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John Sweeney's Dances Dances from English Dance & Song The Lovelace Manuscript
Contra and Longways dances are all Duple Minor unless stated otherwise. "Improper" is short for "First Couples Improper".

Dances from English Dance & Song

EDS 1929 EDS 1929 EDS 1929 EDS 1929

English Dance & Song and its predecessor, E.F.D.S. News, are published by the English Folk Dance & Song Society.

These pages are reproduced with kind permission of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. The dances were submitted to the magazine so as to reach as wide an audience as possible. Publishing them here will help to further that aim.

I have done my best to seek permission from any other relevant copyright holders and they are acknowledged where appropriate. If you are a copyright holder and are concerned that content for which you have not given permission is displayed, then please contact me, You must enable JavaScript to see this e-mail address. , so that I may either acknowledge you or remove the content as requested.

If you can provide any more information about any of these dances, their composers, their style, their tempo or their history, then please contact me, You must enable JavaScript to see this e-mail address. , so that I can add that information here.

Thanks to Chris Turner for lending me the old copies of EDS. For each dance I provide both the original page from the magazine and my own interpretation of the dance. Words such as "Balance", "Allemande" and "Swing" have been used by different dancing masters to mean many different things. Styles, tempos and nomenclature vary depending on the century, the country, the dance genre and countless other factors. I have tried to put the dances into words that I use when I am calling today, and to provide other hints where possible, often using other sources. Of course you are welcome to interpret the dances any way you wish. I hope you have fun calling and dancing some of them.

Dance Name Composer Formation Notes
A Nutting We Will Go
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Longways; Proper Arch Forwards & Backwards, Swing & Change.
An Adventure at Margate Killern Longways; Proper 1780 dance with Rigadoon steps.
Alan's Choice Alan Wilson Sicilian Circle Ladies' Chains and Arches: under & backup over.
Anniversary Reel
Updated Feb 18 2016
Jean & Ted Sanella Longways; Improper Allemandes, Chases, Leads, Circles, Stars — lots of easy moves.
Aunt Hessie's White Horse
Updated Feb 18 2016
Traditional, South Africa Circle Mixer Siding, Dosidos & Swings.
The Beauty in Tears Waltz Barry Moule Sicilian Circle Waltz time dance with zig-zag chassées into Stars.
Brian's Reel Les Wooton Sicilian Circle; Three Facing Three Circles, Heys and a Right-Hand-High-Left-Hand-Low.
Bridgwater Bay Hugh Rippon Three Couples; Longways; Proper Alternating Stars & Dip & Dives.
Canadian Breakdown Ralph Page Longways; Improper An early modern American contra.
Captain Macintosh
Updated May 18 2016
Thomas Wilson
Pat Shaw
Three Couples; Longways; Proper Two dances, one with Heys and a fast full Draw Poussette, one with diagonal Figure Eights.
Childwall Chimes
Updated Feb 18 2016
Kathleen Freeman Longways; Improper Gallops, Heys and Circles.
Chinese Breakdown
Updated Feb 18 2016
Barry Moule Square Lots of Allemandes, Ladies' Chains & Right & Left Throughs.
Clark's Reel Bill Yeomans Circle Mixer Easy mixer with an opportunity for the caller or dancers to choose their own figures.
The College Hornpipe
Added May 6 2016
Asa Willcox, Thomas Wilson, Thomas Hardy Triple Minor Lots of different versions!
Cottagers
Added June 7 2016
Traditional Sicilian Circle North Country Ladies' Chains.
Cumberland Square Eight
Added June 7 2016
Traditional Square Gallops, Stars & Baskets.
Derry Down Derry
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Four Couples; Longways Heys, Casts, Thread the Needles with Set re-orientation.
The Devon Jig Traditional Four Couples (or Five or Six); Longways; Proper Arches & Alternating Double Casts.
Dick Witt's Circle Mixer Dick Witt Circle Mixer A version of the Lancashire Reel/Cincinnati Reel with a reverse promenade.
Double Lead Through
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Longways; Proper Ranting plus Swing & Change.
East Meets West Herbie Gaudreau Longways; Improper Ladies' Chains and Do Pasos.
Eightsome Reel
Added June 7 2016
Traditional Square Lots of polkaing around the set.
Elsie's Special Alan Wilson Sicilian Circle Ladies' Chains and zigzag chassées.
The Fair Quaker of Deal Playford
Pat Shaw & A.Simons
Longways; Proper Playford with Setting, Back Rings and Lead Outs.
Faithless Nancy Dawson Anna Bidder Longways; Proper Easy 20-bar dance.
Farmers Quadrille Dr. A. J. Edwards Square Visiting square with Dosidos & Right & Left Throughs.
The Fiddler's Elbow Bernard Chalk Longways; Proper Contra with everyone moving independently and Same Gender Right & Left Throughs
Figure Seven Traditional Three Couples; Longways; Proper Figure Eight variations.
The Fireman's Dance
Added June 4 2016
William F Bacon (1887) Double Contra or Double Sicilian Circle Half the room galloping one way while the other half dances the other way.
The Five-Hand Reel Traditional Five Dancers in a Cross Stepping & Heys.
Frances Ann's Delight George Middleton Longways; Proper Playford style dance.
Gipsy Hill Jig Irene Harcourt Three Couples; Longways; Proper Heys & Progressive Grand Chains.
The Goodfellows Ron Beeson Three Couples; Longways; Proper Weave the Lines, Gallops & Swings.
Haste to the Wedding (Sussex & Dorset)
Added June 4 2016
Traditional Longways; Proper "Pop" the dancer through the arch.
Hayden's Wheel Ernest R. Jessop Sicilian Circle Fun dance that switches between one big circle and a Sicilian Circle,
Hillside Reel Dulcie King Longways; Improper Flowing stars, allemandes and heys.
Hull's Victory
Added June 7 2016
Douglas Kennedy Longways; Proper Early American contra with lots of Waves.
The Huntsman's Chorus
Updated Feb 18 2016
Traditional Longways; Whole Set — Eight or More Couples; Proper Lines Gallops, Arches and Casts.
I've Been To Harlem
Added June 4 2016
Richard Chase Circle Mixer Simple 16 bar dance for when you have too many men or ladies.
The Jubilee Thomas L. Cook Longways; Improper A contra dance with lots of Spin the Tops.
Jubilee Triumph Peter Spensley Three Couple; Longways; First Couple Improper Triumphal Arches over the ladies.
Kendal Ghyll Traditional Three Couple; Longways; Proper Grimstock Heys with Handkerchiefs.
Kennet Circle Dance Pauline Wilson Circle Mixer Easy Circle Mixer.
The Kentish Ramble Keith Uttley Square Rant; Intersecting Heys. North Country Ladies' Chains.
Kettle Drum
Updated Aug 12 2016
Playford, Mabel Clayden Square Multiple interpretations of incomprehensible words!
Kilham Capers Kathleen Mitchell Four Couples; Longways; Proper Circles, Stars, Double Cast, Lines & Gallops.
La Russe Quadrille
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Square Swinging, visiting and Dip 'n' Dive.
The Lacemaker Geoffrey Mendham Three Couples; Longways; #2s Improper Grand Chain with Arming 1 & 1/2 instead of Pull Bys.
Ladies' Fancy David Anderson (1886) Longways; Proper Baskets, Leads, Stars, Polkas.
The Lass of Richmond Hill Kate Riley Longways; Proper Leads and Crosses.
Loxley Figure Eight Traditional Three Couples; Longways; Proper Figure Eights & Arches.
The Madley Figure Eight Traditional Three Couples; Longways; Proper Casting into Figure Eights.
Meg Merrilees
Added June 7 2016
Maud Karpeles Longways; Improper Easy early American contra.
Monks Orchard Rant Ron Jones Longways; Improper Arches, Gypsys and single file Promenades with rant stepping.
The New England Jig Vic Smeltzer Longways; Improper Baskets and arches.
A New Horyezon Millicent Robertson Three Couple; Longways; Proper A Playford style dance with a Morris Hey.
Newlywed's Reel Jean & Ted Sanella Longways; Proper Ocean Waves & Single File Promenades.
Nottingham Reel Paul Mee Longways; Improper Stars, Ladies' Chains & Dip & Dive.
The Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotian
Maurice Hennigar Longways; Improper One of the first contras in a clearly contemporary style.
The Peterchurch Figure Eight Traditional Three Couples; Longways; Proper Easy dance with Figure Eights.
Princess' Country Dance David Anderson Longways; Proper Waves, Ladies' Chains & Polka to progress.
Pussy Cat Gary Cohen Square Dance Australian 1950's Square Dance.
Saint Giles' Gate Norris W. Winstone Longways; Proper Contest winning dance in Playford style.
The Saint Helen's Jig Vic Smeltzer Longways; Improper Ocean Waves & Assisted Casts.
Sibyl's Roundabout Les Wootton Circle Mixer Individual Chassées and lots of Alamo Waves.
Silver Celebration
Updated September 6 2017
Anne Clayton Longways; Four Couples; Proper Circles, Casts & Figure Eights.
Six Reel
Added June 7 2016
Traditional Square of Trios Lots of polkaing around the set.
Six & Sixpenny Rant University of Manchester Folk Dance Society Three Couples; Longways; Proper Orbits, Figure Eights and an interesting progression.
Spanish Waltz
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Square or Sicilian Circle Simple repetitive waltz-time dance with many variations.
Speed the Plough (American Version)
Added July 7 2016
Traditional Longways; Improper Early American contra.
Square Dancing
Added June 7 2016
Helen Kennedy Square Divide the Ring, Indian File & The Star.
The Stockton Long Dance Dave Turner Longways; Proper Circle, Leads, Ladies' Chains & a Right & Left Through.
The Swedish Dance
Updated June 11 2016
Traditional Longways or Sicilian Circle in Trios An easy dance with a Polka Swing.
Three Meet
Updated June 11 2016
Traditional Longways or Sicilian Circle in Trios An easy dance with a Polka Swing.
Three Reel
Added June 7 2016
Traditional Three dancers in a line Step, dance a hey, repeat until exhausted.
A Trip to Richmond Kate Riley Longways; Proper Leads and Crosses.
Tuesday Child Brian Jones Longways; Proper Half Figure Eights, Ladies' Chains & Down the Halls.
Varsity Rant University of Manchester Folk Dance Society Three Couples; Longways; Proper Orbits, Figure Eights and an interesting progression.
The Waves of Tory
Updated Feb 18 2016
Traditional Five Couples; Longways; Proper Dip & Dive.
Ways of the World Vermont 1794 Longways; Triple Minor; Proper Grimstock Heys and Eyes-Only Right & Left Throughs.
The Weobley Figure Eight Traditional Three Couples; Longways; Proper Figure Eights with the man and lady following different Figure Eight patterns.
The Wessex Assembly Jack Pragnell Square Playford style dance with an Open Star Promenade chorus.
Will Kemp's Entry into Norwich Norris W. Winstone Longways; Proper Contest winning dance in Playford style.
Winster Galop
Updated May 20 2016
Traditional Three to Six Couples; Longways; Proper Double Cast & Shoulder-Hold Swing.
Witch Doctor
Updated Sep 12 2016
Australian Square Dance Australian 1950's Square Dance.
The Yellow Rose of Texas
Updated Feb 18 2016
Ron Smedley Square Mixer Circles, Promenades and Chains.


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