WILLIAMSTOWN SET

This set comes from the Roscommon-North Galway border area, being revived by Mary Whyte, who grew up in Lowberry (Murphy 2000: 186). Newcastle Irish Set Dancers was 1st introduced to this dance in a workshop conducted by Cíarán Condron early in 2001. Other published instructions for this dance may differ slightly. The set is published in Pat Murphy's "The Flowing Tide". Joe O'Hara has an online version of the Williamstown Set.

 

FORMATION

First Sides to the LeftSet of four couples, Gents on the left of their partners. 1st Top Couple have their backs to the band, with 2nd Top Couple opposite them. 1st Side Couple is on the left of 1st Tops as all Couples are facing into the set.

The Reel steps are danced to a light and gentle step. Figure 4 is danced to 'down' jigs.

All swings use Waltz hold.


FIGURE 1: REELS (120 BARS)

All Couples

 Gents face outLower promenade hold - Lead around anticlockwise and dance the last 2 bars facing partners with Gents in the middle facing out

Waltz hold - Swing

8 bars

8 bars

Top Couples Slow Ladies chain (all hands low) - Dance to the centre + Give right hands and turn once + Left hands with Opposite Gent both turning + Repeat back to home 16 bars
Top Couples Waltz hold - Swing 8 bars
Side Couples Slow Ladies chain - right hands and turn once in the centre + turn with left hands with Opposite Gent + Repeat back to home + Swing 24 bars
All Couples Gents take left hands in the centre and join right hands with Partner - Wheel (Carousel) around one place [2 bars] + Ladies turn clockwise under Gents right arm [2 bars] + Repeat 3 times to place [12 bars] 16 bars
All Couples Open waltz hold facing into set - Advance and retire once + House halfway + Repeat back to place 16 bars
All Couples Swing + House the set 16 bars

 

 

FIGURE 2: REELS (112 BARS)

All Couples

Lead around + Dance in place + Swing

16 bars
All Couples Face nearer Corner person - Swing in Waltz hold 8 bars
All with Corners Face into the set, right hand in right - Advance and retire twice 8 bars
All with Corners Right hand in right - Turn Lady under twice clockwise 8 bars
All Couples Dance to Home [2 bars] + Swing partner in waltz hold [6 bars] 8 bars
Top Couples

Advance and retire + Advance to the centre (1st Tops right hand in right) + 1st Tops face each other and raise right hands to make an arch while 2nd Tops pass under with Lady leading + Dance to Opposite Place (Ladies turn clockwise into place, Gents turn anticlockwise)

Second Couple Pass Under                         First Couple's Path                         Second Couple's Path

8 bars
Top Couples 2nd Tops leading - Repeat Arch + Pass under + Dance to place 8 bars
Top Couples Swing 8 bars
Side Couples Advance + 1st Side Couple arch while 2nd Sides pass under + Dance to opposite place + Repeat to place with 2nd Sides making arch + Swing 24 bars

All Couples

House around 8 bars

 

 

FIGURE 3: REELS (120 BARS)

All Couples

Lead around + Dance in place + Swing

16 bars
Top Ladies Double turn - Give right hands low in centre turning around each other twice + Dance back to own place to face partner 8 bars
Top Couples Swing 8 bars
Side Ladies Double turn in centre + Dance back to Partner 8 bars
Side Couples Swing 8 bars
All Couples Back to back with partner - Pass partner right shoulders [2 bars] + Dance sideways to the right [2 bars] + Dance backwards passing partner left shoulder [2 bars] + Dance last two bars facing partner 8 bars
All Couples Swing 8 bars
All Couples Right hand in right - Top Couples face Side Couple on their left (Side Couples face Top Couples on right) - Advance and retire (once) [4 bars] + Pass through changing places with other couple with Ladies inside [4 bars] 8 bars
All Couples Continue with Tops facing clockwise, Sides facing anticlockwise
Repeat 3 more times until back to original place - Advance and retire + Pass through (Ladies inside) + Finish with Gents walking around Partner outside set to place
24 bars
All Couples Swing + House the set 16 bars

FIGURE 4: JIGS (128 BARS)

All Couples

Lead around + Dance in place + Swing

16 bars
Top Couples House around + Gents straight across (passing right shoulders) and swing Opposite Lady [8 bars] + House around with Opposite 24 bars
Top Couples Gents straight across and swing Partner + House around 16 bars
Side Couples House around + Gents cross and swing Opposite + House with Opposite 24 bars
Side Couples Gents straight across and swing Partner + House around 16 bars
All Couples Right hands with Partner - Chain around the set to place [12 bars] + Swing (no turn under) [4 bars] 16 bars
All Couples House the set 8 bars

FIGURE 5: POLKAS (136 BARS)

All Couples Circle - Advance and retire twice + Swing in Waltz hold 16 bars
1st Top Couple House inside...
As they finish 2nd Top Couple split and join nearest Side Couple in a line of three
8 bars
1st Top Couple
+ Side Lines of 3
1st Top Couple "Strip the Line"
1st Top Couple face partner right hand in right - Pass Partner + Turn 1st person in line with left hands once + Turn Partner right hands once [4 bars] + Turn 2nd person + Turn partner [4 bars] + Turn third person + House with partner back to home then move apart to nearest Side line [8 bars]
16 bars
2nd Top Couple House inside 8 bars
2nd Top Couple
+ Side Lines of 3
2nd Top Couple Strip the line + House back to place..
As they finish 2nd Side Couple split and join nearest Top Couple in a line of three
16 bars
1st Side Couple House inside 8 bars
1st Side Couple
+ Top Lines of 3
1st Side Couple Strip the line + House back to place and split to join nearest Top line 16 bars
2nd Side Couple House inside 8 bars
2nd Side Couple
+ Top Lines of 3
2nd Side Couple Strip the line + House back to place 16 bars
All Couples Swing + House the set 16 bars

REFERENCE

Murphy, Pat (2000). The Flowing Tide. Cork: Mercier Press. 186-189.

Created: 13 May 2001 / Updated: 24 May 2003