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Hull's Victory

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Hull's Victory

Source: Douglas Kennedy; published in English Dance & Song, July August 1939, Volume III, Number 6.
Formation: Longways; Duple Minor; Proper

A1 #1s Allemande Right 1/2 to an Ocean Wave (4) - #2s Separate and Move Up to form the Wave
Balance the Wave (Forward/Back) (4)
Neighbour Allemande Left x2 (8)
A2 #1s Allemande Right to an Ocean Wave (4)
Balance the Wave (F/B) (4)
#1 Swing - finish facing Down
B1 #1s Lead Down the Middle; Turn as a Couple
#1s Lead Up, (Assisted) Cast around the #2s to Second Place
B2 Four Changes (no hands) - walk backwards when passing on the side with same gender Neighbour


Older Version
A1 #1s Allemande Right 1/2 to an Ocean Wave (4) - #2s Separate and Move Up to form the Wave
Balance the Wave (F/B) (4)
Neighbour Allemande Left (once for elegance, twice for excitement) (8)
A2 #1s Allemande Right 1/2 to an Ocean Wave (4)
Balance the Wave (F/B) (4)
Neighbour Allemande Left (x2)
B1 #1s Lead Down the Middle; Turn Alone
#1s Lead Up, (Assisted) Cast around the #2s to Second Place
B2 Right & Left Four

Music:
Own tune or any 32 bar reel.

Notes:
The dance celebrates Captain Isaac Hull's victory against the English in 1812 and dates to around 1856. The authorities generally agree that the balances should be Forward & Back. In 1950 Ralph Page suggested that it represents the maneuvering of the ships; I prefer Danid Smukler's version, in Cracking Chestnuts, that it represents the recoiling of the cannon, and some callers call "Fire!" instead of "Balance".

The older version has a different A2 without a swing. You can see modern dancers dancing the older version here.

The original instructions for B2 just say "Right and left four". In the video you can see the modern dancers doing an "eyes-only" Right & Left Through - using Courtesy Turns without hands. Douglas Kennedy's version has you backing up as you change up and down the side. I wonder if he saw Americans doing the eyes-only version and mis-remembered it, maybe influenced by Playford dances that have the back-up changes. Feel free to interpret "Right and left four" any way you like!

Ralph thought the dance was based on the Scottish Dance "Scottish Reform". The Scottish Reform Act was passed in 1832, but I can find no record of when the dance was written. There is also an old English Dance called "Pins & Needles", collected in Northumberland in the first half of the 20th century. As you can see at 2:17 in this video it is basically the same dance. So which came first, American, English or Scottish? It is interesting to see what is basically the same dance being danced in three different styles to three different types of music.

Hull's Victory and Pins & Needles are both in the Community Dance Manual.

Original page from English Dance & Song, July August 1939

Hull's Victory
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