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The Gender Balance        Print this danceTop of page

Format: One man two ladies facing same.
Dance: Colin Hume, 1994.     Music: 32 bar reels.

A1:Right-hand ladies chain on the left diagonal, and finish with left hands joined with receiving man.  Across the set, pull by left to start half a hey with hands — the final change is a left-hand turn half-way for the man and his original left-hand lady.
A2:All that again with new ladies — ending with left hands joined.
B1:Left-hand star with the spare opposite lady about ¾, then men cross right shoulder.  Right-hand star with the other two ladies.
B2:Men leave this star to swing your other partner (original left-hand lady), then pick up original right-hand lady with your left arm to make basket of three — end facing a new line, with the ladies reversed.

I wrote this in 1994, sparked off by discussion in CDSS News, and I've never called it!

Kaleidoscope        Kaleidoscope: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this danceTop of page   Recordings

Dance and Music: Colin Hume.  Published 1990.

Format: Longways, three facing three, with the Odd One (the one of the opposite sex) in the middle.

A1:Reel of three across the set: middle person start by passing right-hand partner right shoulder.
A2:Reel up and down the set: all pass opposite right shoulder, left all the way round the next (round an imaginary person at top and bottom of the set), right past opposite again, left around the next.
B1:Middles circle left with the two on their right (their right-hand partner and someone from the other line), finishing in new lines with the odd one in the middle.  (This means that the original left-hand dancers have changed lines.)  Set in lines; pass through to meet a new line of three.
B2:Those who can, ladies chain across.  (The line will be either man-lady-man or lady-man-lady.  Therefore each line contains a man with a lady on his right, and these are the four who do the ladies chain — which may be on the diagonal.)  Set in lines; pass through.

The dance is a double progression — trios reaching the end just turn round and wait for the second pass through to bring them a new line to dance with.  There is more variety of position if some trios are two men and one woman, others are two women and one man (but not uniformly so).  Don't let any ladies dance as men.

Some people near the ends of the set may complain that they just oscillated between two positions, but it's all down to where the men and women happen to be.

Polka Away

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The Poodle-Faker        The Poodle-Faker: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this danceTop of page   Recordings

Dance and Music: Colin Hume.  Published 1990.

Format: One man two ladies, three facing three around the room

A1:Lines of three forward and back.  Men go out to the two ladies on their right (one partner, one opposite) with a right-hand star.
A2:Men cross left shoulder into a left-hand star with the other two ladies.  Men dance half a reel of three with their own ladies, starting by passing their right-hand lady right shoulder.
B1:Men back-to-back with the lady diagonally left.  The same on the right.
B2:Ladies circle left 1½ round the men (who step to each other, swing or discuss the ladies).
C:Men choose either pair of ladies and make a basket with them, opening out with their backs to the other line.  (The ladies are now back on their original side.)

Dedicated to the lovely Rachel Taylor, who once called me a Poodle-Faker.  My dictionary defines this as “Youth too much given to tea-parties and ladies' society generally”.

It seemed appropriate to write a dance for one man and two ladies (though some of my friends would have suggested five or six ladies).  The three-handed stars are known to Scottish dancers as “tea-pots”.

Die Woaf        Die Woaf: Music in PDF, MIDI and ABC formatPrint this danceTop of page

Dance and Music: Traditional Austrian (modified)

Format: Couple

A1:Take butterfly hold (as in The Gay Gordons): two chassées diagonally left; two diagonally right.  Without letting go, raise both hands and lady turn right (moving forward all the time) to go clockwise all the way round the man, then turn clockwise to place.
A2:All that again — finish apart, with inside hands joined.
B1:Balance together, apart; man roll the lady across to the other side.  Together, apart; roll back.
B2:Ballroom hold: Two chassées forward; two back.  Waltz around.

The original Austrian dance is just the first 8 bars repeated indefinitely.  The version I picked up does this twice, and then someone has added the second half to make a 32-bar dance.  Some people will see this as the Folk Process; some will see it as sacrilege.  If you're in the second group, have a look at these YouTube videos — they're all different!

Having seen all this I have no hesitation in putting forward the above version.  I'm sure there were many variations in the tune and dance as it went from village to village and was passed down from one generation to another.  I've now written a second half to the tune to bring it up to 32 bars — maybe there will be some protest!