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Country Dances
Fain I Would
(PDF of the Written Music)
Fain I Would
(PDF of the Dance Directions)

Fain I Would
(MP 3 sound file - AABB x 3)



Rachael

Written by Frederick Park, 2009, for Rachael Rose White of Berea, Kentucky on the occasion of her birthday.

A country dance in sicillian circle-beckett formation - couples aligned beside their partners.
Each couple stands across from another, one couple with their back to the inside of the larger circle of all dancers,
one couple with their backs to the outside of the set of all dancers.

Music: "Jump At the Sun" or a similiar jig played at moderate speed.

A-1 (with Hands Four . . . ) Circle Left 3/4 round, Partners Change Hands *, face new Couples and Circle Right 1/2 round, Balance R & L

A-2 (using Hands to guide each through the next set of changes . . . ) Turn this 'New' Opposite L. 1/2,
with the Next (Original Opposite) turn R. once round (returning to face 'New' Opposite . . . )
turn L. once round. End this "Hey with Hands" facing Original Opposite

B-1 Balance and Swing Original Opposite (end facing Original Partner in original Hands Four.)

B-2 Men Pass Through while the Women Allemande L. once round to face Partners, All Swing Partners and Slide L. to start with a new couple...

Notes: The formation of sicillian circle is an accepted norm. Becket styled sicillian circles are rare though easy to "set up".
In A-1, the figure and the call "Change Hands" I've borrowed from Shaw's dance "The K & E" which he may have borrowed from interpretations of the Playford era "Fain I Would". The chance to show this single movement at the outset of the dance makes the walk through happen with greater ease and speed. The essence of the teaching is that couples do this only with their Partners (in this dance) and if Change Hands happens correctly, each Couple has turned to face the opposite direction (and is now on the "other" side of their Partner while hardly moving – but I refrain from sharing that as its too much info.).

In the A-2 we found that the "Hey for Three" is a useful term for those really familiar with English dance but generally speaking here's the 'skinny' on an infalable walk through . . . Partners are dancing beside each other up or down the set, though not ever touching. Turning half by the L and then stopping with hands joined L. & R. in long lines, one can then share the notion that now each dancer is between two other dancers. Each will be turned once round with the presently joined hands so that all will end up where they are right now after the Hey for Three - with Hands! Make sense? Intent here is to allow them use of hands till they get the feel of the dance and suggest that no hands were intended in the original dance composition. The outcome may be that they dance a Hey for Three after the initial Half Left Allemande! (One can hope, n'est pas?)

B-1 is self explainatory. B-2 allows for each Gent to cross the set and stand facing in while the Ladies start toward the center but catch each other's Left hands and Allemande round once to end facing their Original Partners for Swing (with NO Balance!) and end in time to Slide Left (progression).

Enjoy!

"Emma & Kendall"

Written by Frederick Park, Summer, 2009
for Emma Rushton & Kendall Brody of Nashville, TN, who both teach American and English Dance there.

Formation: Beckett styled Sicillian Circle formation: hands four in a big circle, couples standing opposite each other either with their backs to the center of the room or to the outside of the room. The dance also works in tradition longways set.

Music: a smooth reel is suggested . . .

A-1 Bal. & Swing Partners

A-2 Half-Promenade looping wide to their L. to face a New Couple (progression)
       Cross-Trail Thru -->Pass Thru, Partners face and Pass L to meet their "Shadow"
      (along the lines of their own circle) Allemande L. w/ "Shadow" once round & give a R. to Partner in a single ring
      (outside single ring AND inside single ring - this part is danced very quickly!)

B-1 Balance the Ring (R. & L.), All slip R., Bal. the Ring (L. & R.), All slip L. (a la "Rory O'More")

B-2 Hey for Four (Men begin passing L. in the Center)

Note: The "A-2" happens quickly. Not a dance for beginners but rather for middle-of-the-evening with an intermediate to advanced group of dancers.

"James & Marion"

A Waltz Country Dance in the English tradition (with a subtle variation or two)
For James Morrison and Marion Lindsay Morrison, by Frederick Park, December, 2009

Formation: Duple Proper Longways set dance

Music: "Greensleeves" played AB, in waltz time, stately

       Measure

A    1           Partners Set
       2-4       Partners Allemande R. ¾, 1st M. & 2nd W. (1st Corners) Allemande L. ½
                    while the 2nd Corners continue to walk out in a gentle arc toward their Partners
                    Partners Allemande R. to face out of set - Lady on the R. (1's Alle. R. ½, 2's Alle. R. ¾)

       5-6       Partners Lead Out & Back (with R. hands joined)
       7-8      "Spin Through" & Turn Single (a la Pass Through Opposite Couple while turning single away from Partner)
                   (Rejoin "hands four")

B    1           Circle Balance (in & out)
       2           Circle L. ½

       3-4       Half Ladies Chain
       5-6       1st Couple dance Half Figure Eight - up through 2nd Couple
       7-8        All Turn Single ending proper & progressed . . .

Variation 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A    1           Partners Set

       2-4       Partners Allemande R. ¾, 1st M. & 2nd W. (1st Corners) Allemande L. ½
                    while the 2nd Corners continue to walk out in a gentle arc toward their Partners
                    Partners Gypsy R. to face out of set, Lady on the R., inside hands joined (1's Gypsy ½, 2's Gypsy ¾)

       5-6       Partners Balance & Star Through
                   
       7-8       "Spin Through" & Star Through

B    1           Cirlce Balance
       2           Circle L. ½

       3-4       Half Ladies Chain
       5-6       1st Couple dance Half Figure Eight - up through 2nd Couple
       7-8        All Turn Single ending proper & progressed . . .

Notes: As the Allemandes give way to Gypsy Partners in Measure 3-4, the new line of dance is now 90 degrees off the original line just as all start the Gypsy. To facilitate this, the 2nd Corner dancers may find it a fluid transition to simply walk out of the long line in a gentle arc while looking for their Partner who is closer to the center of the original set. From the caller's perspective it is W1, M1, W2, M2 with the Men facing Up the hall just as the Gypsy is about to begin. Hense, the suggestion of Gypsy ½ for the 1's and Gypsy ¾ for the 2's so that all end facing out of the set with the Man on the L. and his Lady on the R.. Ending the Gypsy in the 4th measure, Partners take inside hands.

In the Star Through, (Man's R. is in Lady's L.) Couples Arch & she walks under their raised hands to face back in, Gent crosses behind her to face in also. The Lady is on the Man's R. while contact with "inside hands" (the Man's R. & Lady's L.) is maintained.

"Spin Through" is blend of two moves: Pass Through the Opposite Couple while turning single away from Partner.

The Second Version of this dance is a bit busy compared to the First. Each is unique. James, Marion and Claire danced this with me to find the best "fit" for the First Version. The second is my need to place the "Star Through" back in the dance.

"Abbots Bromely"

Frederick Park, April, 2007

Formation: Longways Set Dance, Becket Formation (long lines of couples facing across the set toward another couple)
Music: "Abbotts Bromley * (Each dance segment is 8 bars long - 3 x 8 = 24 bars of music)

A - Hands Four with a New Couple, Circle L. once Round, Partners Face and trade hands . . .
      All Lead Out a Double,  Two-hand turn Half,  Lead in a Double.

B - Women Turn with a Left half way, Pause and Cast out to their Right.
      Gent follows his Opposite in CW fashion,
      . . . as their eyes meet they begin turning then Swing.

C - Circle Four, Half way
      Gents Pass Across the set and Cast Right, WHILE . . .
      Women Turn with a Left Once round to face Partners
      Partners Swing - ending by sliding around the set clockwise to face a new Couple . . . (Progression)

     * (Here is a copy of the "Abbots Bromley" sheet music.)

RPM

(Subtittle: Ruth Pershing's Muse)

Frederick Park, February, 2010

Formation: Three Couple Set dance, Proper, Longways
Music: an elegant, even stately reel played moderately - or an aire.

A-1 Symetrical Hey for Three
       (Both the top and bottom Couples cast away from Partner to begin.
       Those dancing into or from the middle place are together as they meet or depart dancing toward either end of the set)

A-2 Top Couple (or Lead Couple) Casts into middle place to meet their Partner
       AND those who are dancing from the natural 2nd Corner's position (ie: original 2nd Woman and 3rd Man)
       with a R. hand Star: Balance the Star
       Star R. Half until the 1's, the Lead Couple, meet their 1st Corners with a L.,
       Balance L. & R. with 1st Corner Dancers
       WHILE those who were with them, the Original 2nd Corner dancers, cast into their new place
       (having now traded places with their own, "other" 2nd Corner dancer)

B-1 Lead dancers Allemande L. with their 1st Corners once round. Lead Couple meets their Partner with a R.
       WHILE that Corner falls in behind the one they turned, all four joining in a R. hand Star
       (Lead Couple and their 1st Corners) Half way round.
       1st Corners now cast into new places
       WHILE the Lead Couple turns those who stand in the position of their 2nd Corner once round flipping, just at the end,
       coming round so that all are facing their Partners.

B-2 All Balance Forward and Back toward Partner, All Swing Partners
       (ending ready to start the next round of the dance with a Hey for Three . . . )

"Jody"

Frederick Park, February, 2010

Formation: Contra Dance, Improper Formation (1’s face Down, 2’s face Up to start)
Music: Jigs to Reels: Jump At The Sun / Falls of the Shenandoah

A-1 Swing Opposite, Half Ladies Chain (while original 2nd Cpl. ONLY . . .)
      Roll Away with a Half Sashay (all are now beside Partner facing M. to M. / W. to W.)

A-2 Contra Corners : Gents / Ladies alternate beginning with each new turn of the Dance . . .
      (When this Fig. starts, the M. turn R. half to face 1st Corner, Alle. L. with 1st Corner,
      M. Alle. R. each other half to 2nd Corner, Alle. L with 2nd Corner,
      M. dance R. shoulder round each other falling back into their starting place)

B-1 Circle Four, three quarters round, Swing Partners (ending in starting places)
      Alternate B-1: Balance the Ring, Petronella Twirl one place to the R. and Swing Partners (ending in starting places)

B-2 Face Opposite, Hey for Three - up & down the lines.
      (Pass Orig. Opp. R., with the Next in Line, dance L. all the way round,
      back to Original Opp., dance R. all the way round to progess on to next Couple . . .)

Notes: This dance blends traditions and relies on dancers knowing the figures, “Contra Corners” and “Hey for Three” . The “positions” of Contra Corners are used for same-sex dancers initiate the figure. So, just the Men or just the Women start the figure. Of course, just like any dance that uses this figure within the longways set tradition, one must rely on the ends of the set having a “ghost” dancer present for part of the figure - notably, it is when the Women initiate this figure when no one standing out at the ends of the set. When Couples are out at the end they may choose to participate in completing both the Contra Corners figure as well as being ready to join in the Hey for Three.

No need to teach a Hey for Three in detail if you ask the dancers to learn it while using hands (ie: Alle. R 1/2, Alle. L 1x, Alle. R. 1x and on to the “next”) At the ends of the set each dancer may choose to visualize and use the whole set, bending round to extend their Hey including dancers from the “other” line. The Hey both ends the dance while introducing each dancer to those with whom they’ll begin the next turn of the dance . . .

This dance is written for Joan Greene.

"Raina & Jeff"

Frederick Park, May 30, 2010

Formation: Contra Dance, Improper Formation (1’s face Down, 2’s face Up to start)
Music: Old Time String Band Tunes

A-1 Balance the Ring of Four, Two Leaf Clover * (turn it once round)

A-2 Reverse Two Leaf Clover (turn it once round)

B-1 Open the Circle of Four, Swing Opposites (ending in progressed places)

B-2 Circle Left Once Round & Swing Partners! (She is across the set, Swing begins and ends in the same place.
      End facing a new couple!)

* Notes: This dance figure is from Western North Carolina. It is attributed to the dances that happened at the original Farmer's Ball. In a ring of four with hands touching but not gripped, each dancer raises their own partner's hand and the lady turns her back on her partner then backs under their joined hands ending on his left side with her back against his left arm. The two women are now side by side facing opposite directions. The always face the direction of the woman nearest them.

To reverse the Two Leaf Clover, the women slide one step to their Left trading places, back to back, with the other woman in their set of four while the men simply turn on the spot to both receive this new woman and no one lets go of the ring. Please stress that to raise one's hands in the air at any moment will likely "undo" the figure. This last comment, Raising Hands in the Air, does indeed end the figure just prior to the B-1 of the dance. Allow for a gentle flow for the hands in the air will naturally allow each woman to discover which way to turn in order to remake the ring of four.

This dance is written for Jeff & Raina's Wedding, Swannanoa, NC, June 1st, 2010.

"Miika"

Frederick Park, December 31st, 2010

Formation: Contra Dance, Improper Formation (1’s face Down, 2’s face Up to start) Double Progression
Music: Waiting for Nancy

A-1 Neighbors Allemande Left ½, Allemande Right (same One) ¾
       (till Women are in the middle of a line of 4), Balance Four in Line (Forward & Back)

A-2 Ladies Pull By & Swing Partners

B-1 Half Promenade & then Half Sashay (Partners)
       Balance the Ring, Petronella Twirl one place to the Right (1st Progression)
       and face another New Neighbor

B-2 Balance & Swing New Neighbor! (2nd Progression)

* Notes: This dance ends with a Swing and begins the next turn of dance with a Left Allemande. To engage a flow, I wish to recommend ending the last Swing a few beats before the end of the phrase to make the Allemandes sync or fit the music!

This dance is written for Miika Rolett, Celo, NC, December 31st, 2010 on the occasion of her birthday!

"OM, My Darlin"

Frederick Park, January, 2011

Formation: Longways sets in Beckett Formation (each dancer is beside their Partner & across from another Couple)

A-1 Pull by Partners with a R. Hand, Allemande L. with the Next (Shadow for the whole dance), return to Swing Partners

A-2 Half Promenade and then a Half Sashay, Balance Four (in a ring with Original Opposite Couple),
       "Petronella" Spin one place to the Right
       BUT each dancer turns or pins either half way or spins once and a half so that all are now facing a New Neighbor . . .
B-1 Balance and Swing New Neighbors

B-2 Partners (across the set from each other) Balance & Star Through (Man's R. in Lady's L., turn her under and face same Cpl.)
       and Circle Left three quarters round . . .

* Notes: This dance is for Owen Morrison, son of Jim & Marney, brother to Will & Clair - and soon to be a Husband! One dances with one's Partner a lot in this set dance!

"Something Blue"

Frederick Park, January, 2011

Formation: Three Couple Set Dance, beginning in a Circle, Couples numbered clockwise, 1, 2, 3.
Music: Waltz or Reel (totally different dances - depending upon the music!)

A-1 Balance the Ring 2x, Partners, Roll Away with a Half Sashay into a Left Allemande with Partner into . . .

A-2 Promenade - into a Line
       (a New Couple Leads toward the Music each time through, arriving in aTriple Proper Longways Set) Balance Partners
       Lead Couple Casts away from Partner into middle place while the "middle" Couple Leads up the set.

B-1 Lead Couple turn Partner R. 1/2 way to 1st Corner, Corners Allemande L. once & more . . . Cast out to Middle Place
       (Man moving down the set and Casting round bottom Man to Place,
       Lady dances out the Top and Casts round to Place)
       Lead Couple turn Partner L. 1/2 way to 2nd Corner, Corners Allemande R. once & more . . . Cast out to Middle Place
       (Lady leads out the bottom, Man leads out the top, both Cast back to Proper sides, middle places)

B-2 Partners Balance & Swing! (End Men move toward their Lady, Lead Couple: Lady moves toward her Man)
       ending in a Ring of Three Couples (maintaining the original order of 1, 2, 3 clockwise!)

Notes: This dance is a genuine blend of something old, something new, something borrowed & "Something Blue"! The entire dance works well as a Three Couple Partner Dance while after the third time the "Roll Away with a Half Sashay" may be replaced wtih "Corners, Allemande Left 1 1/2..." and thus it becomes a Mixer, three times through with each of the others in your set. The Men retain their designation of 1, 2 or 3 no matter who their Partners are, if it's danced as a Mixer.

The "B-1" part of the dance is a very old version of what is now danced as "Contra Corners" – minus the option to return straightway to One's Partner after each Corner Allemande. As a "teaching tip", I wish to suggest Circle to a Proper Line is just unusual enough that one may wish to isolate the move allowing each Couple a turn at going from a Line back into a Circle and then Leading the Circle into a Line with the next Couple having a go at "finding the Music" of this move. Also the Swing Partner can shift the Set's order if the Lead Couple isn't careful. In all cases, to keep the set aligned as intended, Lead Couple Swing's in the Men's Line, other two Couples Swing in the Lady's Line!

Have Fun Elvie!

This dance is written for Elvira Miller, daughter of Jane & Rodney, on the occasion of her wedding!