Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 06:52
Historical sources
Set formation

A fun simple dance. Sharp used the tune of this dance for Hit and Misse (which is actually a different length).

Part 1
A1, A2 (8) Lead up a double and back twice.
B1, B2 (8) 1C take both hands, 1M pushes 1W down the set 8 skipping steps and back, and return to the sides.
C1, C2 (12) 1C cross down passing right shoulders to stand between 2C and 3C in one skipped double, then cross down another place, then cross down to the bottom improper (6).
Repeat up (6).
Part 2
A1, A2 (8) Sides right and left.
B1, B2 (8) As before.
C1, C2 (12) As before.
Part 3
A1, A2 (8) Arm right and left.
B1, B2 (8) As before.
C1, C2 (12) As before.

After once through, 1C cast to the bottom as the others start the dance again with a lead up and back, ready for a new 2C to lead the dance.

If there's space for it, a spread out set is recommended, so that during the C parts 1C can cross down from gap to gap without the rest of the set needing to move up. If there isn't, then the other couples need to move out of the way each change.

This can be called gender-free: it doesn't matter who pushes who down the set, and indeed it's fun to give people the option of deciding.

Leade up all a D. forwards and back  ·  That againe  : 

First man put back his Wo. by both hands downe betweene the rest  ·  That back againe  :  First Cu. crosse over, fall into the 2. polace, crosse againe, fall into the third place, crosse againe, fall to the lower end  ·  All this back againe  : 
Sides all  ·  That againe  :  As before  :  As before  : 
Armes all  ·  That againe  :  As before  :  As before  : 

Cross over, fall into the 2. place would, in later dances, be interpreted as cross and cast. But that convention hasn't set in in this period, and you have 6 bars to do that three times – two bars for each – which just doesn’t fit. Alternatively, if it simply means to cross downwards in front of second couple, it fits fine.

Better than that, if the first couple cross right shoulders for each cross on the way down and on the way up, they end up orbiting around each other in a really beautiful way. I didn't realise this until I called this dance at the Hey Days dance week in California 2017, when we had plenty of space to play with and some dancers that just did it!

Showing that it’s not just 17th century publishers that made mistakes, my reprint of the 1933-era version of Playford first edition by Hugh Mellor has the set diagram upside down, with the men and women reversed.  This was not the case in Playford’s original!

This one’s a extreme case of the first couple having all the fun.  I find it hard to believe that, having done this thrice through, the other couples wouldn’t have a go.