night hoppers; gift box; x-box; ghostbusters; hullbridge; wilberforce; sleepers, dance; midsomer maggot; holmfirth circle; cutty sark; engrenages; weakest link; walmington watch; oh! it's a lovely barn dance; good-bye-ee; kibosh; early birds; gerontios; dragon of silene; shotgate shuffle

Cutty Sark        

longways 3 couples (1s & 3s improper)            36 bar american reel

[8]   Top two couples face: Back-to-back right shoulder 1¼ into ocean wave;

        Balance right and left, then right-hand turn halfway and reform wave

[8]   Balance right and left, then men left-hand turn halfway;

       All swing partner. 1st and 2nd couples face across, 3rd couple face up

[8]   1st and 2nd couples: Ladies’ chain halfway;

        Same couples right-and-left halfway (i.e. two changes)

[8]   In lines, reels of three (hey) started by 3rd couple moving up and passing middle person by right shoulder

[4]   All 6 circle left halfway


Dragon of Silene    

longways 3 couples            48 bar jig

[]  Middle coiuple set & cross down WHILE bottom couple cross with right hand & cast to middle; These couples do half-double-figure eight

[]  Top couple set |& cross down WHILE middle couple cross with right hand & cast to top; These couples do half-double-figure-eight

[]  Grand Chain (top couple start with partner, others with neighbour)

[]  Circle left half-way, pivot & chase back, counter-clockwise

[]  Middle couple go to right for heys across the ends

[]  Lines fall back, come forward; swing partner



Early Birds  

big circle           32 bar waltz

[]  In open hold, sway in & out, turn single away; clap thrice, reverse turn single

[]  Take right hands & balance forward & back, box the gnat; repeat

[]  Slide in & out; roll past to new partner

[]  With that partner, right-hand turn; with previous partner, left-hand turn



longways duple improper            32 bar reel

[]   Circle Left & Right

[]   1st couple Figure-Eight halfway through 2nd couple;

      2nd couple same through 1st couple

[]   Spiral

[]   Do-si-do neighbour on the side; Swing partner

Spiral:  Ladies turn right hand ¾ to wave, balance, men turn around to reform as line of four to rotate ¼, men chase clockwise ¼ WHILE ladies turn right hand ½ (end in progressed places)



longways duple improper           32 bar american reel

[]  In circle, balance in & out, petronella one place; repeat

[]  Hole-in-wall crossing, whirl out (turning left); star right

[]  Star left; Ones half-figure eight through twos

[]  Twos half-figure-eight through ones; with partner, balance & star through 



line dance            64 step reel

1-4               Step forward on left foot, lock right foot behind left, step back on right

foot, close left foot to right

5-8              Slide to left, twice

9-12       Vine to the right (step right to side, left foot behind, step right to side, close)

13-16      Shimmy (shake body, moving down and up … or raise arms and “whoo”)

17-32     Repeat 1-16

33-36     Step forward on left foot, brush right foot and step forward and..

37-40     Cross left foot in front of right, pivot turn half-way

41-48         Repeat 33-40 but starting on the right foot

49-52           Jazz Box (Step forward on left foot, cross right foot in front, step 

   back on left foot, and step to side on right)

53-56         Repeat Jazz Box

57-60           Clap four times

61-64          Spin round counter-clockwise ¾ to end facing ladies’ wall


Gift Box 

longways duple improper           32 bar polka

[]  Neighbour right-hand turn once-and-a-half to tidal wave; balance, box-circulate

[]  Balance, box-circulate; and again

[]  Gypsy melt-down

[]  Ladies' Chain (half); star left



sicilian circle           32 bar march

[]  1st couple (facing counter-clockwise) lead through 2s, then lead back to place

[]  2s lead through 1s & back

[]  Honour opposites, honour partners; do-si-do opposites

[]  Do-si-do partners, clap (own hands, right, own hands, left), pass through 


Holmfirth Circle    

variation on Holmfirth Square (Eileen Keys)

to tune of “Last of the Summer Wine” (Ronnie Hazelhurst)

circle 3 couples            24 bar waltz

[]   In circle, all balance forward & back twice;

      1st couple arch over others, going anti-clockwise around the set

[]   1st couple separate & go to nearer “side” couple for hey,

       start by going between that couple;

       all turn partner right-hand, corner left-hand

[]   Grand Chain to home and two-hand turn

Sequence: couples lead in turn, but are not numbered 1st 2nd & 3rdthey are Foggy & Edie; Clegg & Marina; Compo & Nora

lines of four            32 bar waltz
Begin in lines Man-Lady-Lady-Man
[]   Reel of four half-way, start by passing partner left shoulder
[] []   Gypsy poussette
[]   Do-si-do;  holding both hands with partner, slide to man’s left into new line of four (now Lady-Man-Lady-Man)
Gypsy Poussette: 
(4 bars)   All dance 1 step to right & ¼ right turn to face up/down,
                 all dance 1 step to left (BtoB with partners) & ¼ right turn               
(4 bars)   All dance 1 step to right (Middle dancers BtoB facing partners) & ¼ right turn to face down/up,
                  all dance 1 step to left (BtoB with ptnrs)     
(4 bars)   All cast to right & dance back to the opposite place
(4 bars)   All ¾ turn partners 2H into a line across (as start but having changed


                places with partner)  


longways 4 couples     48 bar jig

[]  Lead up (open hold); fall back

[]  Gallop up & back

[]  In fours, star right; middle four star left

[]  Middle four star right; end fours star left

[]  Cascade x4

[]  Top couple cast to bottom WHILE others follow down & lead up through arch

Cascade: Top couple gallop to bottom WHILE others move up


Midsomer Maggot   

longways 3 couples             32 bar waltz

[]   Top two ladies do assisted figure eights, i.e. left-hand turn man below their partner then right-hand turn parner to place.

[]   Bottom two men do same, starting with lady above their partner

[]   All who can cross on left diagonal; all who can cross on right diagonal; all pass opposite by left shoulder; all who can cross on right diagonal

[]   Top couple cast to second place; all cross as in hole-in-the-wall

Simplified version: begin with unassisted figure-eights then

[]  top couple cross (right hands), cast to middle, cross (left hands), cast to bottom



[]  do-si-do partner; two-hand turn

Night Hoppers   

longways 6 couples     32 bar reel

[]  Balance; box the gnat; do-si-do

[]  Balance; swat the flea; see-saw

[]  Top couple cast to bottom & make arch WHILE others follow & come up through arch

[]  Swing


Oh, It's A Lovely Barn Dance           

longways 5 couples     48 bar jig

[]  Lines go forward & back; right-arm turn one-and-a-half

[]  Lines go forward & back; left-arm turn one-and--half

[]  Cascade 4

[]  Do-si-do; see-saw

[]  Cascade 4

[]  Stamp twice, clap twice, turn single; swing

Cascade: top couple gallop to bottom WHILE others move up


Shotgate Shuffle  

lines of 4 across the room, facing the front     48 bar jig

[]  March forward 8 steps; balance & turn to face down the room

[]  Same to places

[]  Take two-hand hold & change places with other couple (couple on left-hand end of line go behind other couple as they pass); two-hand turn

[]  Same to places

[]  Couples in first line through arches made by other lines to bottom of room

[]  All swing


Sleepers, Dance  

longways 3 couples 16 bar “Sleepers, Wake” (J.S.Bach)

[]   Middle couple, followed by bottom couple, lead up through top couple and cast down

[]   New middle couple, followed by top couple, lead down through bottom couple and cast up

[]   Right-hand turn with partner

[]   Those who can, left-hand turn with dancer on the left diagonal

[]   Those who can, right-hand turn with dancer on the right diagonal

[]   Gypsy with partner, fall back and honour



Walmington Watch     

longways 3 couples 40 bar march

[]   Lines advance, kiss Partner (just a peck!), pass through, chase clockwise halfway

[]   Do-si-do;  Swing

[]   Dip & Dive

[]   Lines fallback, then middle couple advance & face down for three-handed stars

[]   Middle couple lead down and cast up to top

      WHILE others follow (coming out from stars), all salute


Weakest Link      

circle 9 dancers            32 bar reel

Dancers are numbered 1-9 and retain their numbers throughout the dance

[]   Slip circle left and right

[]   All forward to centre and shout “bank”, then fall back;

     Set and turn single – lowest numbered dancer ends facing counter-clockwise and

      others face clockwise.

[]  Progressive reel, started by lowest numbered dancer passing the facing dancer by the right shoulder

[] Continue the reel to whatever final position is reached by the end of the             music, which will stop.

One dancer is eliminated at random (“Number x, you are the weakest link; goodbye”) and leaves the floor

For the final time, when there are two dancers left, the sequence is:

2-hand turns; balances, set and turn single; do-si-do and gypsy right; do-si-do and gypsy left.

After the final elimination, the “winner” skips a lap of honour to the extra 8 bars




longways 3 couples 32 bar reel

Active couple are 2s

[]   Top 2 couples: half-double-figure-eight (2s cross up as 1s cast down);

      Bottom 2 couples same (2s cross down as 1s cast up)

[]   Lines fall back, come forward; do-si-do

[]   On left diagonal, right-and-left halfway; On right diagonal same

[]   2s set & cast to bottom of set; all left-hand turn



longways duple improper     32 bar reel

[]  Neighbour do-si-do; swing-thru, partner swing

[]  Same (across the set)

[]  Ladies' Chain (up & down)

[]  Star left; star right halfway, pass thru

aunt hessie's white horse; barley reel; caerphilly march;
dance of the pantomime cow; dorset four hand reel; falling masonry; farmer's jig; gay gordons; grand chain; i want to be near you; 
leaving of liverpool; miss johnstone of ardrossan; patacake polka; 
postie's jig; rosa; spiffin'; three around three; virginia reel; white cascade; 
wring out the dishrag; yarmouth long dance

Aunt Hessie’s White Horse

circle   24 bar reel ... from South Africa

[]   In-line siding right shoulder,kick & back; same left

[]   Do-s-do right & left


[]   Peasant-hold: pousette in & & turn, move left to new partner

Barley Reel 

longways 5 couples       48 bar polka

[]  lines go forward, slap hands with partner thrice, fall back; right-arm turn 1½

[]  repeat (with left-arm turn)

[]  top couple strip-the-willow …

[]  (continue to bottom of set and form arch) …

[]  others cast down & pop up through the arch

[]  all swing partners



Caerphilly March  

couple  32 bar polka

from Brian Scowcroft

[]   In allemande hold, march forward, twist, continue backwards, twist;  repeat

[]   Clap: 

     own hands, partner’s right, own, partner’s left, own, behind back, own and both with partner; 


[]   Right-hand turn;  Left-hand turn

[]   Swing

Variation on clapping sequence: replace “partner’s right” with “clap hands under right leg” (and similar with left)


Dance of the Pantomime Cow 

couples (i.e. big circle but non-mixer) all facing counter-clockwise with man behind partner.  Lady places her hands (palm up) on her shoulders, man holds these hands.

[]  slide in & out; “moo” 4 times (vary animal on subsequent turns)

[]  slide in & out; turn lady to face, “aargh!” and back

[]  slide in & out; lady move to back

[]  slide in & out; man move to back


Dorset Four Hand Reel 

2 couples in line, ladies in centre, facing partner 32 bar rant

[]   Hey for four 1½times

[]   ---

[]   Men step to each other

[]   Step to partner

<sequence> walk hey then men step; walk hey giving hands then ladies step; dance hey then men step; dance hey then ladies step

<fin> swing partners


Falling Masonry

longways 5 couples 32 bar jig

John Kirkpatrick

[]   Lines forward & back;  cross (ladies arch) and don’t turn round

[]   Lines back & forward; cross (men arch)

[]   Top couple gallop to bottom WHILE others move up; then new top couple;

       and the next; and the next

[]   .. and the next; and original 1st couple again; all swing



Farmer’s Jig 

longways 4 couples 32 bar jig

[]   All lead up 8 steps, back 8 steps

[]   All gallop up and back

[]   In fours, star right and left

[]   Top couple cast to bottom and form arch  WHILE others follow and come up under arch


Gay Gordons  

couples 16 bar march

(collectd by mary stoker)

[]   Allemande hold: forward 3 steps, twist to face other way, fall back; repeat to place

[]   Right-hand-hold> men step whirl twirling lady; Ballroom hold: swing

Grand Chain   

square set            32 bar jig

[]   All circle left & right

[]   1st couple make arch and go anti-clockwise around set over the other couples

[]   Grand Chain

[]   …. and swing partner

SEQUENCE: all couples in turn, then heads, then sides, then all couples at same time

This dance, from the Bismarcks’ “Upstream” album, is a variation of Eileen Key’s ‘Holmfirth Square’

I Want To Be Near You 

There are at least four versions of this dance of unknown origin

square set            20 bar jig (own tune)

[]  1st couple separate & dance all the round the set

[]  All do-si-do corner (ring o’ bells version)

OR honour corner (heritage version)

OR honour corner & salute partner (gerry jones version)

OR corner allemande left (jim english version)

[]  All promenade

Sequence: Each couples leads in turn; then Heads simultaneously, Sides simultaneously, All couples simultaneously




Leaving of Liverpool 

longways set – 3 couples            32 bar reel

[]   Lines go forward & back; middle couple lead up and cast back to place

[]   Lines go forward & back; middle couple lead down and cast to place

[]   Circle left & right

[]   Top couple cross & cast to middle place; then cross & cast to bottom


Miss Johnstone Of Ardrossan  

written by Roy Goldring for Muriel Johnstone (now Mrs Zobel of Canada!)

longways set – 5 couples           32 bar reel

[]  1st couple set & cast one place, then (followed by 3rd couple) they lead up to the top & cast down (1s to 3rd place, 3s to 2nd place)

[]  1s cross down between 4s to start symmetrical reels on the sides with 4s & 5s

[]  1s cross up between 3s for symmetrical reels with 2s & 3s

[]  1s set & cast one place, then (followed by 5s) they lead up between 4s & cast down [set now 23451]

Patacake Polka   

(community dances manual)

circle  …  16 bar polka

[]  ballroom hold: heel & toe twice, slide along line of dance;  same back

[]  clap: right 3, left 3, both 3, knees 3;  right-arm turn, move left (progression)

There are many variations on this dance.  It can be done without progression by changing ‘right-arm turn’ to ‘swing partner’.  In the clapping sequence, instead of ‘knees’, try ‘behind partner’s back (this involves a bit of a hug)



Postie’s Jig         

written by Roy Clowes

longways 4 couples   32 bar jig

End couples are active

[]   Active couples set & cast in one place; then half-figure-eight through nearer end

[]   “postie” figure

[]   …continue

[]   Active couple half-right & left;  then right-hand turn partner

Postie: Active couples cross over (men arching) and handy-turn nearest corner person ¾; then cross up/down centre (couple coming up arching) and handy turn corner; then across (men arching); then up/down (bottoms arching)


couple  32 bar waltz
att gordon potts (variation on “Ffarwel ir Marian”)
[]   Two-hand hold: sway (along line of dance) and back, turn lady under man’s right 
      arm, maintaining hold with both hands (“wind”);  slide left four step
[]   Slide right four steps, sway and unwind
[]   Holding right hands, balance forward & back and box the gnat;  Repeat to place[]   Ballroom hold: chasse two steps (along line of dance) & back;  waltz around


david & avril quarrie et al

square set – 5 couples … 32 bar jig

[]  5th couple (in centre) dance reels of three along with Heads (start left shoulder)

[]  5th couple separate for 3-handed stars with nearer Side couple (handy hand for middle dancer); then lead through top couple & cast to centre (now facing down)

[]  3-handed stars; 5th couple lead through bottom couple & cast to centre

[]  5th couple Tulloch turn twice; then 5s & 1s set & left hands across to end with 5s at top & 1s in centre facing 2s (i.e. towards ladies’ wall)

(change orientation each turn of the dance)



Three Around Three                          FAVOURITES

A dance from devon with many variations

longways set – 3 couples … 32 bar hornpipe

[]  Top man (followed by others) crosses above ladies’ line, weaves down & comes straight up

     own side to place.

[]  Ladies same around men.

[]  Circle left & right


[]  Top couple lead down to bottom; all two-hand turn partners.


Virginia Reel         

A dance with many variations

longways set – 5 couples … 48 bar polka

[]  Lines go forward, slap hands thrice with partner, fall back, stamp thrice; Repeat

[]  Right-hand turn; left-hand turn

[]  Two-hand turn; do-si-do

[]  Top couple gallop down & up

[]  Top couple cast to bottom & form arch WHILE others follow & pop up through the arch


[]  … & swing


White Cascade 

square set            48 bar jig

variation on “White Coppice” by Vic Smeltzer

[]   Active couple go across set, between opposite couple, then cast home

[]   Active couple make arch and go counter-clockwise over others around the set

[]   Do-si-do corner, then partner

[]   Swing

[]   Ladies’ star-chain

[]   Promenade

Sequence: 1-2-3-4-H-S


Wring out the Dishrag  

sicilian circle            32 bar polka

from ron smedley 1958 as published in by hugh rippon in willow tree 1996

[]   Circle left & Right (walking step)

[]   Duck for the oyster: clockwise-fcing couple duck first, then others

[]   Dishrag figure: clockwise couple first

[]   Swing and progress (original:  couples advance & retire and pass through)


Yarmouth Long Dance  

(from calling of Trev Lee from Sheffield)  

longways becket   32 bar jig

 []  Gallop across hall (passing opposite couple; and back to place)

[]  Star right & left

[]  Do-si-do opposite person; then partner

[]  Top 2 couples form cross-hand basket and rotate to bottom of set




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