Dances in Square Sets


I understand that the use of the square set as a country dance formation dates from the 19th century when quadrilles were fashionable. A square set consists of four couples with the woman on the right of the man. The set makes a square shape with one couple on each side. The couples may be numbered, the couple with their backs to the band are number one, twos are to their right and so on around the set. Couples one and three are sometimes referred to as head couples while two and four are side couples.

Monkton Quadrille

Difficulty=1.   Source=Adapted by me from a dance on an insert in the memorably named and long gone "Dr Bowsers Brown Bowel Oil Band"   Music=48 bar Jig or Reel.

Strip the Willow Square

Difficulty=2   Source=???   Music=48 bar Jigs/slip jigs
I often call this as a 32 bar dance and miss off the last two parts.

Joe Taylors

Difficulty=2   Source=??? I've known this dance some time, I think I first danced it in the early 1980's   Music=32 bar Hornpipes
A2 is harder to explain than actually do! Use a good dotted hornpipe to emphasise the step-hop rhythm

Old Hat Square

Difficulty=2   Source=???Danced this to music by Old Hat Dance Band (I think). I didn't consciously learn it so I have probably got some of it wrong - still an ace dance though!   Music=32 bar Polkas/reels
The A1 section is really quick, each part takes just 2 bars of music.

Easy Twelve Reel

Each side of the square consists of a man with a partner on each side
Difficulty=1   Source=Variation of the well known Twelve Reel.   Music= 32 bar jig/reel/polka/hornpipe
Optional extra bit: C1 all circle left. C2 baskets of 3

Kerry Square

Difficulty=2   Source= I associate this with the Albion Band, possibly Ashley Hutchings calling?   Music=64 Polka/reel