Fandango, The

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Mon, 2018-03-19, 08:20
Historical sources
Set formation
Difficulty
A1 (8) 1C right hand turn, finishing together facing up, and cast down one place
A2 (8) 1C left hand turn, finishing together facing up, and cast down one place
B1 (8) Hands six slip left and right
B2 (8) 1C lead up to the top slowly and cast down one place
A3 (8) 1C right hand turn first corners (1M with 3W, 1W with 2M) and left hand turn each other once and a bit to second corners
A4 (8) 1C right hand turn second corners (1M with 2W, 1W with 3M) and left hand turn each other once and a bit back to middle place proper
B3 (8) 1M down through 3C, 1W up through 2C for full figure of eight
B4 (8) 1M up through 2C, 1W down through 3C, ends join in for a full hey, 1C leading to the bottom at the end

Turn Right hands & cast off 1 Cu. turn Left hands and cast off below the 3d Cu. hands 6 round lead up the middle & cast off 1 Cu. turn corners & turn your Part: the same at the other corners Man whole figure at bottom & Wo. at top the same time then the Wo. hey at bottom & Man at top

This dance was first interpreted in the Apted collection as a 3-couple longways dance. The interpretation for that is:

  • 1C right hand turn and cast down 1 place (8)
  • 1C left hand turn and cast down 1 place (8)
  • Hands 6 slip left and back (8)
  • 1C lead to the top, cast down one place and turn single (8)
  • 1C two-hand turn first corners, then two-hand turn each other (8)
  • 1C two-hand turn second corners, then two-hand turn each other (8)
  • 1M up, 1W down through the end couples for a full figure of eight (8)
  • 1M down, 1W up through the other end couple, who join in for a hey at each end, 1C leading to the bottom at the end (8)

There are quite a few differences between that and the original, and some of the key ones I'd not change when dancing socially:

  • Conversion to 3-couple longways – a 64-bar triple minor would need to run very long indeed for every couple to have a go at leading!
  • Slipping left and back during the circle – we don't use the same steps as they did in that period.

The one that caught my eye was the fact that the original clearly describes 1M going down through 3C for the figure of eight, rather than up through 2C. The Apted interpretation has the latter due to its use of two-hand turns throughout that section of the dance, but those have always been too slow really – it's a common workshop dance to teach control at being able to time moves, holding back the turns so that you don't get ahead of the music. However, 1M going down really requires 1C to be turning in the direction of a left hand turn, not that of a right hand turn as normally done in a two-hand turn. And indeed, alternate right and left hand corner-partner-corner-partner turns are a common staple of Scottish Country Dancing, which has its roots in this era of country dancing. So I do that instead, and enough people have told me they prefer it that way that I feel I'm on to something.

I also leave out the turn single because it was never there although you do need to warn people that they'll have a lot of time; if people want to add that in then they're more than welcome.