clockwise to place facing other way

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

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

[]   Waltz on to the next couple



Hog’s Back
longways duple improper            32 bar reel
[]   Dip & Dive 4 movements. 1st couples start by arching over 2nd couples.
      When (and if) reaching the end of the set, turn with California Twirl
[]   Continue Dip & Dive for another 4 movements.
[]   Keeping hold of partner’s nearer hand, men make left-hand arch across centre and guide the ladies under, bringing left arms down after ladies have crossed.  Then ladies turn to face each other and join right hands to make clover-circle; Rotate clockwise
[]   Keeping partner’s hand and releasing other, California Twirl to face in and set in
      lines; In fours, circle left ¾ to end facing up or down longways set.
square set            32 bar polka
variation on Keith Baxter’s “Southchurch Square Dance”
[]   “Jellyfish”:  Head couples go forward and back AND Side couples do the same
      in-between, ALL maintaining a circle-hold throughout
[]   “Lasso”:  Men lasso ladies so ladies dance counter-clockwise around their standing partner (man’s right-hand holding lady’s left-hand); Then ladies lasso men clockwise
[]   “Rang Tang”:  Partners arm right, then arm left with Corner;
      Repeat, and stay with Corner (progression)
[]   Promenade new partner to man’s home position.




double sicilian circle   48 bar reel

[]   All eight circle left

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

[]   Do-si-do partner right and left

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

[]   Lines of four advance and retire;

      Advance again and retire in lines of four along the sides

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

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


Number Chase     

couple  32 bar reel

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

[]   Arm right and left

[]   Two-hand hold: gallop around the room

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

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

[]   Call out random number –

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


Round The Bend  

sicilian threesome (double progression)            32 bar jig

variation on “Three Meet”

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

[]   Repeat to original places

[]   In circles of six, circle left and right

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



Scottish Variation 

longways 3 couples 32 bar reel

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

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

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

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


Sibby Sausage Race

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


Sibby Snowball 

longways 4 couples (1s & 3s improper)            48 bar polka

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

[]   Top 2 couples star right and left

[]   Top 3 couples circle left and right

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

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

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

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


Slap The Tories

longways 5 couples 48 bar jig

variation on “Waves Of Tory”

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

[]   As A1, with left hands

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

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

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

          NB when at ends, start going under.

          Also, turn when reaching end with Califormia twirl


Stag Gates

longways becket  32 bar jig

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

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

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

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

     (men pull ladies to face next couple)



two longways sets of three couples 32 bar medley

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

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

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

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

[]   In lines of four across, full hey

[]   Promenade up and fall back, progress*

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

1st couples cast to middle places in current set

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

3rd couple lead up to top of current set


Wednesday Night Polka   

longways becket  32 bar polka

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

      “Scandinavian Knot”

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

[]   Ladies’ Chain halfway;  Partners promenade across halfway

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

Scandinavian Knot

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

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

Men raise right hands to form an arch.

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

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

In this formation, rotate clockwise


Wife-Swapping Polka 

hands four            32 bar polka

variation on “Scatter Promenade”

[]   Hands 4: Circle left and right

[]   Ladies’ Chain

[]   Set and swing contrary (new partner)

[]   Promenade away and join up in new foursome



september; mysteries of peace; october 9th; final measure; 119;
evening song; solent chain; forest waves; missed opportunities; secrets; countless moments; scatterpetal



longways duple improper (double progression)            32 bar reel

[]   Circle left ¾, pass the ocean to border hold;  Border swing 1½

[]   Reel just under ½, start men passing left shoulder;

     On meeting partner at other end of line, gypsy and melt into swing

[]   On the right diagonal, right & left (2 changes); Then same across with new couple

[]   Ladies Chain half-way; Set to partner & star through

Border hold: Couples side by side with right arm around partner’s waist


Countless Moments

longways 5 couples 32 bar reel

[]   Top 3 couples do grimstock hey

      WHILE bottom two couples do right-and-left through

[]   Middle 3 couples do morris hey WHILE end couples do-si-do and gypsy with partners

[]   Bottom 3 couples do grimstock hey

      WHILE top two couples do right-and-left through

[]   Top couple cast to bottom WHILE others lead up one place and set; All swing partner


Evening Song

longways 4 couples 32 bar waltz

[]   In fours, star right; In same fours, shuttle to change places

[]   Middle four star left WHILE others step-set and turn single;

      In original fours, chase clockwise halfway, join hands in circles of four and balance in and out

[]   In fours, half-double-figure-eight (start with 1s and 3s crossing down), then 1s and

      3s lead down one place WHILE others cast up one place;

      Couples now in middle stand WHILE end couples start full capstan to change

[]   Finish full-capstan; All gypsy with partner


Continue in direction of movement from star, dance out single-file to wall, turn with slight shift to the right, dance in to set having moved one place up or down


A six-step setting for waltz time.  Start on right foot and step to right, left foot across (in front), step on right, left foot to side, right foot across, step on left


Top couple lead down top bottom, cast up to top and lead down to bottom WHILE bottom couple cast up to top, lead down to bottom and cast up to top


Final Measure 

longways 3 couples 64 bar waltz

[]   Active (1st) lady casts to second place; Active lady turns 3rd man, two-hands.

[]   Active (1st) man same (with 3rd lady)

[]   Reels of three across the set

     (Active man with 2nd couple at the top, active lady with bottom couple)

[]   Active couple cross over to reel with other couple. End facing 1st corners

[]   1st corners pass & turn; same with 2nd corners

[]   3rd corners reel of four halfway;  same with 4th corners

[]   Four dancers who have somebody on the right diagonal do 2 changes (right on the

      diagonal, left along the line); Four dancers who have somebody on the left diagonal

       do the same (Active couple will be in both halves of this figure)

[]   Active couple lead up to the top and cast down to the bottom; All swing partner

Pass & turn:

Active dancers move out to corner position (pass right shoulder) WHILE corner dancers move in and turn each other (right-hand) and return to place as active dancers move in (pass right shoulder) and loop around each other (right shoulder) to face next corner


Forest Waves

longways becket  32 bar reel

[]   Yearn (progressing clockwise 2 places); With new couple opposite, circle left

[]   Pass-the-Ocean, balance; Move forward to the next wave, balance (neutrals wait)

[]   Right-hand turn half-way and reform wave, balance; Move forward to original wave

       and turn partner with the right hand, end facing partner in line of four across

[]   Reel half-way (start by pulling past partner by the right); Swing partner


This figure was devised, it is claimed, by American contra caller George Walker.  Couples move forward diagonally to meet couple who are diagonally to their left, then fall back diagonally to the left to end opposite the next couple.  At the ends, if there is no couple on the left diagonal, couples cross over and wheel round to face their new contraries.


A combination of “pass through” and “ocean wave”:  Pass through the facing couple, passing the opposite person (or “contrary”) by the right; as the two ladies pass, they take left-hands and turn one-quarter to the right; men continue to the end of the lines, taking right-hands with partner.





Missed Opportunities 

big circle (triple progression)            32 bar reel

[]   All in to centre and back; With current partner, balance together and away, then roll

      away with half-sashay (1st progression)

[]   Repeat A1 (2nd progression)

[]   Gypsy current partner;

      Gypsy counter-clockwise with Corner (previous partner) facing outwards.

[]   Pass current partner (right shoulders) and set to the next (3rd progression); Swing


Mysteries Of Peace  

longways 4 couples 48 bar reel

[]   Set, turn single; Right-hand turn partner into allemande hold

[]   Following top couple, all promenade up and turn left to sweep across towards men’s

      wall; then make a “U” turn and continue towards ladies’ wall

      (set now across the room)

[]   4th couple swing WHILE others promenade reel half-way (1st & 2nd couples pass left

      to start) and swing. End facing men’s wall

[]   Morris hey, but with two centre dancers in each line acting as single units and turning

       dolphin-fashion at ends

[]   Lines of four pass through (without turning), hold hands in line. 

      Right-hand person threads the needle as left-hand person pivots on spot. 

      Lines move forward to meet

      (set now in original orientation, progressed in order 4123)

[]   In fours, circle left.  Partners two-hand turn


October 9th 

longways 3 couples 40 bar reel

[]   Active (1st) couple right-hand turn and cast to 2nd place;

      Active couple left-hand turn once-and-a-half and face 1st corners

[]   Relay reel along 1st corner diagonal. Active couple end by passing left shoulders for ..

[]   Three-handed stars (right) - men at bottom of set and ladies at top;

      Active couple left-hand turn twice (nearly) to face 4th corner positions.

[]   Relay reel along 4th corner diagonal. All end improper in order 312

[]   Lines go forward and back; All cross over, passing partner by the right shoulder.

Relay reel:

Active couple do diagonal reel of four in usual way (but will find the other two in the reel have changed half-way through).

1st corners do diagonal reel half-way, cast clockwise round the outside one place and set

Others set and cast clockwise round the outside one place, then replace the 1st corners for the second half of the reel


These are numbered counter-clockwise around the set, starting on the right diagonal. So, for the active man, 1st corner is in bottom lady’s position, 4th corner is in bottom man’s position.  For the active lady, 1st corner is in top man’s position, 4th corner is in top lady’s position



circle 3 couples            32 bar reel


[]   In circle, all in to centre and back; Set, turn single

[]   Two changes (start right-hand to Partner), turn next person (original Corner) right-

      hand (full turn)*; Repeat (starting right-hand with original Corner)

[]   Two changes (start right-hand), turn Partner right-hand*, end with ladies facing out;

      Start Schiehallion reel

[]   Continue Schiehallion reel to places


Same as [1] except start with left-hand and Schiehallion reel clockwise (so men start facing out and ladies lead)



[]   Two-hand turn Partner; Two-hand turn Corner counter-clockwise

[]   Two-hand turn Partner; Weave the ring (pass Partner by right shoulder to start)

[]   Complete the weave; Swing

*An easier option in the modified grand chains is to replace the full turns with a balance forward and back

Schiehallion reel:

Dancers follow track of a clover figure – men start curling in to centre and curve right to next lady’s position, then loop right to her man’s position, and continue in this fashion to home place.  Ladies start by looping right to partner’s place – in effect, then following the track of her partner. All moves are curling or looping to the right.  BUT ... this is reversed in the second figure!



longways 4 couples (2s & 4s improper)            48 bar mazurka OR reel

[]   In fours, star right; Then top man leads his star clockwise down ladies side (“snake”)

      WHILE bottom man leads his star up man’s side

[]   Lines go forward and back;

      Pass opposite person and turn into a square set (men turn to left, ladies to right).

[]   Ladies star-chain halfway; All promenade current partner ...

[]   Continue promenade to starting places; Swing current partner

[]   Side couples move in to form lines of four and face end-neighbour and all set;

      In fours, right-and-left 2 changes (start with neighbour)

[]   Facing this same neighbour, lines of four reel halfway (start passing right shoulder);

      Turn this same neighbour with the right-hand



longways 3 couples 32 bar reel

[]   Top couple lead lines in cast to bottom and up centre to place,

      ending with 1st couple casting to 2nd place

[]   All left-hand turn with partner 1¼ to end in line of six along the centre; 

     Those who can, turn your neighbour (behind) 1½  and stay facing this neighbour

[]   Reel of four (starting right shoulder):

      1st and 2nd ladies dance as a single unit, turn “dolphin” fashion at bottom end and

       stay facing up when getting back to starting positions.

      1st and 3rd men also dance as a single unit, turn “dolphin” fashion at top end and stay   

       facing down when getting to starting positions

     2nd man and 3rd lady (in the centre positions) dance as individuals, omit the final 

      pass in the centre and turn to face the other way.

[]   End dancers lead casts to the right, men moving up the set and ladies moving down to

      progressed places; Swing partner


Solent Chain 

longways duple (2s improper) – double progression            32 bar reel

[]   With neighbour (contrary), set and link;

      Grand Chain up or down room 4 changes, starting with that same neighbour (crossing over if 

      reaching the end)

[]   Ladies Chain half-way across the set (so now with own partner) – neutrals gypsy left;

      Promenade partner back to man’s home position and face across the set

[]   Right-and-Left half-way; Swing partner

[]   In fours, circle left three-quarters; face neighbour, and pass two people (passing both by right 

     shoulder), take partner’s nearer hand and roll away with half-chassay

Set and link:

Holding hands with neighbour, facing across the set, set right and left; change places with neighbour, both dancers moving clockwise, so lady starts with a cast (do not turn this into a half-gypsy!).  End facing this same neighbour.

Roll away with half-chassay:

Lady rolls across to partner’s place turning counter-clockwise WHILE man slides across to his right.  All couples are now side by side on the wrong side, which is the right side for the next turn of the dance, facing a new couple.

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