NORTH KERRY SET

Newcastle Irish Set Dancers was first introduced to this dance by the Central Coast Set Dance Group. Other published instructions for this dance may differ slightly. Other sources include Pat Murphy's "Toss the Feathers", Terry Moylan's "Irish Dances" and Volume 8 of the video series "The Magic of Irish Set Dancing". The Brooks Academy, the Irish-American Lobby Education Foundation and Joe O'Hara all have online versions of this set.

First Sides to the LeftFormation

Square Set of four couples, Gents on the left of their partners. First Top Couple have their backs to the band, with Second Top Couple opposite them. First Side Couple are on the left of First Top Couple (when facing into the set) and Second Side Couple are opposite them (to the right of First Tops).


FIGURE 1: POLKA (152 BARS) - Hands around


All Couples


In Waltz hold, dance the body, dance in to the centre and back (123-123) [2 bars]; then turn clockwise to the next position [2 bars]; repeat three times to home.


16 bars
Top Couples Right hand star in the centre [4 bars], then left hand star back to place [4 bars] 8 bars
Top Couples Waltz hold - Swing in place 8 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples Right hand star, left hand star to home + Swing in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Top Couples Right hand star, left hand star + Swing in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples Right hand star, left hand star + Swing in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body to finish 16 bars


FIGURE 2: POLKA (152 BARS) - House and Home

All Couples

Dance the body as in Figure 1

16 bars
Top Couples House inside 8 bars
Top Couples Slide in (1-2-123) and back [4 bars] + House one turn in place [4 bars] 8 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples House inside + Slide in and back + House one turn in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Top Couples House inside + Slide in and back + House one turn in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples House inside + Slide in and back + House one turn in place 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body to finish 16 bars


FIGURE 3: SLIDE (184 BARS) - Slide and Change [See footnotes]

All Couples

Dance the body as in Figure 1

16 bars
Top Couples Slide to the centre (1-2-123) and back [4 bars] + House to opposite side 8 bars
Top Couples Slide to the centre and back + House to home + House around each other 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples Slide and house to opposite + Slide and house to home + House around each other 24 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Top Couples Slide and house to opposite + Slide and house to home + House around each other 24 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars
Side Couples Slide and house to opposite + Slide and house to home + House around each other 24 bars
All Couples Dance the body to finish 16 bars


FIGURE 4: POLKA (88 BARS) - Ladies Right Hand In

All Couples

Dance the body as in Figure 1

16 bars
All Couples Ladies join right hands in centre and star around to opposite gent [2 bars] + take Gents left hand and dance around him anticlockwise under his arm [2 bars] + Ladies right hand star in centre to home [4 bars] 8 bars
All Couples Waltz hold - Swing 8 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars

All Couples

Ladies right hand star in the centre + turn under Gent's left hand + Star to home + Swing 16 bars
All Couples Dance the body 16 bars


FIGURE 5: HORNPIPE (128 BARS) - Change Partners

All Couples

Dance the body as in figure 1 but using hornpipe steps

16 bars
All Couples House around the set (hop-123) 8 bars
All Couples Gents advance and retire once [2 bars], while Ladies dance on to the Gent on the right + House with new partner to the next position [2 bars] + All dance the body for the next three positions to the Gents' home [12 bars] 16 bars
All Couples House around the set (hop-123) 8 bars
All Couples Gents advance and retire while ladies move on + House to the next position + Dance the body to the Gent's home [12 bars] + House the set 24 bars
All Couples Gents advance and retire while ladies move on + House to the next position + Dance the body to the Gent's home + House the set 24 bars
All Couples Gents advance and retire while ladies move on + House to the next position + Dance the body to the Gent's home + House the set 24 bars

Body Hornpipe Steps - waltz hold

Gents Dance In: Hop on the right foot, then step L-R-L
Dance Out: Stamp on the right foot, then step R-L-R
Turn On: hop on the right, L-R-L; hop on the left, R-L-R
1 bar
1 bar
2 bars
Ladies Dance In: Hop on the left foot, then step R-L-R
Dance Out: Stamp on the left foot, then step L-R-L
Turn On: hop on the left, R-L-R; hop on the right, L-R-L
1 bar
1 bar
2 bars

FOOTNOTES:

Paddy Hanafin (2005) points out that in Figure 3, as it is danced all over Kerry in its traditional style, there is no house around each other after tops or sides have finished the movement. Joe O'Hara's version of this dance mirrors this view (O'Hara 2000). He states that he got the set from "Donncha O Muinnechain in Birmingham, January 1991, but changed it slightly to match Bob Stack and the Ballybunion Set Dancers' version available on the video 'A Feast of Irish Set Dances' produced by Oilean Productions - it is, after all, their set".

REFERENCES

Hanafin, Paddy. (2005). Personal e-mail to Bill Lynch copied to the Set Dancing News Mailing List <setdancingnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com> on 20 March 2005.

Moylan, Terry (1985). Irish Dances. Na Piobairi Ulleann: Dublin. 1-6.

Murphy, Pat (1995). Toss the Feathers. Mercier Press: Cork. 175-176.

O'Hara, Joe (2000). The North Kerry (Ballybunion) Polka Set. Joe O'Hara's Irish Set Dancing: Study Notes. Available online. [URL <http://www.setdancingnews.net/teacher/nkerry.htm>. Created 1992. Updated 2000. Accessed: 22 June 2002.]


Created: 15 May 2001 / Updated: 23 March 2005