Saturday, January 25, 2014

Virginia Reel

The Virginia reel is a folk dance that dates from the 17th century. It is generally considered to be an English country dance.  The dance was most popular in America from 1830–1890.
The Virginia reel was a popular dance, and in each area there would be slight differences. This has given rise to a large number of dances called the Virginia reel. All of the versions have certain similarities, such as the reel figure.

*** We don't divide up our dance group into boys and girls -- we refer to them as "Left" and "Right"

 Virginia Reel Instructions:
Formation: A long ways set of six couples…two parallel, facing lines.  Girls on the left and boys on the right. 

Counts                        Pattern

Part 1
8                                  Forward and back…both lines take 4 steps to centre, bow/curtsy to partner and 4 steps back to place.
8                                  Right hand around…partners meet, join right hands and walk once around each other clockwise and return to place.
8                                  Left hand around…repeat using left hand going counter clockwise.
8                                  Both hands around…as above with both hands
8                                  Do-Si-Do…lines walk forward, pass partners by the right shoulder, slide back to back and return to place.
8                                  Right elbow swing…partners meet for a right elbow swing and return to place
8                                  Left elbow swing.

Part II
16                                Head couple down and back…head couple joins both hands and sashays down the set and back to head position (sashay-quick, smooth, sliding step)
48                                Reel the set…head couple hooks right elbows, turns once and a half around, then separates and goes to opposite line.  Head boy turns the second girl around once with a left elbow, as the head girl does the same with the second boy.  The head couple meets in the centre for a right elbow turn and continues to the third girl and boy. Repeat all the way down the line.
8                                  At the foot of the set, head couple swings halfway around so that the boy and the girl are on the correct side, join hands and sashay back to place.

Part III
8                                  Cast off to the foot…at the change of music, head couple leads to the outside (boys to the left and girls to the right and follow the lines marching to the foot of the set).
16                                Form an arch…upon reaching the foot of the set, head couple joins hands to form an arch.  The other couples join hands and sashay through the arch.  Second couple is now the lead.

This video has great instructions! ( But it doesn't use the same music as we use). Watch this video to learn all of the steps that we do.

This video uses the same music that we use, but has slightly different moves. Listen to this one while you practise your steps. :

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