THE ARDGROOM/BEARA POLKA SET

Study Notes Copyright William Lynch 2007

First Figure - Show and Square (Polkas) 176 bars
1 Circle: all join hands in a circle and advance and retire twice. 8 bars
2 1st top couple show and square: they house within the set (8 bars) then square the set - they slide 1, 2, 1, heel, to face the couple on their R, make turn clockwise as the heel is lifted and slide to a position opposite their own place (4 bars) then house back home (4 bars). 16 bars
3 Quarter house: taking waltz hold, all couples dance 1 step in place, 1 reversing the lady towards the next place on the R then turn 2 steps into that place.  They repeat this 4 step movement into each place and back home. 16 bars
4 House around. 8 bars
5 1st side couple (L of 1st tops) show and square. 16 bars
6 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
7 2nd top couple show and square. 16 bars
8 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
9 2nd side couple show and square. 16 bars
10 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
Second Figure - Ladies Chain and Twice In (Polkas) 176 bars
1 Circle. 8 bars
2 Top couples:
1st couple show.
8 bars
  Ladies chain: ladies take R hands in the centre and L elbow hold to turn the opposite gent one turn, R hands on the way back and go straight into waltz hold with their partners. 8 bars
3 Twice in: all couples dance in23, out23, in23, out23 while moving towards the next place on the R (4 bars) then house around to the place opposite their own (4 bars). The whole 8 bar movement is then repeated back to place. 16 bars
4 House around. 8 bars
5 Side couples:
1st couple show.
Ladies chain.
16 bars
6 Twice in.
House around.
24 bars
7 Top couples:
2nd couple show.
Ladies chain.
16 bars
8 Twice in.
House around.
24 bars
9 Side couples:
2nd couple
show.
Ladies chain.
16 bars
10 Twice in.
House around.
24 bars
Third Figure -The Walking Polka (Polkas) 176 bars
1 Circle. 8 bars
2 1st top couple show and square. 16 bars
3 Walk the Polka: with waltz hold, gents dancing forwards and ladies backwards, all couples dance, at half normal polka speed, - 1 2 3 (2 bars), 2 2 3 (2 bars), 3 2 3pivot (2 bars & c/wise turn) and 4 2 3 (2 bars) into the place opposite their own.
The whole movement is then repeated back home (BUT SEE END NOTE).
8 bars
4 House around. 8 bars
5 1st side couple show and square. 16 bars
6 Walk the polka.
House around.
24 bars
7 2nd top couple show and square. 16 bars
8 Walk the polka.
House around.
24 bars
9 2nd side couple show and square. 16 bars
10 Walk the polka.
House around.
24 bars
Fourth Figure - The Four Slides (Polkas) 144 bars
1 Circle. 8 bars
2 Top couples:
House around each other.
8 bars
Slide and change: couples slide towards each other (2 bars) and back (2 bars) and house across into the opposite place (4 bars).They then repeat the whole 8 bar movement back home. 16 bars
Slide and change a second time. 16 bars
3 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
4 Side couples:
House around each other.
Slide and change twice.
40 bars
5 Quarterhouse.
House around
24 bars
Fifth Figure - Swing All Round (Polkas) 208 bars
NOTE: Even though the gents are changing places they keep the named places they started from - 1st top, 1st side, 2nd top and 2nd side - throughout this figure.
1 Circle. 8 bars
2 1st top couple show and square. 16 bars
3 Swing the girl behind: gents turn and swing the lady on the L, finishing in that lady's place. 8 bars
4 Quarterhouse, new couples.
House around.
24 bars
5 1st side gent and partner show and square. 16 bars
6 Swing the girl behind.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
7 2nd top gent and partner show and square. 16 bars
8 Swing the girl behind.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
9 2nd side gent and partner show and square. 16 bars
10 Swing the girl behind.
Quarterhouse.
House around.
32 bars
SOURCE AND STEP
Timmy McCarthy, at Cecil Sharp House, London, February 1995 and Priddy, Somerset, May 1995. According to Timmy, the set should be danced very flat, with absolutely no battering and with a smooth, gliding step "like a ship on the ocean".
ENDNOTE
I had previously danced the set with Timmy at the first Cork/Kerry Dance Weekend in Dingle in November 1993, at which time, and in the company of those who had preserved the set, he gave us the Walking Polka (Third Figure) in the following manner, which is, I feel, more in keeping with the name of the figure than the movement described above.
Walk the Polka: with waltz hold, gents dancing forwards and ladies backwards, all couples walk - 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and (4 bars) step&pivot 6 and (2 bars & c/wise turn) 7 and 8 (2 bars) into the place opposite their own.  8 bars
The whole movement is then repeated back home.  8 bars
To get the shape of the movement think of a shield, with each couple starting at the bottom point and walking along the RH edge to reach the top RH corner on the 5th bar, pivot of a turn clockwise to face along the top edge - bar 6 - and dance 2 bars to the centre of that edge; then repeat as if at the point of the shield again to get back home.
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