Kentucky Running Set: Figures

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Around the World

Square

First woman (pursued by her partner) goes round the outside of the set.

All two-hand turn partner.

First man (pursued by his partner) goes round the outside of the set.

All two-hand turn partner.

Patrick Napier


Index of figures.

Back Door Key

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Drop hands (first couple need not); first man lead his partner round behind second woman, she takes the short cut and drops through between the second couple while he carries on behind second man.

(This puts the first couple back where they started, but improper.)

First woman leads her partner round behind second woman; he drops through while she goes on round behind second man.

(Puts first couple back proper.)

Circle four once to the left

Working couple go on to next couple and repeat; with last couple the circle left goes into a do-si .

Hilary Johnson

Patrick Napier gives Old Side Door where the first woman leads her partner out behind second couple, he drops through and leads her round behind, she drops through and then partners turn and then circle four and on to the next

Maud Karpeles had The Outside Door where the first man led his partner round behind second couple, and doing the dropping through figure three times, led by first woman, first man and then first woman to end with the ones proper and inside the set; then they circle four left and right, swing corner and then promenade partner on.


Index of figures.

Bird in the cage

Square

First man and second couple circle left round first woman.

First man plus couples two and three circle round first woman.

First man plus couples two and three and four circle round first woman.

"bird hops out and crow hops in" - first man and woman swap places, circle round first man.

First man joins circle, all circle home and swing partners.

Patrick Napier

Patrick Napier says "owl hops in", and adds that if he is Scots he may hoot. He also says that the bird should be active in the middle and not a "dead duck".

Phyllis Gilford said Crow and she got there first as far as I am concerned.

Cecil Sharp offers a variant where after circling round the first woman the first couple change places and circle again, then the first couple turn to put her into the next circle.


Index of figures.

Black Snake Twist

Square

First couple out to second and circle left once.

First man let go of second woman and lead the snake in front of third man, behind third woman, in front of fourth man, behind fourth woman (and, if there are more than four couples, on in front of men and behind women until they run out).

First man lead the snake round the last woman into an anti-clockwise (back-ring) loop round the middle of the set and then unwind by going in front of the last woman, behind her partner, and so on in front of women and behind men until they run out.

First man lead the snake into a circle left; pick up the third couple and repeat the snaking until you run out of couples.

Eventually you will have picked up all couples so you circle home and then do a little (grand the last time) promenade.

McLain Family Band record (Berea College)

Also in Square Dances of the Great Smoky Mountains published by the Cooperative Recreation Service, Delaware, Ohio, 1939


Index of figures.

Box the Gnat

Square

First couple half turn right, then whole turn left.

First man with second woman; first woman with second man; half turn right, then whole turn left.

First couple half turn right, then whole turn left.

First man with third woman; first woman with third man; half turn right, then whole turn left.

First couple half turn right, then whole turn left.

First man with fourth woman; first woman with fourth man; half turn right, then whole turn left.

First and fourth couples circle four and do-si.

Cecil Sharp

Cecil Sharp also offers a variant that flows better:-

First couple right arm turn.

First couple (individually) left arm turn second couple

First couple right arm turn.

First couple (individually) left arm turn third couple

First couple right arm turn.

First couple (individually) left arm turn fourth couple

See Shoo Fly.


Index of figures.

California Show Basket

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Drop hands (but continue moving in a circle); women take 2 hand hold with each other, then the men.

Men raise arms over women's heads and bring them down to waist level.

Women lift arms over the men's heads to their shoulders (or waist I suppose, depending on faith).

Basket.

Break and two hand turn corner; two hand turn partner.

Working couple go on to next couple and repeat; with last couple can follow with a do-si.

Hilary Johnson

Cecil Sharp says men raise arms up to women's necks for the basket (which he describes as "all move round once clockwise"); he also omits the two hand turn partner on the end.

Antony Heywood (a Round chairman from the late 1950s) reports a penciled in note "This figure may not be taught in an open E.F.D.S. class without Miss Sinclair's permission".

Patrick Napier calls this Eight Hands 'Cross. He also begs us not to use a buzz step for the basket - "the same walking step is used throughout this figure".


Index of figures.

Chain 2 ladies - Chain 3 Ladies

Square

First couple out to second and circle left once (or swing or something it says in my notes!).

Ones + twos half ladies chain, with first man only doing a half turn so they face the fourth couple.

Half ladies chain with fourth couple, again the first man only does a half turn in the middle to face second place; continue this with the women doing a reel disguised as a series of ladies chains and the first man getting dizzy until the women get home.

First couple go to threes and do a do-si (or something it says) to cheer up bored threes.

First couple go on to fours (+ twos) and do it all over again to get first man very dizzy.

(Note that the first man should be doing half turns, not one and a half.)

Bill Litchman


Index of figures.

Chase the Squirrel

2 Couple

First woman lead her partner between second couple, and around second woman who moves forward 4 steps and back to give them space.

First woman abandons her partner and goes through the twos and home round second man; the second man does a sort of turn single to pursue her.

First couple two hand turn.

All 4 circle left.

Cecil Sharp

Patrick Napier calls this figure Lady 'Round the Lady

Bob Dalsemer called "Chase the Rabbit, Chase the Squirrel" where the first woman, followed by her partner, did a full figure eight round the second couple (passing the woman first); and then the first man, followed by his partner, did a full figure eight round the second couple (again passing the woman first). The figure was completed with a circle four.


Index of figures.

Couple Couples Swing

2 Couple

First couple lead through second couple, separate and cast home.

Two hand turn partner.

All 4 circle left.

Patrick Napier


Index of figures.

Cutting off Three, Two and One

Square

First couple advance to third couple and retire; first couple split threes and cast home past 3 people ("cutting off 3"); all two hand turn partners.

First couple advance to third couple and retire; first couple go round the obvious side couple and home ("cutting off 2"); all two hand turn partners.

First couple advance to third couple and retire; first couple go round their corners and home ("cutting off 1"); all two hand turn partners.

Cecil Sharp


Index of figures.

Dive and Rescue the Lady

2 Couple

(Note that the first woman does absolutely nothing - she may do a circuit round the mêlée if she gets bored)

"Dive and Rescue the Lady" : first man circle left with second couple. Second couple arch, first man face second woman and go under arch so the two men stand back to back and go under their joined arms; and then the first man pulls the second woman through to unwind everyone back into the circle.

"Dive and Rescue the Man" : As before, but first man face second man and turn under joint arch with second woman to pull the second man through last.

First woman join in to circle four.

Lloyd Shaw

This figure was made up by Lloyd Shaw.


Index of figures.

Double Bow Knot

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

First man lets go of second woman, but others hold on; he goes under an arch made by his partner and second man and round behind her to get home (dragging her under the arch too).

Second couple make the arch and first man repeat the thread-the-needle figure under that arch. If the second woman likes she can circle to the right so the arch comes to meet the dancers going through it.

Circle four left once.

Repeat figure led by second man going under an arch made by second woman and first man to begin with.

Patrick Napier

cf Grape Vine Twist

Bob Dalsemer called this Lace the Shoe.


Index of figures.

Ducking for Oysters

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Without letting go the second couple make an arch, the first couple duck under, and back out.

First couple arch and twos duck under and return.

Second couple arch and ones dive through on to next couple.

Circle to a do-si with the last couple rather than dive through to go home.

Hilary Johnson, Maud Karpeles


Index of figures.

Elbow Swing

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Men right elbow turn once and a half (it feels rather less); left elbow turn corner once; men right elbow turn once and a half; left elbow turn partner once to reform the circle; circle left.

Patrick Napier

Barrie Bullimore called this as Wing Wing.


Index of figures.

Figure Eight

2 Couple

First couple half figure eight through second couple; first couple turn by the right.

First couple half figure eight through second couple; first couple turn by the left.

Circle 4 and on to the next.

Circle to a do-si with the last couple.

Cecil Sharp

Equals the well-known square dance Swanee River with extra turns added.

Phyllis Gilford did it as Swanee River.

Patrick Napier gives both variants.


Index of figures.

Four Leaf Clover

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Without letting go the second couple make an arch, the first couple go under and (raising their joined hands) turn away from each other and go backwards under their own arch.

(Gives a four-leaf-clover -- circle with arms crossed in the middle)

Circle left once

Ones arch and pull twos through to unwind.

Circle left again.

Working couple go on to next couple and repeat; with last couple can follow with a do-si.

Hilary Johnson

Patrick Napier suggests you can repeat it with 1s arching to start.

Douglas Kennedy gives it as above up to making the four leaf clover figure, but he breaks it with a turn corner, turn partner and go on to the next


Index of figures.

Georgia Rang-Tang

2 Couple

Turn corner by the right arm, partner left, corner right, partner left.

Bob Dalsemer

Bob Dalsemer used this as a Big Set chorus figure, generally followed by "you swing mine, I'll swing yours; back to partners and then on the the next". Can also be used from a big circle.

Note that Square Dances of the Great Smoky Mountains published by the Cooperative Recreation Service, Delaware, Ohio, 1939 uses the name Georgia Rang Tang for Cecil Sharp's Grape Vine Twist.


Index of figures.

Going Down Town

Square

First couple advance to third couple (4 steps) and retire pursued by threes; advance again while threes retire home; first couple lead through third, separate and cast home.

All two hand turn partner, two hand turn corner, stay with corner and promenade home to man's place.

Same leading man repeat figure with new partner until all home.

Cecil Sharp

Cecil Sharp notes that when this figure is done 4 times (i.e. led by each man in turn) there is no little promenade between each man leading it since there is a promenade as part of the figure anyway; the final swing partner, swing corner is the start of a grand promenade to delimit that figure.


Index of figures.

Grape Vine Twist

Square

First couple out to second and circle left once.

First man and second woman let go.

Thread the needle: first man go under arch made by him and his partner (without letting go), first man go under arch made by first woman and second man; first man go under arch made by second couple. (The arches should be made clearly because the first man tends to lose count.)

First and second couples do-si.

Circle left once, break and pick up third couple and circle left again.

First man threads the needle again (through more arches)

3 couple do-si - circle left, turn partner left, corner right, partner left, corner right, half turn partner left and go into the tight promenade round the inside of the set.

3 couples circle left; pick up the last couple; circle left; thread the needle; 4 couple do-si (as per 3 couple one).

Hilary Johnson, Maud Karpeles

Note that Patrick Napier's Grape Vine Twist is Cecil Sharp's Wind Up the Ball Yarn.

Maud Karpeles called this Grape Vine Swing; she suggests that while the head of the line (led by the working man) is continually circling clockwise to go under arches the tail (led by his corner) can circle anti-clockwise with the dancer whose right hand is making the arch standing still.

Maud Karpeles states that the figure described above is as done in the USA, but that EFDS practice was to do this figure without the do-sis, and have a separate figure couple up and do-si where the working couple would lead successive 2, 3 and 4 couple do-sis.


Index of figures.

Ladies do si do

2 Couple or Circle

Circle left, circle right and then men take the right hand of the lady on the left and pass it across to their right hand; perforce the ladies roll across to face out so the set ends in a wavy line. As the ladies roll across the men change direction to circle left.

Note that this can be done either from a circle of four (when the ladies essentially cross the circle) or a big circle (when they definitely roll across).

Often followed by "and the gents a little more do(ugh)" when everyone turns half by the right to end with men facing out, women in. The circle does not change direction during this turn: everyone continues to move clockwise.

Bob Dalsemer

Either flows into a Georgia Rang-Tang, or into a tunnel:

From the wavy circle (and assuming men are facing in/women out, though it could be the other way round) - lead person quarter turn to face back down the line of dancers (men turning right, women left), complete the half turn and pull the next person through and twirl them under his arm so they face back down the line. The people who have turned back keep hands joined to create a tunnel which moves back over the line that is ravelling up into the tunnel.

When the end of the line goes into the tunnel the person who started the tunnel can either join the line and dive into the tunnel, or just let the tunnel unravel into a wavy circle circling anticlockwise.

Douglas Kennedy called it Ladies Do Si and gave it as a two couple figure of circle four left, ladies cross, circle left, men cross, circle left, turn corner right, partner left and promenade on.


Index of figures.

Ladies in the Centre

Square

All turn partner two hands three quarters to put women in the middle facing out.

Men promenade round the set once and a quarter and turn the next woman (their original right hand lady).

Note the rotten flow between promenade and turns; I suggest doing all the turns `the wrong way'.

Repeat promenade and turns to get home; the last turn launches you into the grand promenade.

Cecil Sharp


Index of figures.

Mountaineer Loop

2 Couple

First couple out to second and circle left once.

Second couple arch and ones dive through, let go of each other but not the twos, separate and cast home. This implies that the twos have to back through their own arch.

Circle four left once; repeat with first couple arching and twos going through.

Circle left and on to the next.

Patrick Napier


Index of figures.

Polka Swing

Square

First couple advance to third couple (4 steps) and retire.

First couple split, man to fourth couple, woman to second to make circles of three. These circles circle left once, then continue to circle but the outside dancer of each circle stands still in turn; this forces the circles of three to rotate round each other as though they were planetary cogs inside a whatsit gear. (If you have met the toy known as a Spirograph you will instantly understand the figure.)

First woman goes to third couple and her partner follows her to the second couple and repeat.

First woman goes to fourth couple and her partner follows her to the third couple and repeat.

First man joins his partner at the fourth couple while second couple joins third; repeat circles but this time as circles of four.

End with each pair of couples doing a do-si.

Hilary Johnson, Maud Karpeles

see Waltz Swing


Index of figures.

Right and Left Six

Square

First couple lead to second and circle left half way.

Pull by right and go on to fourth couple (while twos turn left half to sort themselves out).

Circle left half way and pull by right with the fours (who then turn left half).

Circle left half way and pull by right with the threes.

Circle left half way and pull by right with the fours.

Circle left half way and pull by right with the twos and go home

Barrie Bullimore

Maud Karpeles gives a figure Right and Left Six With a Centre Swing where the couple in the middle always does a full two hand turn as the outside couple does the half turn left. She seems not to give a Right and Left Six without a Centre Swing.


Index of figures.

Right Hands 'Cross

2 Couple

First couple go to twos and star right; star left.

Men let go and fall back as the ladies cross left (i.e. continue the star left, but with a tighter turn); men cross right without taking hands.

Circle four.

Patrick Napier


Index of figures.

Rights and Lefts

Square

All grand chain round the set.

Repeat the grand chain, except with an elbow turn partner right once and a half, elbow turn the next left once and a half and so on all the way round the set.

(The second part of this is known as a Lock Chain Swing.)

Cecil Sharp


Index of figures.

Rights and Wrongs

Square

All grand chain round the set.

Single file promenade: women on the inside moving clockwise, and men on the outside anti-clockwise; all the way round.

Tony Foxworthy


Index of figures.

Shoo Fly

Square

First couple turn left, first woman turns second man right.

First couple turn left, first woman turns third man right while her partner follows up turning second woman right; etc... etc. until the working man turns the final woman right.

Tony Foxworthy

Douglas Kennedy gave it with the man only turning his partner so it was a sort of strip-the-willow figure for the woman.

He also gave it as turn partner right, turn other men left, and had the second couple follow up as soon as the previous couple was clear of the next.


Index of figures.

Shoot the Buffalo

2 Couple

First couple out to twos and circle left.

Without letting go: the second couple arch and the first man dive through; he lifts his left arm and backs under the arch it makes with his corner (i.e. he does a half turn right); first man circle left home unwinding the set by pulling his partner through the arch, the second couple follow through with second woman going under last.

Circle left again and first couple arch for second man to lead the figure.

Circle left

Bob Dalsemer

This is the only figure in the EFDSS KRS book that is not in Patrick Napier's.


Index of figures.

Shoot the Owl

Square

First couple move to the middle of the set and turn left.

First man goes to second couple and circles 3 with them half way.

Second couple arch and pops the first man through to turn his partner left (meanwhile twos have to complete their circle to tidy up the set).

First man go on to threes while first woman follows up to twos; circle half and pop the ones through.

Ones turn left in the middle and first man goes on to fours while his partner follows up to threes; circle left half, pop through and ones turn in the middle.

End with ones doing a do-si with fours.

Cecil Sharp


Index of figures.

Swing Ma, Swing Pa

2 Couple

First man two hand turn second woman half.

First man two hand turn second man half.

First man two hand turn his partner half.

Circle four.

Phyllis Gilford

"swing Ma, swing Pa, swing that girl from Arkansas"

Patrick Napier calls this Arkansas Girl, but offers Old Arkansas where the first woman leads it as "Swing your Pa, Swing your Ma, Don't forget old Arkansas".


Index of figures.

Swing the Opposite Lady

Square

First couple circle 4 with second couple; turn opposite with two hands once and a half and circle 4 again.

First man with second woman go on to third couple, circle once, turn opposite once and a half, circle 4 again and first man takes third woman on to fourth couple while second man with first woman follow up.

etc... etc. When last man gets home all should have partners back. The men move round in one go, the women in fits and starts.

Tony Foxworthy, Maud Karpeles

Maud Karpeles leaves out the circles and just says turn opposite (an unspecified distance - I presume once).


Index of figures.

Swing Your Opposite

Square

First man turn third woman right, fourth woman (his corner) left and partner right.

Repeat with two hand turns.

Repeat all that with the second man joining in (i.e. turning his opposite, corner, partner).

And again with third man joining in.

And finally with all the men joining in.

Tony Foxworthy


Index of figures.

Take a Little Peek

2 Couple

First couple separate, go outside the second couple "take a little peek" at each other and cast home.

First couple two hand turn.

Repeat all that

Circle four.

(Bored 2s are allowed to turn as well.)

Patrick Napier

Variants: Swing When You Meet - 1s go out and two hand turn instead of merely peeking. Swing at the Wall - same as Swing When you Meet except you only go out and back, instead of out and back twice, before the circle four.


Index of figures.

Treat 'em all Right

Square

First man turn his partner left, second woman left, partner left, third woman left, partner left, fourth woman left

First man turn his partner left, fourth woman left, third woman right, second woman left and finally partner right.

Cecil Sharp

Note the appalling flow.


Index of figures.

Wagon Wheel

Big Set

>From a circle. Men go in and out; women go in and promenade left (clockwise), putting their inside (right) hands on the inside shoulder of the woman in front, meanwhile the men promenade right on the outside. All about turn and promenade home (the women changing to left hands on left shoulders).

When partners meet the women continue to promenade and their partners fall in beside them holding right hands in right; the set then expands by everyone moving out and converting the hold to a Butterfly hold with left hands on the women's shoulders; partners then trade places to convert the promenade into a conventional ballroom direction promenade with the men on the inside, women outside.

Patrick Napier, Bob Dalsemer

As a Big Set introduction the promenade would probably be followed by an "odds to evens and circle four" call (with no advance preparation to decide who was going to be odd or even); as a finale the set would promenade off the floor.


Index of figures.

Waltz Swing

Square

First couple turn by the left; first man circle 3 with second couple.

First couple turn by the left; first man circle 3 with third couple while first woman circle 3 with second couple; as the circles go round they also move round each other as in Polka Swing.

First couple turn by the left; first man circle 3 with fourth couple while first woman circle 3 with third couple; as the circles go round they again move round each other.

First and fourth couples circle four and do-si.

Cecil Sharp


Index of figures.

Waves of the Ocean, Waves of the Sea

2 Couple

First couple out to second couple; ones two hand turn, lead through twos, separate and cast home, turn again, lead through again and cast back. (i.e. [turn + lead through] x 2)

first couple go on to threes and repeat, but second couple follow up immediately. i.e. 2 couples lead through together etc.

First couple go on to 4s and 2+3 follow up.

1s go home so 2 + 3 + 4 do it.

2s go home so 3 + 4 do it.

3s go home and just the 4s do it.

Lloyd Shaw, Bill Litchman


Index of figures.

Waves of the Sea

2 Couple

First couple (with crossed hands) lead to second couple's place, turn in and lead back while second couple separate and go outside the ones into first couple's place, pass each other and go back into their partner's place. (Note the theory that both moves take 8 steps, but the twos can't possibly do the longer distance in that time.)

(This leaves the second couple improper.)

Repeat the figure with twos leading in and back while the ones separate, cross over and go home improper.

All half turn partner; and circle left.

The circle left with the last couple goes into a do-si.

Hilary Johnson, Patrick Napier, Maud Karpeles

Note that Tony Foxworthy had the second couple go outside, cross, go home and cross immediately to end proper (in a great rush) rather than fudge it with the extra half turn later.

Maud Karpeles had the couple lead in, half turn and lead back instead of the half-turns later. She also reports that the timing is very irregular and "it is advised that it should not be too much stereotyped in performance. The figure can probably be most conveniently performed in 16 bars, taking approximately 6 bars for the forward and back (making a slow half turn), 6 bars for the cast-around movement, and 4 bars for the hands-four".

Note that the Lloyd Shaw Waves of the Sea figure Bill Litchman taught is totally different.

Patrick Napier also has Ocean Wave where the first couple just leads forward and back while the second couple separates and goes forward and back outside the ones, then the twos lead forwards and back together as the ones separate as they go forwards and back; the figure is finished by a circle left.


Index of figures.

Wild Goose Chase

Square

First man leads his partner between second couple, round second woman and in front of the second couple and then in principle he leads his partner between second couple, round second man to end forming a circle with the second couple. However instead of standing still the second man goes clockwise round the inside of the set, chased by the first couple. At the end of the chase the second man goes behind his partner to get home and the two couples circle left.

First man then leads a line of four between third couple and chases third man; circle six.

First man leads the line through fourth couple and chases fourth man to a circle of eight.

First man leads line of eight on a wild goose chase (anywhere convenient); for pedagogic purposes casting out behind his partner to form a back ring followed by casting back in front of her to reform the set will do.

Finish up with circling left and in to the middle and back twice to square the set.

Cecil Sharp

See also Tony Parkes -- Grapevine Twist as called on the record Heating up the Hall.


Index of figures.

Wind Up the Ball Yarn

Square

All eight circle left; first man let go of fourth woman, but everyone else hold on.

Fourth couple make an arch and the first man leads the line under the arch and round to the right to get home. Instead of the fourth man going under the arch with his partner he turns as though to go under but they then lower the arch onto his left shoulder. (This leaves him `locked')

First man leads the line through an arch between fourth man and third woman, she ends with her back to him and their joined hands on her left shoulder; repeat the exercise with each arch in turn.

(Locked people should continue to move very gently in time with the music to ensure that the line of locked people drifts into a small circle.)

Finish with fourth woman putting her right hand on her left shoulder, first man passing his left arm under the arch he makes with his partner, turning his back on her and holding the fourth woman's right hand with his left.

In this formation the set moves 8 steps forward and (very carefully) 8 back.

Either break - everyone let go and form a circle to get home, or unwind by the first man letting go of fourth woman and casting left to go through each arch in reverse order. As he goes under the last arch the first man should turn to his right to lead the line into a circle facing in; from there they can go in and out twice to square the set.

Cecil Sharp

Note that Cecil Sharp suggests break for the figure led by the first three couples, but on the last repetition have the working (fourth) man unwind.


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