Bush Music Club Inc. - Ball Dance Instructions
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Dance Instructions for the Bush Music Club's 27th Subscription Ball
Maitland Town Hall, Saturday 25th August 2007

The dances here are a selection of old favourites and one or two which will be new to most. As usual, the programme is loosely based on Colonial Balls of the 19th century with several more recent dances written in similar styles. Dances originate from several countries and you will find common features in many of them, albeit interpreted in various national styles. Enjoy!

Abbreviations and Terminology

These instructions have been compiled from various sources, including instructions for the previous Maitland Balls. Generally, existing instructions have been re-worded for brevity and to introduce a (fairly) common terminology and writing style (to suit dancers most accustomed to Colonial and Bush dancing).

Balance and turn partnerSlow quadrille setting, RLR lift L, LRL lift R, then walk an open two hand turn once around
Cast downThe couple move down one place (unless specified otherwise) by turning towards the top of the set and then away from partner first before curving into the position below. Cast up is the reverse - turn to the foot of the set etc.. Cast off is a similar movement to cast down, (turning away from partner) but continue, usually to the foot of the set or around the set (depending on shape)
GypsyPartners dance around each other clockwise, maintaining eye contact.
L, RLeft, Right
LF, RFLeft foot, Right foot
ALODAgainst line of dance (clockwise around the room)
LODLine of dance (anticlockwise around the room)
RH StarAll place R hand in centre and go around clockwise (also termed R Hands across in Scottish dancing) Also LH Star to left. The preferred hold is shake-hand hold with the person opposite.
Rs and LsChange places with opposite person by R shoulder, partner by L shoulder and repeat to places. No hands are given unless specified in the dance. (Half Rs and Ls is just to the halfway positions)
Set or Set onceStyle varies: RLR then LRL. Set twice is 4 bars

Colonials Quadrille

Form: Square Set (Australian numbering)
4BAll circle left (slip step)
4BCircle right (back to place)
8B1C visit the set anti-clockwise (Each have a turn)
4B1C & 2C cross over (inside hands joined & 1C arch)
4B3C & 4C cross over (3C arch, courtesy turn lady)
8BHalf grand chain
8BLadies right hand star (M put R arm around L waist)
8BPromenade partner to place
Repeat 3 more times
Source: Jack Stroud of Dargo District

Janet's Delight

Mrs Douglas Winchester (Maidie Logie Robertson), 1952
Formation: Quadrille set
Music: Scottish Waltzes (2x96 bars)
8BWith hands joined, all advance two steps and retire two steps, then back to back with partners by right shoulders
8BAll advance and retire, then back to back with corners by left shoulders
16BRepeat
16BAll four ladies R hands across in a wheel for 2 steps then turn with man on L by L hand and repeat 3 more times to places
16BWith partner in front promenade hold, promenade the set: dance two steps around anticlockwise and two steps with man crossing over (clockwise) in front of the lady. The couples are now in the next position around the set. Repeat 3 times to places, with the ladies crossing in front of the men alternately.
16BCircle Waltz: All join hands in a circle and balance forward and back, then the four ladies dance across the man on their right to his partner's place and rejoin the circle. Repeat 3 times.
16BWaltz the set, bow and curtsey
Repeat 96 bars

Fitzroy Quadrille

Quadrille set:1s face 2s, 3s on the right of 1s facing 4s

Fig 1 2x32B

8BTop couples: Rights & Lefts (no hands),
8BBalance and turn partners (two hands),
8BTop Ladiesí chain,
4BTop couples promenade to opposite places,
4BHalf Rs & Ls to place.
32B Repeat with Side couples

Fig 2 4x24B

4B1st lady, 2nd man advance and retire,
4BAdv, turn two hands, return to place.
4B1st couple lead through across set
4B2nd couple lead through back
8BAll balance and turn corners.
24BRepeat, 2nd lady, 1st man leading
24BRepeat, 3rd lady, 4th man leading
24BRepeat, 4th lady, 3rd man leading

Fig 3 2x32B

8BTop cpls RH and LH star
8BBalance and turn partners
8BLadies chain
4BHalf promenade to the opposite side
4B Half R & L to place
32BRepeat with side cpls

Fig 4 4x24B

8B1st & 2nd cpls visit right & retire 3 in 1 to opposite place
8B4 ladies grand chain around the centre of set
8BBalance and turn partners
24BRepeat with 1st & 3rd cpls to place
48BRepeat with 3rd & 4th cpls

Fig 5 2x128B

16BTop couples waltz the set
8BTop Ladies cross over
8BSide Ladies cross over
8BTop Gentlemen cross over
8BSide Gentlemen cross over
8BTop couples waltz to place
8BSide couples waltz to place
32BWaltz chain to place (meeting R hand each time) and form top and bottom lines
8BAll adv, ret and cross over
8BAll adv, ret and cross back
16BWaltz the set to places
128BRepeat with side couples leading, and with sidelines after waltz chain

Petronella

Formation: Longways set of 4 couples
1st & 3rd couples start.
2BDiamond right (man facing up, lady down)
2BSet to partner
4BRepeat diamond R and set (now in partner's place)
4BRepeat diamond R and set (man now facing down, lady up)
4BRepeat diamond R and set (to return to place)
8BDancing cpl(s) slip to bottom and back to place
8BCpl 1 & 2; 3 & 4 swing to change places with longarm hold
32BOriginal top cpl repeat from 2nd place, dancing with cpl in 3rd place
32BNew 1st and 3rd cpl repeat

Margaret's Waltz

Pat Shaw, 1959
Composed for Margaret Grant on her retirement in 1959 as EFDSS representative in Devon
Music: Waltz. Tunes: Margaret's Waltz and Farewell to Devon also composed by Shaw. 32 bar repeat dance.
Formation: Sicilian circle formation, couple facing couple around the room - take inside hands with partner
4BWaltz two steps forward to opposite couple and two back.
4BRight hand turn (shake-hand hold) with opposite person
4BLeft hand turn with partner
4BLadiesí chain half way (using 'Colonial' hold when turning as a couple)
4BWith opposite (keeping the same hold): two chassť steps diagonally right and then two diagonally left (couples finishing back to back)
4BAll turn right into a right hands across (R H star) with the couple behind, back to original places
4BAll back to back ('do-si-do') with opposite
4BWaltz on to meet new couple.

Siege of Ennis

Formation: Double sicilian progressive
4BAdvance and retire (inside hands, both start on R foot)
4BAdvance and retire
4BSide step - sevens and threes within lines, cpl on L move R and in front of R cpl who move L
4BSide step back - 7s & 3s, cpl now on L move R and in front of other cpl who move L
8BSwing your opposite, short arm hold - finish beside partner
4BAdvance and retire in original lines
4BPass through to a new line of four

Sydney Square

Noreen Grunseit, 1980
Form: 4 couple square set, numbered clockwise
Music: 4x32 bar jig
8BEight hands around to left and back (slip step)
8BEight hands around to right and back
 
4BPartners face, take R hands, balance R and L and pass on to next
4BTake next by R hand and repeat
4BTops and bottoms lead in, take own partner (opp) R hand and lead back to place, man turns partner to place on R
4BSides do the same (prog 1 place anti-clockwise)
 
2BTops and bottoms cross, giving R hand to opp in passing, sides face partner and change places giving R hand in passing
2BMen anti-clockwise and Ladies clockwise, all change with next person giving L hands
4BContinue R hand and L hand back to place with partner
8BRepeat R and L
 
4BPartners face, take R hands, balance R and L and pass on to next
4BTake next by R hand and repeat
4BTops and bottoms lead in, take own partner (opp) R hand and lead back to place, man turns partner to place on R
4BSides do the same (prog 1 place anti-clockwise)
 
4BTops and bottoms take near hands with partner and cross over, tops making arch, men turn partner to their right
4BSides repeat, cpl 4 make arch
4BTake near hands with corner, top man and his corner arch over opposite couple, man turns Lady to his left on reaching other side
4BOther 2 cpls do the same, Man 2 and partner make the arch
 
4BPartners face, take R hands, balance R and L and pass on to next
4BTake next by R hand and repeat
4BTops and bottoms lead in, take own partner (opp) R hand and lead back to place, man turns partner to place on R
4BSides do the same (prog 1 place anti-clockwise)
 
8BMen RH & LH star
8BLadies RH & LH star
 
4BPartners face, take R hands, balance R and L and pass on to next
4BTake next by R hand and repeat
4BTops and bottoms lead in, take own partner (opp) R hand and lead back to place, man turns partner to place on R
4BSides do the same (prog 1 place anti-clockwise)

Murrumbidgee Waltz

Mike Waters
Form: 4 Couple Quadrille
Music: 4x32 bar waltz + 4 bar coda
8BTop couples advance and retire, 2 hand turn partner
8BSide couples advance and retire, 2 hand turn corner
8BTop couples with side couples on right do R & L through
8BTops with sides RH star and LH star
16BLadies diamond chain, top ladies moving in LOD, sides in reverse LOD. Men turn ladies all the way round to continue chain.
16BCouples waltz the set once around in LOD
Repeat with sides leading.
Coda: All advance to centre, men turn partners to place.

The Buchan Eightsome Reel

Collected in Aberdeen
Formation: 4 Couples in a square
Part A
8BAll four couples dance eight hands round and back again
8BAll face partners and, giving RH to partner, dance grand chain half way round
8BWomen, giving nearer hand to partner, give RH across and dance right round
8BAll face partners and, giving RH to partner, dance grand chain half way round to original places
8BMen, giving nearer hand to partner, give LH across and dance right round
Part B
8B1st woman goes into centre while other seven dance hands round and back
8B1st woman sets to partner and turns him with R arm (elbow grip), sets to opposite man and turns him with L arm
8B1st woman sets to man originally on her right, turns him with L arm, then sets to opposite man and turns him with R arm
8B1st woman dances reel of 3 with partner and opposite man, giving R shoulder to partner
8B1st woman dances reel of 3 with the other two men, giving L shoulder to the man she turned first
3x40B1st woman returns to place and next woman (No 2) goes into centre. Repeat Part B for each woman.
4x40BWhen each of the women has had her turn each man has his turn, dancing with the women as described in part B
40BWhen each man has had his turn, repeat part A
In these turnings single arm elbow grip is used - the men raise the free arm as they turn, and both arms in the reel of three

La TempÍte

mid 1800s
Music: 48B repeat
Formation: Double Sicilian. The right hand couple in the line of 4 is "Tops", left hand couple is "Bottoms". Progressive
8BAdvance with three steps and point then retire 123 close and repeat
8BSlip step passing opposite couple in ballroom hold: tops pass between bottoms and then bottoms between tops
8Brepeat
4BCircle left: centre 4 circle, ends 2 hand turn
4BCircle right
4BStar right: centre 4 RH star ends turn R hand
4BStar left
8BAdvance and retire, re-advance and pass through

Royal Irish Quadrille

'The Quadrille' but danced on the diagonal.
Formation: Quadrille set: 1s face 2s, 3s on the right of 1s facing 4s

Fig 1 2x32B

8BTop couples to Right: All Rs & Ls (no hands),
8BSet and swing partners
8BLadiesí chain
4BPromenade to opposite places
4BHalf Rs & Ls to place.
32B Repeat with Tops to Left

Fig 2 4x24B

4BTop couples to Right: All advance and retire
4BCross over (without changing sides and turn in)
8BAdvance, retire and cross back
8BSet and swing partners
24BRepeat with Tops to Left
48B Repeat with Tops to Right then Left

Fig 3 4x32B

4BTop Ladies and opp. Gents - adv touch R hand, retire to opposite place
4BAdv again, join L hand give R hand to partner
4BLine of 4 balance
4BTurn towards partner & promenade to opp. places
4BTop Ladies and opp. Gents adv & ret
4BAdv, honour & ret
8BAll couples adv & ret, half Rs & Ls to place
32BRepeat with side Ladies and opp. Gents leading
64BRepeat with Tops to Left, then Sides leading

Fig 4 4x32B

4BTop couples to Right: All advance and retire
4BReadvance, Top Ladies join opposite couples
4BLine of 3 advance and retire, leading Gent retire
4BLine of 3 advance, Ladies cross (turning) to lead Gent
4BLine of 3 advance and retire, opposite Gent retire
4BAdvance and form circle of 4 (Ladies turning)
4BCircle left halfway and retire to opp places
4BAll half Rs & Ls to place
32BRepeat with Side couples leading
64BRepeat with Tops to Left, then Sides leading

Fig 5 4x32B

4BAll advance and retire in a circle
4BSwing partners
4BAll Ladies advance, curtsy and retire
4BGents advance, honour and retire
8BAll set and swing corners
8BPromenade to Gents' places
96BRepeat 3 times to return to place

Coda 16B

4BAll advance and retire in circle
4BAll swing partners
8BPromenade the set

Sweets of May

Irish Ceili dance revived by Nan Quinn, County Armagh c1930
Note: the Thread the Needle figure is added
Music: Own tune, Jigs. Formation: Quadrille - tops and sides

Part A - Rings 16B
4BCircle left (7s and 3s)
4BCircle right
4BCircle right
4BCircle left
Part B - Body 32B
4BTops cross on R side, sides cross while tops dance two 3s in place (set)
4BTops cross back while sides dance 3s, sides cross while tops dance 3s
4BTops advance while sides dance 3s, Tops retire while sides advance
4BTops advance while sides retire, Tops retire
4BClapping sequence 'ring the bells'
4BSidestep 7 and 3s to corner, ladies in front of partner
8BRepeat clapping then sidestep back, ladies behind partners
Part C - Lead Around 16B
16BCpls lead anticlockwise around circle, reverse and lead back

Part D - Body 32B

Part E - See-Saw 16B
8BCouples progress around the circle anticlockwise while turning clockwise
8BReverse to places

Part F - Body 32B

Part G - Sides under Arms 16B
8BTops arch to their right over sides and return under
8BTops arch to their left over sides and return under

Part H - Body 32B

Part I - Thread the needle 16B
8BAll join hands in circle except top man and his corner lady. Lady leads whole set under arch made by 1st Tops to place
8BRepeat with 1st man leading the set under arch made by side couple on left

Part J - Body 32B

Part K - Rings 16B

Pam Gainsford's Delight

Noreen Grunseit, 1985
Music 32 bar reels
Formation: Longways for 4 couples, 2nd and 4th improper
4BLines advance 4 steps. Women take partners R hand and dance 4 steps W backward, M forward
4BAll swing, finishing in lines of 4 across the dance, facing in, W on R of partners
8BRepeat above, women taking R hands with opposites and swing to lines up and down the dance, woman on R of man
8BRepeat again, finishing in line across the dance
8BRepeat again, finishing back in original places
8BLadies chain - cpl 1 with cpl 2, cpl 3 with cpl 4
4BGatepost up: M1-W2, M3-W4, W1-M2, W3-M4 take near hands, Cpls 2 & 4 move up between cpls 1 & 3 and turn out around them on their own sides to place, cpls 1 & 3 acting as posts
4BGatepost down: Still holding hands as before, cpl 1 & 3 move down between cpls 2 & 4 and turn out around them back to place, cpls 2 & 4 acting as posts
4BCpls 1 & 2 RH star half way, turn in and set R & L to partner
4BCpls 1 & 3 LH star half way, turn in and set to partner
4BCpls 1 & 4 RH star half way, turn in and set to partner
4BAll swing in place finishing with 2nd & 4th cpls improper
Repeat 3 times with new top couple

Love 'em and Leave 'em

Noreen Grunseit, 1983
This was the winning dance of the 1983 BMC dance competition (Dancers' Dance section)
Music: Duke of Atholl's Reel or suitable 32B jigs
Formation: 4 couple square set (Tops and Sides). Progressive dance.
Steps: Walk and skip except where a particular step is given
4BTop couples advance for 4 (walking steps) & retire for 4 while Side couples promenade around the set anticlockwise to opposite places (all in lower promenade hold)
4BTop couples around while Side couples advance & retire
8BRepeat all that to places
8BTop couples meet (advance to centre) 2B and taking opposite person in ballroom hold, side slip out between side couples 2B, then polka anticlockwise to the Gent's positions 4B, meanwhile the side couples take side steps out and back to make way for the dancing couples coming through
8BSide couples repeat
8BTop couples advance for 4 (walking steps), take hands in a circle, circle left 3 places (6 walking steps), Gents take the Lady on the left (own partner) in two hand open hold and swing to place
8BSide couples repeat
8BTop couples half Ladies' chain 4B, Side couples half Ladies' chain 4B
8BLadies turn one quarter to face anticlockwise around the set and Gents cast off and skip anticlockwise around the set, taking nearer hands with the next woman and dance to the Gent's place. (At the end the Ladies cross to the R side of their new partner)
3*64BRepeat to finish with original partner

Queen of Sheba

Formation: Longways set of 4 Couples, 1s & 3s improper. Walking dance in Playford style.
Music: Handel's 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' 96-bar
8BUp a double & back (RLR together, RLR together, taking hands with partners) 4B, Gypsy partner (Right shoulder) 4B
8BDown a double & back, Gypsy partner (Left shoulder)
4BRH stars (top 2 couples and bottom 2 couples)
4BMiddle 4 LH star while Ends "promenade" to other end:
1st Lady follows 1st Gent to couple 4's places (proper) while 4th Lady follows 4th Gent to 1st couple's place (improper), all walking clockwise
8BRepeat Stars & Promenade: Finish with Gents facing out of the set
8BForward a double & back (all individually) with Ladies following Gents, Gypsy neighbour (Right shoulder)
8BAll turn and Ladies face out: Forward a double & back with Gents following Ladies, Gypsy neighbour (Left shoulder)
2BEnd couples (1s+4s): 3/4 RH turn, Ladies take hands and form arches with their partners (up and down the set)
4B2s and 3s walk clockwise under the arches to places
2BEnds: 1/4 RH turn to places
2BLady 2 with Gent 3, Lady 3 with Gent 2: 3/4 RH turn, Ladies take hands and form arches with partners across set
4BEnds: walk clockwise under arches
2B2s and 3s: 1/4 RH turn to places
8B1s and 4s face away from the set, Lady 2 faces out with Gent 3, Lady 3 faces out with Gent 2: "Starburst" - Forward a double & back, Gypsy this partner (R shoulder)
8BRepeat: Forward a double & back, Gypsy (left shoulder)
6BPartial Hey (i.e. R shoulder reel of 4) on both lines starting: ends facing in, middles standing back to back.
walk 1/2 the hey 4B, then one more position 2B: original ends finish in the middle position that was initially furthest from them and original middles finish at the end that was initially behind them.
2BAll 2-hand turn partner 1/2 way into the other line and immediately turn to start another partial hey (as above)
8BRepeat: Partial Hey on both lines 6B and 2-hand turn partner 1/2 way 2B to original positions

Circassian Circle

Form: Couple facing couple in a circle
8BRH and LH star
8BSet & Swing partners
8BLadies chain
8BPromenade around the other couple and on to next