CONNEMARA SET

Other published instructions for this dance may differ slightly. Other sources include Pat Murphy's "Toss the Feathers", Tom Quinn's "Irish Dances" and Volume 1 of the video series "The Magic of Irish Set Dancing". Joe O'Hara and the Irish-American Lobby Education Foundation have a version of this set online.

First Sides to the RightFormation

Square Set of four couples, Gents on the left of their partners. Numbering of couples is anti-clockwise starting with Top Couple who have their backs to the band. Second Couple (First Sides) are on their right, then Third Couple (Second Tops), and finally Fourth Couple (Second Sides) on the left of First Tops.


FIGURE 1: REELS (160 Bars)

All Couples Lead around anti-clockwise with front promenade hold (6 bars), turn the lady (2 bars) and lead back (6 bars). Dance the last two bars facing partner.  16 bars
All Couples Swing in céilí hold (6 bars). Dance out the last two bars facing into the set. 8 bars
Top Couples With front promenade hold top couples advance and retire twice; face partner for last 2 bars. 8 bars
Top Couples House around opposite couple inside set, holding crossed hands (6 bars); finish facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars
Top Couples Swing in place (6 bars); finish facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars
Side Couples Advance and retire twice; house inside and swing. 24 bars
Top Couples Ladies chain, right hands in the centre, left hand to opposite gent, going around him anti-clockwise turning under his arm + pass back right shoulder to right to place.
Gents turn anti-clockwise with the opposite lady then clockwise in own corner turning to face partner.
8 bars
Top Couples Swing in place. 8 bars
Side Couples Ladies' chain and swing. 16 bars
Top Couples Advance and retire twice; house inside and swing 24 bars
Side Couples Advance and retire twice; house inside and ... 16 bars
All Couples Swing 8 bars

FIGURE 2: REELS (192 Bars)

All Couples Lead around, turn the lady and lead back; dance last two bars facing partner.  16 bars
All Couples Swing in place; dance last two bars facing into the set. 8 bars
Top Gent + Opposite Lady Advance passing right shoulder to right (2 bars), move sideways to the right without turning (2 bars), reverse back passing left shoulder to left (2 bars) to face each other in the centre. 8 bars
Top Gent + Opposite Lady Swing in the centre, reversing to place during the last two bars. 8 bars
Top Couples Advance and retire twice (front promenade hold); finish facing partner. 8 bars
Top Couples House around opposite couple inside set (holding crossed hands); finish facing partner. 8 bars
Top Couples Swing in place; finish facing into the set. 8 bars
2nd Gent + Opposite Lady Advance passing right shoulder to right, move sideways, reverse to face in centre. Swing in the centre, reversing to place during the last two bars. 16 bars
Side Couples Advance and retire twice + face partner; house around opposite couple inside set + face partner; swing in place + face into the set. 24 bars
3rd Gent + Opposite Lady Advance passing right shoulder to right, move sideways, reverse to face in centre. Swing in the centre, reversing to place during the last two bars. 16 bars
Top Couples Advance and retire twice + face partner; house around opposite couple inside set + face partner; swing in place + face into the set. 24 bars
4th Gent + Opposite Lady Advance passing right shoulder to right, move sideways, reverse to face in centre. Swing in the centre, reversing to place during the last two bars. 16 bars
Side Couples Advance and retire twice + face partner; house around opposite couple inside set + face partner and ... 16 bars
All Couples  Swing in place (6 bars); finish facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars

FIGURE 3: REELS (184 Bars)

All Couples Advance and retire twice in a circle; face partner when retiring the second time. 8 bars
All Couples Swing in place; finish facing into the set. 8 bars
Top Couple Advance and retire (gent's arm around the lady's waist; lady's hand on his shoulder); advance and face each other in the centre. 8 bars
1st Tops  +
Top Couples
Swing in the centre (6 bars); open out into a circle of four with the opposite couple, who dance in to meet them (2 bars). 8 bars
Top Couples Basket (6 bars); retire to place facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars
Top Couples Ladies chain; finish facing partner. 8 bars
Top Couples Swing in place; finish facing into the set. 8 bars
1st Sides Advance (2 bars); retire (2 bars); advance (2 bars); face partner in centre (2 bars). 8 bars
1st Sides  +
Side Couples
Swing in the centre (6 bars); open out into a circle of four with the opposite couple, who dance in to meet them (2 bars). 8 bars
Side Couples Basket and retire to place facing into the set (8 bars); Ladies chain + face partner (8 bars); swing partner + face into the set (8 bars). 8 bars
2nd Tops Advance (2 bars); retire (2 bars); advance (2 bars); face partner in centre (2 bars). 8 bars
2nd Tops  +
Top Couples
Swing in the centre (6 bars); open out into a circle of four with the opposite couple, who dance in to meet them (2 bars). 8 bars
Top Couples Basket and retire to place facing into the set (8 bars); Ladies chain + face partner (8 bars); swing partner + face into the set (8 bars). 24 bars
2nd Sides Advance (2 bars); retire (2 bars); advance (2 bars); face partner in centre (2 bars). 8 bars
2nd Sides  +
Side Couples
Swing in the centre (6 bars); open out into a circle of four with the opposite couple, who dance in to meet them (2 bars). 8 bars
Side Couples Basket and retire to place facing into the set (8 bars); Ladies chain + face partner (8 bars) and ... 16 bars
All Couples  Swing in place (6 bars); finish facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars

FIGURE 4: POLKA (96 Bars)

All Couples Advance and retire twice in a circle. 8 bars
All Couples Dance in place in waltz hold, turning twice. 8 bars
All Couples Rejoin circle + advance and retire twice, ladies moving on the inside to the position on their right instead of retiring the second time. 8 bars
New Couples #1 Balance in place and dance to the position on the right, turning twice. 8 bars
New Couples #1 All circle advance and retire twice, ladies moving to their right a second time. 8 bars
New Couples #2 Balance in place and dance to the position on the right, turning twice. 8 bars
New Couples #2 All circle advance and retire twice, ladies moving to their right a third time. 8 bars
New Couples #3 Balance in place and dance to the position on the right, turning twice. 8 bars
New Couples #3 All circle advance and retire twice, ladies moving to their right to rejoin partner. 8 bars
Original Couples Balance in place and dance back to original position, turning twice. 8 bars
Original Couples Swing in céilí hold (6 bars); finish facing into the set (2 bars). 8 bars

 

REFERENCES

Murphy, Pat (1995). Toss the Feathers. Mercier Press: Cork. 96-98.

Quinn, Tom (1997). Irish Dancing. HarperCollins: Glasgow. 130-134.


Updated: 30 April 2003