THE POLKA PLAIN SET

Study Notes Copyright William Lynch 2007

First Figure - Crossover (Polkas) 112 bars
1 Lead around: With crossed hand hold in front, couples dance round anti-clockwise to place, ladies turning under R arm on the last 2 bars to face gents and take waltz hold. 8 bars
2 Swing. 8 bars
3 Top couples:
Crossover: ladies change places, R to R, followed by gents, R to R, and all turn clockwise to face centre. The movement is then repeated back home.(6-8 bars)
Swing(8-10 bars)
16 bars
Ladies chain R hands in the centre, L hand to turn the opposite gent, hands held low in both cases, pass back R to R to take partners in crossed hand hold. 8 bars
Half lead around and cross back: couples lead round anticlockwise (2 bars) and partners change places, the ladies turning clockwise under both arms, to face centre (2 bars) and drop hands. Both couples dance the crossover back home (4 bars). 8 bars
4 Swing 8 bars
5 Side couples now dance 3. 32 bars
6 Swing 8 bars
7 House around. 8 bars
Second Figure - Advance and Retire (Polkas) 128 bars
1 Lead around.
Swing.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
Advance, retire and dance across, R hands in R, gents dancing behind the ladies who turn 1 turns clockwise under arm as they dance into the opposite place (8 bars). They then repeat this movement back home.
16 bars
Swing. 8 bars
Advance, retire, and dance across again. 16 bars
3 Swing. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. 40 bars
5 Swing. 8 bars
6 House around. 8 bars
Third Figure - Wheel in Line (Polkas) 176 bars
1 Lead around.
Swing.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
1st lady and 2nd gent dance around and wheel. They dance past each other, R to R, into the opposite place, turn clockwise and dance back home, R to R (6-8 bars), dance in to take L hands in the centre, wheel around to place (4 bars) pick up partners R hand in R and continue to wheel around to the opposite place where the lady turns anti-clockwise under the gent's arm and partners bow to each other (4-6 bars).
16 bars
1st lady and 2nd gent advance and retire twice, bowing to each other before they retire for the second time to take partners in waltz hold. 8 bars
Sevens: both couples dance hop1234567 into the centre and back (4 bars) and the same step across the set, gents passing back-to-back, and turn into place, dancing 1 2 3, 1 and 2, to finish on the correct foot (4 bars). 8 bars
2nd lady and 1st gent:
Dance around and wheel.
16 bars
Advance and retire twice. 8 bars
Sevens. 8 bars
3 Swing. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. 64 bars
5 Swing.
House around.
16 bars
Fourth Figure - Line of Three (Polkas) 240 bars
1 Lead around.
Swing.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
Ladies chain, back into waltz hold.
8 bars
Swing. 8 bars
1st couple house within, the gent placing his partner alongside the 2nd gent on the 7th bar. On the 8th bar, 1st gent starts to fall back to place while 2nd gent takes the ladies' outside hands i.e. his partner's R in his R and 1st lady's L in his L. 8 bars
Advance, retire and ladies turn under: The line of three advances across the centre of the set, retires, and advances to the centre as the 1st gent dances in place (6 bars). Both ladies turn outwards under 2nd gent's raised arms, 1st lady anti-clockwise and 2nd lady clockwise, to finish alongside 1st gent who takes their outside hands (2 bars). 8 bars
Advance, retire and ladies turn under, 2nd gent falling back and dancing in place (6 bars). Ladies again turn outwards under 1st gent's raised arms as 2nd gent dances in to join them and form a little christmas in the centre of the set. 8 bars
Swing four, couples falling back to place on the last 2 bars. 8 bars
Ladies chain.
Swing.
16 bars
2nd couple house within to form the line of three.
Advance, retire and ladies turn under.
Advance, retire and ladies turn under.
Swing four.
32 bars
3 Swing. 8 bars
4 Side couples now dance 2. led by 1st couple. 96 bars
5 Swing.
House around.
16 bars
Fifth Figure - The Gallop (Jigs) 128 bars
NOTE - for the purpose of description, I have used the convention that the top ladies remain tops no matter what position they are dancing in, and always lead the Gallop and the Chain.
1 Lead around.
Swing.
House around.
24 bars
2 The Gallop:
Top couples, keeping waltz hold, gallop. They sidestep across the set, gents passing back to back - hop 1234567 (2 bars).
Side couples gallop. They sidestep across, gents back to back.(2 bars)
Top couples gallop back to place, this time ladies passing back to back. (2 bars)
Side couples gallop back to place, ladies back to back.(2 bars)
8 bars
3 Ladies chain: top ladies give R hands to each other in the centre and move on to opposite gent. As soon as they have passed the centre, side ladies begin the same movement. All ladies give L hand to turn the opposite gent and dance on to the gent R of the place they chained from, and into waltz hold. 8 bars
4 House around. 8 bars
5 Gallop, this time top ladies leading with their new partners, followed by side ladies with their new partners.
Ladies chain on to the gent R of the place they chained from.
House around.
24 bars
6 Gallop, top ladies again leading.
Ladies chain to the gent R of the place they chained from.
House around.
24 bars
7 Gallop, top ladies leading.
Ladies chain, back to their own partners.
House around.
24 bars
Sixth Figure - The Fling 136 bars
1 Lead around.
Swing.
16 bars
2 Top couples:
Slide and home: keeping waltz hold, couples dance 1 step towards the centre and 1 step back (2 bars) and 4 doubled steps at home, turning once or twice as preferred (2 bars).
Slide and change: they dance 1 step to the centre and back (2 bars) and double across into the opposite place (2 bars).
8 bars
Slide and home.
Slide and change, back to their own places.
8 bars
Turn opposites: opposite dancers dance 2 steps to meet and turn each other L elbow in the centre and dance back to face their partners. 4 bars
Slide and house: couples dance 1 step into the centre and back (2 bars) and house around each other, doubling the last 2 bars (6 bars). 8 bars
3 Side couples now dance 2., starting on the 5th bar of the measure. 28 bars
4 Top couples repeat 2. 28 bars
5 Side couples repeat 2. 28 bars
Seventh Figure - The Hornpipe 160 bars
1 Quarterhouse: with waltz hold, couples dance 1 step into the set and 1 back to place and turn 2 steps on to the next place on the R (4 bars). The movement is repeated from each place and back to home. 16 bars
2 House around. 8 bars
3 Changeover: keeping waltz hold, couples dance 1 step into the set and 1 step back (2 bars). They drop hands, and the gents make a clockwise turn outside the set while the ladies dance inside the set to the next gent on their R (2 bars) and new couples dance at home, turning once (4 bars). 8 bars
4 Quarterhouse.
House around
Changeover.
32 bars
5 Quarterhouse.
House around
Changeover.
32 bars
6 Quarterhouse.
House around
Changeover.
32 bars
7 Quarterhouse.
House around.
24 bars
STEPS
Pat danced the polkas with a very flat polka step and the jig with the 'down' jig step. The fling is danced with the normal hornpipe step.
SOURCE
Pat Moroney, at Cecil Sharp House, London, November 1994.

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