Dances I have written


32 bar reel

Seven couples arranged in an elongated square containing one couple at the top, one at the bottom, two couples on each side and one couple in the middle.

A1 1 - 4 Top 4 men ( this includes the middle man ) right hand star while the bottom 4 ladies ( this includes the middle lady ) right hand star, all change places with partner left hand into ...
4 - 8 Top 4 ladies ( this includes middle lady ) and bottom 4 men ( includes middle man ) right hand star.
A2 1 - 8 All balance and swing partners
B 1 - 2 Outer six couples face partners, two changes of a grand chain ( progress one place ).
3 - 16 New side fours dance reel of four while ...
middle couple and top couple do half a ladies chain with an extra half turn
middle couple and bottom couple do half a ladies chain,
middle couple and bottom couple do half a right and left through
If there is time at the very end swing or dosido new partner

Repeat six times

Written for the Manchester University Folk Dance Society after we had a run of meetings with seven couples, this dance is surprisingly tricky despite containing no obviously difficult moves. If everybody is on the ball the dance does not quite fill up the music - hence the swing or dosido if there is time. Alternatively, any spare time can be used for working out whether you are at the top or bottom of the set, whether you are male or female and therefore whether you are in the star at the beginning of the next turn of the dance. It is worth pointing out that the middle couple will be involved in two stars - one at the bottom and one at the top.

Unfortunately the progression does not quite work; although you get to dance in every position you do not get to dance with everyone of the opposite sex - any suggestions as to how to achieve this would be very welcome. The men progress anti clockwise around the set, taking a detour into the middle position as they reach the bottom; the ladies progress clockwise, making their detour into the middle as they reach the top.

Copyright © Bob Archer 1986


32 bar reel

Longways duple minor, 1st couples improper.

A1 1 - 4 Dosido your neighbour one and a half times to make an ocean wave, ladies have left hands joined in the middle.
5 - 8 Balance forward and back.
Turn your neighbour half way around with the right hand, ladies turn half way around on the spot to finish next to their neighbour in promenade hold, 1st man and 2nd woman facing up, 2nd man and 1st woman facing down.
A2 1 - 8 Promenade in the direction you are facing, turn as a couple, promenade back. As you get level with the other couple, 'cast off' i.e. the ladies walk fowards and around their neighbours while the men back up to help the ladies into ...
B1 1 - 8 Ladies chain over and back.
B2 1 - 8 Square through 4 hands starting with your partner. Note that this is a slow square through - two bars for each hand.

Copyright © Bob Archer 1989

The first 8 bars of this dance use a similar idea to one in Mark Elvins' dance Contra Flow (published in Both Feet Again). Since I had already danced Contra Flow at the time I wrote this I suspect that the figure had lodged itself in the back of my mind only to masquerade as my own idea some months later. Luckily the other 24 bars are different enough that it avoids being a complete rip off.

The whole point of the dance is the cast at the end of A2 into the ladies chain in B1. I have always loved the feel of 'down the middle four in line, turn and come back and cast into a ladies chain' except that the cast into the ladies chain doesn't work well for one couple - the lady is walking backwards, then has to change direction to get into the chain. This dance is an attempt to make the transition smooth for both couples.


32 bar jig. Chris Dewhurst's Icy Jig is ideal

5 couples in a circle

A1 1 - 4 Circle left
5 - 8 Circle right
A2 1 - 8 Allemande left your corner
Dosido your partner
Right hand turn your partner one and a half times around to make an alamo ring - men facing out ladies facing in
B1 1 - 4 Balance forward and back
Left hand turn half way to remake the ring
5 - 8 Balance forward and back
Right hand turn half way to remake the ring. The person you have just turned with your right hand is your new partner - you will meet them again in a moment.
B2 1 - 4 All walk forward four steps and clap, then turn and walk back to your new partner.
5 - 8 All swing your new partner

Repeat 4 times

Copyright © Bob Archer 1988

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This page last modified 29 November 1998