Halfe Hannekin

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Sun, 2017-09-10, 16:29
Historical sources
Set formation
Difficulty

Relatively uncontroversial this one but it's been fudged in various ways over the years for aesthetic reasons.

A1,2 (8) Lead up a double and back twice
B (8) Side right with your partner (4)
Two-hand turn and move onto the next person on your left, with a person standing out at the top and bottom alternate times through (4)

For a circle, everyone faces anticlockwise, men on the inside, leading forwards and back around the circle to begin.

The progression for this is unusual and is the only reason for it not being rated Easy. After one change there's a man standing out at the top and a women standing out at the bottom. After the next change they join in again on the other side, but now there are two men dancing at the top and two women at the bottom. After a bit, all the men are dancing together at the top and all the women at the bottom. After as long again, you're with your partner again on the other side. You can stop there or keep going to get everyone back to where they started.

There's no inherent problem with men and women dancing together (indeed, for some, this dance's gender neutrality is one of its attractions), but if you have plenty of people, want to meet more of them and have less confusion, it also works well in a circle. Start with everyone facing anticlockwise, men in the middle, and move on one partner each time. They almost certainly didn't normally dance with those sort of numbers when Playford published the English Dancing Master!

Alternatively, you can progress two people at a time – this means dancing with fewer people but avoids people standing out at the end of the set.