Three Meet/The Swedish Dance

Source: Traditional; collected by Clare Newhouse; published in E.F.D.S. News, January 1934, Number 35, Volume IV, Part 1 and in English Dance & Song, July August 1940, Volume IV, Number 6 and in English Dance & Song, September 1950, Volume XV, Number 2.
Formation: Longways or Sicilian Circle; Duple Minor; Trios - described originally as "each man having two partners"

A1 Three Face Three Neighbours (with linked arms): Up a Double and Back
Cross Over with Neighbour by the Right Shoulder and turn to face them
OR With linked arms, stay linked and Half Promenade
A2 Repeat to Place
B1 All Six Circle Left; Circle Right (Slip)
OR Middle Dancer: Arm Right with Right Hand Dancer x2; Arm Left with Left Hand Dancer x2
B2 In Threes: Circle Left: Make the two circles rotate around each other to change places - open out facing original direction
OR Make a Basket for Three and Spin (passing the other Basket AC for a Progressive Dance)

32 bars.

The original B2 says that the two circles rotate around each other clockwise. But it also says, "This movement is similar to that of 'Partners swing and change'". There were some articles published around that time discussing whether you should "swing & change" around your neighbours clockwise or anti-clockwise, and whether some standardisation was required to reduce the number of crashes on the dance-floor! Well, as far as I know, the standard these days is anti-clockwise.

This move is the same as the Polka Swing in Appalachian square dances. That move goes anti-clockwise and I find that a much more satisfying move than clockwise. You can see in the description of that move that it recommends that as each dancer reaches the outside they stand still momentarily and swing the other dancers around; the end result is that you feel like you are on the Waltzers at the fun-fair!

The 1940 version of the dance is identical to the 1934 version apart from the removal of the instruction to use skip steps in parts of the dance. Had they already started walking instead of dancing?

The 1950 version introduces lots of variations, and is the variation published in Community Dances Manual 3, in 1952. The CDM also specifies passing AC for progression.

The article says "Second Version". This is because Cecil Sharp published the Devonshire version in The Country Dance Book Part 1:

Three Meet/The Pleasures of the Town

Formation: Triple Minor; Proper

A1 Three Men link arms & three Ladies link arms: Forwards a Double and Back twice
A2 Double Cast & Back Up the set to Home (skip step)
B1 #1s Lead Down, Turn Alone, Lead Up and Cast Down one place - #2s Move Up
B2 #1s & #2s Partner Swing

Sharp notes that in B2 the whole set can do the Double Cast instead of just each Minor Set doing it individually. I guess the musicians kept playing Bs until everyone was home!

Here is a version of Three Meet being danced in Kent,UK in 2023:

Original page from E.F.D.S. News, January 1934

Three Meet

Original page from E.F.D.S. News, April 1934

Three Meet

Original page from English Dance & Song, July August 1940

Three Meet

Original page from English Dance & Song, September 1950

Three Meet

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Hover here for text - testing - please ignore.
Image Text
THREE MEET (Second Version)
Tuts dance is still performed at the village of Upper Slaughter, Glos.,
in the Old Manor Barn on the occasion of the Harvest Home. Miss
Witts of the Manor House states that the dance is locally known as
“The Swedish Dance.” The description of the dance is given by Miss
Clare Newhouse.

    |1| |2| |1| |2|
Top (1) (2) (1) (2) Bottom
    |1| |2| |1| |2|

Longways for as many as will.
(Duple minor set, but each man having two partners.)

A1. 1-4 The two men (first man facing down, and second man
        facing up) lead their partners forward a double and back.
    5-8 All move forward and cross over right shoulders with the
        opposite dancers.

A2      Repeat to places.

B1. 1-4 Hands-six clockwise (sk. s.)

    5-8 Hands-six counter-clockwise.

B2      The two men go hands-three clockwise with their own
        partners, and at the same time the two 3-rings revolve
        round each other in a half-circle clockwise, and change
        places (sk. s.) (Progressive.)

        This movement is similar to that of “Partners swing and

The tune used for this dance is published under the title of
“Three Meet.”” In Country Dance Tunes Set 2.