CASHEL SET (CASTLE SET)

This set is known as either the Cashel or Castle Set, and originates from County Tipperary. Variations on a number of figures exist in published versions. Instructions can be found in Pat Murphy's "Toss the Feathers", Tom Quinn's "Irish Dancing", Terry Moylan's "Irish Dancing" and Larry Lynch's "Set Dances of Ireland: Tradition and Evolution" and on Volume 3 of the video series The Magic of Irish Set Dancing. The Brooks Academy, the Irish-American Lobby Education Foundation, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann [Cooley-Keegan Branch of San Francisco] and Joe O'Hara have versions this set online.

FORMATION

First Sides to the LeftThe set uses a square formation of four couples with Ladies on the right of their Gent. The couples are numbered clockwise with First Top Couple with their backs to the band. First Side Couple is on the left of First Top Couple (facing into the set). Second Top Couple are opposite First Tops, and Second Sides are on the right of First Tops.

All Swings are done in ballroom hold.


FIGURE 1: SLIDE (200 BARS)

Top Couples House around inside the set 8 bars
Top Couples

Advance and pass opposite by right shoulder, Ladies on the inside + turn clockwise (right) on the spot [4 bars] + Pass back, Ladies on the inside + turn toward partner into place [4 bars]

8 bars
Top Couples

Advance and retire twice - right hand in right

8 bars
All to Corners Ladies turn to Gent on their right and swing in waltz hold ending on the right of new partner 8 bars
All Couples Circle - Advance and retire twice 8 bars
All Couples Return to own partner [2 bars] and swing in waltz hold 8 bars
Top Couples Repeat - House inside + Pass through and back + Advance and retire 24 bars
All to Corners Ladies swing Gent on their right + Advance and retire twice 16 bars
All Couples Return to own partner and swing 8 bars
Side Couples House inside + Pass through and back + Advance and retire 24 bars
All to Corners Ladies pass in front of partner to Gent on the left [2 bars] and swing + Advance and retire twice 16 bars
All Couples Return to own partner and swing 8 bars
Side Couples epeat - House inside + Pass through and back + Advance and retire 24 bars
All to Corners Ladies to the left to swing Gent + Advance and retire twice 16 bars
All Couples Return to own partner and swing 8 bars

 

FIGURE 2: POLKA (136 BARS)

Top Couples House around inside the set 8 bars

Top Couples

Advance and retire once - right hand in right [4 bars] + Ladies cross passing left shoulders [2 bars] and swing one turn with opposite Gent [2 bars]

8 bars

Top Couples
(opposites)

Open ballroom hold with opposite, Ladies join right hands in the centre with couples forming a straight line across the set, each couple facing clockwise - Lead around inside set until back to Gent's place

8 bars

Top Couples
(opposites)

Swing in waltz hold (Gents in own place with opposite Lady) + House inside

16 bars
Top Couples Advance and retire once + Ladies across and swing own partner 8 bars
Top Couples Lead around inside set (Ladies joining right hands) + Swing 16 bars

Side Couples

House inside + Advance and retire once + Ladies across and swing opposite Gent once 16 bars
Side Couples
(opposites)
Lead around inside set + Swing + House inside 24 bars
Side Couples Advance and retire once + Ladies across and swing own partner 8 bars
Side Couples Lead around inside set + Swing 16 bars

 

FIGURE 3: POLKA (200 BARS)

Top Couples

House around inside the set 8 bars

Top Couples

Ladies Chain right hands in the centre, left hands with opposite Gent who turns with the Lady, right hands in the centre, left hands with own partner turning 1st Top Gent and 2nd Top Lady into the centre of the set 8 bars

Top Couples

1st Top Lady and 2nd Top Gent (Single Tops) dance in place while...
1st Top Gent and 2nd Top Lady Swing in waltz hold [6 bars] + Separate and dance backward to Side Couple on the left of original position to form lines of three who link arms behind each others backs (Side Gent right hand with left hand of Side Lady and outside hand of each Side Person with nearer hand of middle (Top) person)
8 bars

Single Tops +
Lines of three

Single Tops Advance and retire twice while...
Lines of three dance in place

8 bars
Lines of three +
Single Tops
Lines of three Advance and retire twice while...
Remaining Tops dance in place
8 bars

All Couples

Return to original partner [2 bars] + Swing in waltz hold 8 bars

Top Couples

House around inside the set + Ladies Chain ending with 1st Top Lady and 2nd Top Gent turning into the centre 16 bars

Top Couples

1st Top Gent and 2nd Top Lady (Single Tops) dance in place while...
1st Top Lady and 2nd Top Gent Swing in waltz hold + Separate and dance backward to Side Couple on the left of original position to form lines of three
8 bars

Single Tops +
Lines of three

Single Tops Advance and retire twice while Lines of three dance in place + Lines of three Advance and retire twice while the Single Tops dance in place 16 bars

All Couples

Return to original partner and Swing 8 bars

Side Couples

House around inside the set + Ladies Chain ending with 1st Side Gent and 2nd Side Lady turning into the centre of the set 16 bars

Side Couples

1st Side Lady and 2nd Side Gent (Single Sides) dance in place while...
1st Side Gent and 2nd Side Lady Swing in waltz hold + Separate and dance backward form lines of three with Top Couples
8 bars

Single Sides +
Lines of three

Single Sides Advance and retire twice while Lines of three dance in place + Lines of three Advance and retire twice while the Single Sides dance in place 16 bars

All Couples

Return to original partner and Swing 8 bars

Side Couples

House around inside the set + Ladies Chain ending turning 1st Side Lady and 2nd Side Gent into the centre 16 bars

1st Side Lady +
2nd Side Gent

1st Side Gent and 2nd Side Lady (Single Sides) dance in place while...
1st Side Lady and 2nd Side Gent Swing + Separate and dance backward form lines of three with Top Couples
8 bars

Single Sides +
Lines of three

Single Sides Advance and retire twice while Lines of three dance in place + Lines of three Advance and retire twice while the Single Sides dance in place 16 bars

All Couples

Return to original partner and Swing 8 bars

 

FIGURE 4: HORNPIPE (152 BARS)

Top Couples

House around to opposite place (normal hornpipe step: hop-1-2-3 hop-1-2-3) [2 bars] + Double back to own place (doubled hornpipe step: hop-1 hop-2 hop-3 hop-4) [2 bars] +
Gents cross left shoulder to left to face opposite Lady [2 bars] +
Clap hands three times [1 bar] + Stamp feet on the spot (hop-stamp-stamp-stamp) [1 bar]

8 bars

Top Couples
(opposites)

House around to Gent's place (normal hornpipe step) + Double back to Lady's place (doubled hornpipe step) + Gents cross to face partner (passing left shoulders) + Clap and Stamp 8 bars

Top Couples

House around to opposite place + Double back to own place +
Gents cross to face opposite Lady + Clap and Stamp

8 bars

Top Couples
(opposites)

House around to Gent's place + Double back to Lady's place + Gents cross to face partner + Clap and Stamp 8 bars
Top Couples House around to opposite place + Double back to own place 4 bars

Side Couples

House around to opposite place + Double back to own place +
Gents cross to face opposite Lady + Clap and Stamp

8 bars

Side Couples
(opposites)

House around to Gent's place + Double back to Lady's place + Gents cross to face partner + Clap and Stamp 8 bars

Side Couples

House around to opposite place + Double back to own place +
Gents cross to face opposite Lady + Clap and Stamp

8 bars

Side Couples
(opposites)

House around to Gent's place + Double back to Lady's place + Gents cross to face partner + Clap and Stamp 8 bars
Side Couples House around to opposite place + Double back to own place 4 bars
Tops Repeat Tops repeat twice more ending with a final House around to opposite place + Double back to own place 36 bars
Sides Repeat Sides repeat twice more ending with a final House around to opposite place + Double back to own place 36 bars

 

FIGURE 5: POLKA OR SLIDE (240 BARS)

All Couples

Circle - Advance and retire twice 8 bars

Top Couples

House around inside the set 8 bars

Top Couples

Slide in and back + House around to opposite place + Slide in, back + House to own place 16 bars
Top Couples House around inside the set 8 bars
Top Couples

Ladies chain - right arms in the centre, left hands turning with opposite Gent, right hands in the centre, left hands turning own partner to face anticlockwise with Gent's right arm around partner's waist, join left hands in front, Gents on the inside

Side Couples dance into same position on last 2 bars

Gents turn Partner and move to the inside

8 bars

All Couples

Gent's right arm around partner's waist, join left hands in front - Lead around to next position [2 bars] + Dance in place [2 bars] + Repeat 3 times until back in place 16 bars

Side Couples

House around inside the set 8 bars

Side Couples

Slide in and back + House around to opposite place + Slide in, back + House to own place 16 bars
Side Couples House around inside the set 8 bars
Side Couples Ladies chain - right arms in the centre, left hands turning opposite Gent, right hands in the centre, left hands turning own partner to face anticlockwise, Gents on the inside
Top Couples dance into same position on last 2 bars
8 bars

All Couples

Lead around to next position + Dance in place + Repeat 3 times 16 bars
Tops Repeat House inside + Slide in, back, half house, slide in, back, half house + House inside + Ladies chain 40 bars

All Couples

Lead around to next position + Dance in place + Repeat 3 times 16 bars
Sides Repeat House inside + Slide in, back, half house, Slide in, back, half house + House inside + Ladies chain 40 bars

All Couples

Lead around to next position + Dance in place + Repeat 3 times 16 bars

FIGURE 6: JIG OR POLKA (120 BARS)

All Couples

Circle - Advance and retire twice + Swing in waltz hold 16 bars

New Couples

Ladies dance to next position on right while Gents dance into centre turning to face anticlockwise [2 bars] + Open ballroom hold - Lead around set to Gent's position [6 bars] 8 bars

New Couples

Repeat 3 times until Ladies meet original partners - Circle Advance and retire + Swing + Gents in and Ladies move on + Lead around 72 bars

All Couples

Circle - Advance and retire twice + Swing in waltz hold 16 bars

HORNPIPE FOOTWORK

Gents:

Normal Hornpipe step:
Hop-Right Step-L-R-L   Hop-Left Step-R-L-R   +
Doubled Hornpipe step:
Hop-R Step-L   Hop-L Step-R   Hop-R Step-L   Hop-L Step-R   +
Cross diagonally with other Gent passing left shoulders to finish in other Gent's place facing other Lady:
Hop-R Step-L-R-L   Hop-L Step-R-L-R   +
Claps and Stamps:
Stand-Clap-Clap-Clap + Hop-R Stamp-L-R-R
 

Ladies:
Opposite footwork but dancing on spot instead of diagonal cross, i.e. Lady always stays in her place for clap-clap-clap + step-step-step

Normal Hornpipe step:
Hop-L Step-R-L-R   Hop-R Step-L-R-L  +
Doubled Hornpipe step:
Hop-L Step-R   Hop-R Step-L   Hop-L Step-R   Hop-R Step-L   +
Dance on the spot:
Hop-L Step-R-L-R   Hop-R Step-L-R-L   +
Claps and steps:
Stand-Clap-Clap-Clap + Hop-R Step-L-R-L

REFERENCES

Lynch, Larry (1991). Set Dances of Ireland: Tradition and Evolution. California: Sťadna Books. 295-305.

Moylan, Terry (1985). Irish Dances. Na Piobairi Ulleann: Dublin. 46-52.

Murphy, Pat (1995). Toss the Feathers. Mercier Press: Cork. 85-87.

Quinn, Tom (1997). Irish Dancing. HarperCollins: Glasgow. 97-104.


Updated: 4 July 2015