notation of basic easy simple country dances. english folk dances, country dance moves and actions,
some ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCES and how to do them.
This page contains the movements, instructions, actions for a number of easy English country-dances as called by Gerry Jones, and the Liverpool Country Dance Band
.
They are offered for a couple of reasons;
1. to help some people who have done these dances at a barn-dance or dance-class, and are trying later to remember "what that dance was".
2. for people who are soon going to a folk-dance or ceilidh,
and would like to have some idea of what they will be doing.
3. for other callers, especially beginners in the trade, who would like some suggestions or variations, of simple dances for beginners.

email Gerry Jones who is a member of the

DANCES INCLUDED BELOW
(click on the name to go straight to it.)

Apfelstrudl Waltz.   all SIT round tables holding hands.
Barnaby          a bit of fun ; more of a game than a dance.
the Big Corral.     a couple dance, ending like a circle.
Bridge of Athlone,  another easy five couple dance.
Circassian Circle   an extremely easy circle dance
Cumberland Square Eight   an easy square dance, Sides copy the Tops.
Festival Circle   a very easy dance with only two moves.
Gay Gordons.     not English, but we all need to learn it.
I Want to be Near You.     a simple square dance
the Love Knot     four-couples in a line.
the Snowball    a very easy dance for five couples in a line
Sicilian Circle.  couple face couple all round the room
Star Trek          four couples in a line, and rather clever.
Swedish Masquerade.  couple following couple all round the room
Three around Three.    just three gents face three ladies.
Waves of Tory.  two long lines, facing partners, for marching round.

APFELSTRUDL WALTZ.  all SIT round tables holding hands.
Sway left, sway right, Sway left, sway right, leab Forward, lead back STAND UP, sit down.

BARNABY: Lines of 4 (or 5) facing partners.
CHORUS; hold both partner's hands at shoulder height;
"push-pull" , singing, to the tune "Shortnin' Bread"
"Here comes Barnaby, Barnaby,Barnaby;
here comes Barnaby, all night long"
VERSES: Top GENT makes his way down middle of set,
in free movement! ,any action! and stays there)
while all sing; "Here comes Sassie, Sass-sass-a-lassie" etc,
Here comes Sassie, all night long."
Top LADY COPIES HER GENT, while All sing
"Here comes another one, just like the other one,
here comes another one, all night long."
Later, LADIES can make first move,for GENTS to copy.

the BIG CORRAL. great big circle.Couple dance. face partners;
1. Give Partner RIGHTHAND & TURN all way round.
2. Give Partner LEFT HAND & TURN all way round.
3. Give Partner BOTH HANDS & TURN round.
4. DO-SI-DO Partner all way round to first position.
5. SWING PARTNER for eight bars then
6. PROMENADE anti-clockwise for 8 bars. start again.

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the BRIDGE OF ATHLONE. 4,5,or 6 Gents face Ladies.
A1: All take hands in Line; FORWARD 4 steps, & Back 4.
FORWARD ; Ladies THROUGH Gents arches = change over
A2; FORWARD 4 steps & 4 back,
then FORWARD but Gents under Ladies' Arches.
B1; TOPS SLIP 8 down inside the set, & 8 back to top.
B2; TOP COUPLE CAST, down outside of set, make an ARCH;
all follow , through the arch, up to own spot.
C; ALL COUPLES MAKE ARCHES = A TUNNEL.
Top lady goes up tunnel & down outside,
while Top Gent goes up outside and down tunnel.
Stay at bottom. IF there is time SWING PARTNERS.

the CIRCASSIAN CIRCLE (our version): Big circle, as many as will.
Into middle (4 steps) & out again, CIRCLE LEFT 8.
Into middle (4 steps) & out again, CIRCLE RIGHT 8.
LADIES 4 steps in, CLAP & return;
GENTS in, JUMP HIGH, PUNCH THE AIR, AND ROAR!)
All Swing partners

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CUMBERLAND SQUARE EIGHT. 64 bars x n square set.
A; HEADS Gallop across 7 back. Sides copy.
B; HEADS STAR Right& LEFT. Sides Copy.
C; HEADS Basket Swing, to left ONLY. Sides Copy.
D; All CIRCLE LEFT (16) and promenade home.

CYLCH Y CYMRU: WELSH CIRCLE. Single circle, as many as will.
All Face partner; shake hands, 4 right, 4 left. ;
CLAP own hands x 4, SLAP both Partners hands x 4.
Ballroom hold; 4 slips in then out, repeated.
Face partner; Link right elbows & turn, then Left.
PROMENADE during which Gent Moves on.

FESTIVAL CIRCLE ("Yakety Sax")"Big Corral" shape;
Double circle; Ladies face in; Gents face out.
A: RIGHT hand turn with partner, and clap.
LEFT hand turn with partner, and clap.
B; DO-SI-DO partner, and SLANT to Right.
Do-SI-DO New Partner. Start again with her.

GAY GORDONS
Two behind two, in a big double circle. Gent on left. Lady has both hands in front. Four steps fwd, SWIVEL right & 4 steps reverse.
Four steps fwd, SWIVEL LEFT & 4 steps reverse.
Gent walks forward turning lady under Right arm.
Take Ballroom hold and turn or polka for a bit.

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I WANT TO BE NEAR YOU. own tune. Square set.
"(First) COUPLE SEPARATE & go around the set. "You PASS your partner half-way round, and PASS when you get back.
"Honour your corner Lady, Salute your partner dear,
Then promenade, during which you all SING: "I want to be near you (etc.)"

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the LOVE KNOT : longways, four facing four.
First Lady leads the LADIES LINE leads round Gents line. 8 bars
First Gent drags other GENTS round Ladies Line. 8 bars.
TOP COUPLE cross to other line, "weave" down "wrong" line to bottom,
then return to own side. and STAY down there. 8 bars
Make two STARS, near & far, right & left. 8 bars.
LADIES start again, with NEW TOP LADY.
Dance four times = until all have been Tops.

a SICILIAN CIRCLE: double circle for as many as will. 3 dance moves, and a Move On move.
1; do-si-do Opposite then do-si-do partner.
2. Ladies chain all the way round.
3. basket swing one direction only. 4. with partner, fwd & back, fwd and through.

Some variations.
A1; four take hands & circle LEFT; back Right.
A2; four make Right hand STAR, and back with LEFTS.
B1;. with person facing you, right and left hand turn.
B2. with partner, fwd & back, fwd & through to next couple,with CLOCKWISE couples making the Arch.

STAR TREK: . 4 x 32. longways for four couples.
A1; couples 2 & 3 STAR left and right,
while1s & 4s TREK around the star
i.e. crossing to partner's side then go round star.
A2; take hands in lines;Boldly Go forward & back twice.
B1; INTO ORBIT = near 4 & far 4 CIRCLE Lt & Rt.
B2; BEAM US UP,SCOTTY! 4th couple up middle.
When they have passed you, KLINGON to your partners and Swing.
"It's Dance, Jim, but not as we know it."

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SNOWBALL longways for five couples exactly
1s turn each other right hand, back with left.
1s & 2s right hand star back with left.
1s,2s,3s circle (of 6) to right and left.
1s,2s,3s,4s lines of four fwd & back, twice.
BUT: when lines go forward a Second time,
FIFTHS NIP UP THE OUTSIDE smartly,
and become Firsts, arming right & left.(etc).

the SWEDISH MASQUERADE.  couple following couple all round the room in a circle.
Gent on left/inside, supports lady's hand, old-style, tall and elegant, look down on the peasants as you glide by.
1. Slow stately march a/clockwise, just eight steps, turn round, and eight steps back. Turn.
2. to a Waltz tempo, step apart, together, apart, together, then waltz-ish round four bars. Repeat.
3. to a Polka tempo, spring apart, together, apart, together, then waltz-ish round four bars. Repeat.
start again with the very slow march (rest and recovery function).

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THREE AROUND THREE: three gents face three ladies.
Top Lady pulls line of LADIES ROUND GENTS.
Top gent pulls line of GENTS ROUND LADIES line.
Top couple CAST to middle place, & SWING partner.
Then they RIGHT-hand-STAR with couple above them (old 2nds),
(No Left-hand-star back.) then Tops dive under ARCH of 3rd couple .
LADIES!! be ready to re-start, esp. lady "arch-diver."

WAVES OF TORY; long line of gents facing long line of ladies.
1. All take hands with neighbours in long line, and go forwrad & back, twice.
2. All let go, face the band, and follow each leader down the outside in single file.
3. Meet your partners at the far end, and come up the middle has couples holding a hand.
4. Clever bit comes now; couples peel off an go down the outside as couples, alternating, each couple going the opposite way to the couple in front of them.
5. At the bottom, meet another couple, and join up to come up as Lines of Four/ Two Couples.
6. At the top, just split the Line of Four, and go down the nearest side, still as couples.
7. At the end, return into couple following couple coming up the hall, holding one hand.
8. In turn each new Top Couple must turn to face away from the Band, swopping hands, and go UNDER the arms of the Second Couple, OVER the Third Couple, and on like that till they run out of couples.
Then they turn around and start RESPONDING to the next couple coming down, and continue until they are back in their home/original place. This can take forever.

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How to get to
LIVERPOOL CONTRA FOLK DANCE CLUB.
A-Z; p90 A1. St. Stephen's Church, Lance Lane / Woolton Rd, Liverpool,
by the shops & zebra crossing.


Here are some pages linked to this page:
Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs
Some more folk dance clubs in this region.
my daytime Country Dancing Clubs
run by Gerry Jones, in Childwall and Fazakerley
Liverpool Country Dance Band
for barn-dances and ceilidhs.
Lyrics of some Liverpool Songs.
Gerry Jones, the handy musician
Liverpool branch of the RSCDS
IRISH Dancing information.
Back to the Home page

email Gerry Jones for general information.

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Some other web-sites which may be of interest;
The English Folk Dance & Song Society.
"Lancashire Folk": details of folk activities in Lancashire.

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