Contrafusion

The Russian Ballet
The Progressive Three Reel

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The Russian Ballet
The Progressive Three Reel

Source: Traditional, researched by Roy Dommett; published in English Dance & Song, Summer/Autumn 1982 Volume 44 Number 2
Formation: Trios (Lady, Man, Lady) facing AC around the room

Farnborough Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (8)
Honour the Right Hand Lady; Honour the Left Hand Lady
A2 Swing the Right Hand Lady
Swing the Left Hand Lady
B1 (Right Hand High & Left Hand Low; Left Hand High & Right Hand Low) x2
B2 Kiss the Right Hand Lady; Kiss the Left Hand Lady
The Man does four high kicks, then moves forward to the next two Ladies

Basingstoke Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (8)
Walk Backwards in Lines of Three (8)
A2 Arm Right with the Right Hand Lady; Arm Left with the Left Hand Lady
Right Hand High & Left Hand Low; Left Hand High & Right Hand Low
B1 Kiss the Right Hand Lady; Kiss the Left Hand Lady
The Man moves forward to the next two Ladies

"Dance On!" (October 2005) Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (8)
Set Right & Left Twice
A2 Hey For Three
B1 Right Hand High & Left Hand Low: Left Hand High & Right Hand Low
B2 (Jump; Kick Right; Jump, Kick Left) x2
Kiss the Right Hand Lady; Kiss the Left Hand Lady
The Man moves forward to the next two Ladies

"Folk" magazine (No. 3 Jan 1963) Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (8)
Stepping on the spot
A2 Hey For Three
B1 Right Hand High & Left Hand Low: Left Hand High & Right Hand Low
B2 Promenade in Lines of Three (4); Walk Backwards in Lines of Three (4)
(Step Right; Kick Left; Step Left; Kick Right) x2
The Man moves forward to the next two Ladies during the second set of kicks

Community Dances Manual (No. 3 1952) Short Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (4); Walk Backwards in Lines of Three (4)
Promenade in Lines of Three (4); Walk Backwards in Lines of Three (4)
B1 Right Hand High & Left Hand Low: Left Hand High & Right Hand Low
The Man moves forward to the next two Ladies

Community Dances Manual (No. 3 1952) Long Version
A1 Promenade in Lines of Three (8)
Balance to Right Hand Lady; Balance to Left Hand Lady
A2 Hey For Three
B1 Right Hand High & Left Hand Low: Left Hand High & Right Hand Low
B2 (Step Left; Kick Right; Step Right; Kick Left) x2 - High Kicks
Bow to the Right Hand Lady; Bow to the Left Hand Lady The Man moves forward to the next two Ladies

Music:
Any suitable 32 bar tune. The CDMs give a tune called "Russian Cavalry"; the "Folk" magazine gives a tune called "The Russian Ballet", which appears to be a variant of that.

Notes:
This dance was publish in the Community Dances Manual 3 in 1952. There its name was given as "The Progressive Three Reel". The old Three Reels involved stepping on the spot plus Heys. This dance adds more figures and has the men progressing on to new ladies each time through the dance. It was apparently popular at Holiday Camps, since it was also known as "Butlin's Ballet".

Right Hand High & Left Hand Low: Hold hands in a line of three. The Left Hand Lady goes through the Arch and back to place - the Man follows - the other Lady can twirl through the Arch as well.
Left Hand High & Right Hand Low: The Right Hand Lady goes through the Arch and back to place - the Man follows - the other Lady can twirl through the Arch as well

Farnborough Version: The article says that B1 is repeated. This will be challenging as described. There is more chance of success if both ladies start moving at the same time and Dip 'n' Dive around the man; the man only does half turns through the arches. The ladies should not try to twirl under their own arch; there isn't time. I don't usually encourage that anyway.

While the various manuals just say "kick high", it is normal to step onto the other foot each time before the kick, and to bounce on it unless you are going for significant height!

The various versions allow different lengths of time for the kissing; the "Dance On!" version only provides two beats for each kiss! The Community Dances Manual turns the kiss into a bow!

Original page from English Dance & Song, Summer/Autumn 1982

The Russian Ballet
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