SKIBBEREEN SET

This set was learned from Partick O'Dea, set dance instructor born in Miltown Malbay, at a workshop hosted by the Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers in November 1999. Several variations to some of the movements exist, e.g. Pat Murphy's "Toss the Feathers", Tom Quinn's "Irish Dancing" and Volume 4 of the video series "The Magic of Irish Set Dancing".

Joe O'Hara has a version of this set online.

First Sides to the RightFORMATION

Set is numbered anticlockwise with First Top Couple with their backs to the band. First Side Couple is on the right of First Top Couple (facing into the set). Second Top Couple are opposite First Tops, and Second Sides are on the left of First Tops.


FIGURE 1: POLKA (136 BARS)

All Couples Slide Body: Waltz hold - Slide in (1-2-123) and back (1-2-123) (4 bars) + Turn clockwise twice moving to the position on the right (4 bars); repeat three times to return to home position

32 bars

Top Couples Face into set with open waltz hold - Advance and retire (123-123  123-123) twice

8 bars

Top Couples Ladies chain with right hands in the centre while Gents move to partner's place (2 bars); Left hand to opposite Gent and turn Lady under + Ladies dance around behind (anticlockwise) while Gent continues to face into set moving back to own position (2 bars); Ladies chain right hands in centre and return to place turning clockwise

8 bars

Side Couples Advance and retire; Ladies chain

16 bars

Top Couples 1st Top Gent and 2nd Top Lady dance to centre and swing in waltz hold (6 bars) + retire to place (2 bars)

8 bars

Top Couples Upper promenade hold - Lead across to opposite place, 2 bars to centre of set, 2 bars on the spot, 2 bars to opposite place, 2 bars to turn to face into set

8 bars

Top Couples 2nd Top Gent and 1st Top Lady swing in centre in waltz hold + retire to place

8 bars

Top Couples Repeat lead across dancing on the spot halfway

8 bars

Side Couples 1st Side Gent and 2nd Side Lady swing in centre in waltz hold + retire to place

8 bars

Side Couples Lead across dancing on the spot halfway

8 bars

Side Couples 2nd Side Gent and 1st Side Lady swing in centre in waltz hold + retire to place

8 bars

Side Couples + Top Couples Repeat lead across dancing on the spot halfway + All dance the last two bars 123 12 kick (inside foot)

8 bars

FIGURE 2: SLIDE (80 BARS)

Top Couples

Slide in back (1-2-123  1-2-123) and house to opposite position + Slide in, back and house to home

16 bars

Side Couples

Slide in, back and house to opposite position + Slide in, back and house to home

16 bars

Top Couples

Slide in, back and house to opposite position + Slide in, back and house to home

16 bars

Side Couples

Slide in, back and house to opposite position + Slide in, back and house to home

16 bars

All Couples

Swing (6 bars) and dance facing into the set 123 12 kick (2 bars)

8 bars

FIGURE 3: POLKA (208 BARS)

Top Couples

Ladies chain + Swing partner in waltz hold

16 bars

1st Top Couple

Waltz hold - Slide in and back (4 bars) + Turn once inside set finishing with 1st Top Lady's back to 2nd Couple (2 bars) + Turn 1st Top Lady (Lady's right hand in partner's left) into position beside 2nd Top Gent;
Wheelbarrow hold - Line of three in 2nd Top position is 2nd Top Couple with 1st Top Lady on Gent's left + Gent holding Ladies' outside hands over their outside shoulders; 1st Top Gent facing line of three holding Ladies' other hands at waist height

8 bars

Top Couples

In wheelbarrow hold - Advance across set completely (1st Top Gent retires) (4 bars); Retire to centre of set (2 bars); 1st Top Gent turn Ladies out taking their hands over their heads then back into a circle of four (2 bars)

8 bars

Top Couples

Basket to the left - Ladies hands on Gents nearer shoulders (6 bars) then retire to place (2 bars)

8 bars

Top Couples

Ladies chain

8 bars

Side Couples

Ladies chain + Swing partner in waltz hold

16 bars

1st Side Couple

Waltz hold - Slide in and back + Turn once inside set + Turn 1st Side Lady into position beside 2nd Side Gent; 1st Side Gent faces 2nd Side Gent with Wheelbarrow hold with Ladies

8 bars

Side Couples

Wheelbarrow hold - Advance across set completely + Retire to centre of set + 1st Side Gent turn Ladies out taking their hands over their heads then back into a circle of four

8 bars

Side Couples

Basket to the left - Ladies hands on Gents shoulders (6 bars) then retire to place (2 bars) + Ladies chain

16 bars

Top Couples

Ladies chain + Swing partner in waltz hold

16 bars

2nd Top Couple

Waltz hold - Slide in and back + Turn once inside set + Turn 2nd Top Lady into position beside 1st Top Gent; 2nd Top Gent faces 1st Top Gent with Wheelbarrow hold with Ladies

8 bars

Top Couples

Wheelbarrow hold - Advance across set + Retire to centre + 2nd Top Gent turn Ladies out then back into a circle of four

8 bars

Top Couples

Basket to the left then retire to place + Ladies chain

16 bars

Side Couples

Ladies chain + Swing partner in waltz hold

16 bars

2nd Side Couple

Waltz hold - Slide in and back + Turn once inside set + Turn 2nd Side Lady into position beside 1st Side Gent; 2nd Side Gent faces 1st Side Gent with Wheelbarrow hold with Ladies

8 bars

Side Couples

Wheelbarrow hold - Advance across set + Retire to centre + 2nd Side Gent turn Ladies out then back into a circle of four

8 bars

Side Couples

Basket to the left then retire to place + Ladies chain

16 bars

All Couples

Swing (6 bars) and dance facing into the set 123 12 kick (2 bars)

8 bars

FIGURE 4: SLIDE (120 BARS)

All Couples

Open waltz hold - Lead around to next position on the right (2 bars) and dance on the spot (2 bars) + repeat three times to return to home position

16 bars

Top Couples

Waltz hold - Gallop (slip steps) over to opposite side (4 bars) and back to place (4 bars), Gents passing back to back each time

8 bars

Top Couples

Half house to opposite place

4 bars

Top Couples

Waltz hold - Gallop to opposite side and back, Gents back to back

8 bars

Top Couples

Half house to own place

4 bars

All Couples

Facing partner with Gent's left hand in Lady's right - Ladies turn clockwise half way slowly under Gent's hand while Gent dances 3/4 around Lady anticlockwise to finish with Gents on the inside beside partner facing to the position on the right ready for the lead around

8 bars

All Couples

Open waltz hold - Lead around to next position on the right and dance on the spot + repeat three times to home position

16 bars

Side Couples

Waltz hold - Gallop to opposite side and back, Gents back to back

8 bars

Side Couples

Half house to opposite place

4 bars

Side Couples

Waltz hold - Gallop to opposite side and back, Gents back to back

8 bars

Side Couples

Half house to own place

4 bars

All Couples

Facing partner with Gent's left hand in Lady's right - Ladies turn clockwise half way slowly under Gent's hand while Gent dances 3/4 around Lady anticlockwise to finish with Gents on the inside beside partner facing to the right

8 bars

All Couples

Open waltz hold - Lead around to next position on the right and dance on the spot + repeat three times to home position + finish facing into set 123 12 kick

16 bars

FIGURE 5: POLKA (120 BARS)

All Couples

Circle Advance and retire (123-123  123-123) twice

8 bars

All Couples

Swing in waltz hold

8 bars

All Ladies

Starting facing partner - Ladies dance clockwise past partner on the outside of the set (right shoulder to right) then continue inside the set 3/4 around to the Gent to the right of their original partner

8 bars

All Couples

Swing new partner

8 bars

All Ladies

Ladies dance clockwise past partner on the outside then continue inside the set 3/4 around to the Gent to the right of previous partner

8 bars

All Couples

Swing new partner

8 bars

All Ladies

Ladies dance clockwise past partner on the outside then continue inside the set 3/4 around to the Gent to the right of previous partner

8 bars

All Couples

Swing new partner

8 bars

All Ladies

Ladies dance clockwise past partner on the outside then continue inside the set 3/4 around to original partner + Swing partner

16 bars

All Couples

Slide Body: Waltz hold - Slide in and back + Turn clockwise twice moving to the position on the right; repeat three times to return to home position + finish facing into set 123 12 kick

32 bars

REFERENCES

Murphy, Pat (1995). Toss the Feathers. Mercier Press: Cork. 193-195.

Quinn, Tom (1997). Irish Dancing. HarperCollins: Glasgow. 405-408.


Updated: 13 October 2001