NLW Add MSS 171E (The “Llangadfan” dances)
1790 ca

Contains instructions for five Welsh dances that bear striking similarity to pre-restoration country dances. This source is written by William Jones, relating dances which his father danced and which have largely died out by the time it is written.

A transcription was written in a pamplet by the Welsh folk dance group Parti Dawns in 1998. The original is held in the National Library of Wales, Add MSS 171E.

It includes the following description of dance terms:

Set: to set forward 2 or 3 steps & fall back, or dance in suitable steps during half or a whole Strain.

Set Sides: to set to one another always facing but veering to yr left or right or improper or proper.

Slip sides: to dance around one another wthout turning their Faces.

Cross Hey: When the 1st Man go the Hey with the Women & the 1st Woman with the Men. and -

Hey with yr Own: the Man wth the Men & Women wth the Women which always to the strain playd yr 3d time.

Hey between, after setting wth whomsoever.

Double Hey, proper (or by the Man) Men turn their Backs to their Partners, the woman following them all going the Hey in couples.

Double Heys improper: the Men following the women as before.

Ring: Hands 3 or 6 & whirl around.

March: cross over the 2d Couple, meet & Cross over the 3d Couple meet at bottom & turn. Back again in the like manner with the same strain repeated.

Under & over: Right Hands all, the 1st Couple stoop to the 2d & the 3d to the 1st so on alternately till all are returned to their own places. Or contrarwise the 2s stoop &c

Followings: The man go down behind the Men the woman follow him, Man, up behind the women: & the woman up the middle, the woman down behind the men, the Man follow her &c till they come to their places the strain play'd twice.

Given the large separation in time and distance between these dances and Playford's descriptions, one should be wary of inferring too much of relevance to interpreting the Dancing Master from what is written here, but it is interesting nonetheless:

  • More confirmation if it were needed of the nature of siding.
  • A definition of the ‘double hey’!
  • At least here, circles were not sedate – ‘whirl around’!