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IRISH TWO-HAND
AND CEILI (FIGURE) DANCING

 2008   Larry E. Taylor

 

Two-hand dances literally are for two persons -- couples-dancing.   Broadly, however, some two-hand dances are enjoyed by trios, lines of variable lengths and by a circle of dancers.

Ceili (figure) dances are for couples, for trios, for quartets, for lines, squares and circles and includes some dances for four or six couples.

Some of the both types of dances are progressive -- that is, a particular pattern is danced within a group of dancers then the group divides and dances forward or backward in the line-of-dance to form another group where the pattern is repeated.  When a dance is not progressive, the pattern is danced repeatedly by the same group until the music stops or the dancers quit.

As with set dancing, only occasionally are new dances composed.

A few two-hand and ceili dances are danced to specific tunes.  Dances of both types are listed below. 

Available Music  -- Many, perhaps most, of the two-hand dances do not have specifically-timed music.  Though patterns have a defined length in bars of music, the quantity of times the pattern is danced is usually variable.   Examples:  Dancers may want music only long enough to dance a pattern (a dance) three times; musicians may choose to play enough music to dance the pattern a dozen times; a caller or dance leader may specify musicians are to play for only six iterations of a particular pattern; further, musicians may play only a certain number of bars so the music ends before the normal end of the dance pattern; (a similar issue of being too long or perhaps too short will arise when using recorded music).

A source for specifically-timed music is not generally available.  Refer to the documentation and choose the particular rhythm pattern (jigs, reels, etc.); use whatever is available from recordings or from live performances.

Though identified hereon as Irish, some--even many--of the dances may have first been danced in Scotland or in other Celtic areas of the world.  This page has been created and is maintained by dancers, Dr. Lenette S. and Larry E. Taylor of Stow, Ohio USA.

 

     Documentation

Click-on dance information below.   Documents marked      have either been recently posted or recently revised.   Note the version-date on each document.

The documentation perhaps should not be considered official or final.  The notes record dance instructions for a point-in-time.  Two-hand dances may change due to dancers' skill levels, the dancers' and musicians' likes and dislikes and other factors.  There may thus be many different versions of two-hand dances which are not documented here. Though an embarrassment to the webmaster, typographical and content errors are sometimes posted also.   Please share your proofreader corrections with the webmaster.

Only a few ALTERNATIVES for a pattern or an entire dance are shown in the notes below. Versions of dances not recorded below will be posted as they become available.  Do you have dances or versions of dances to share here with the dance-community?

 

          
ACHILL   SCHOTTISCHE  FOUR-HAND  REEL MAYFAIR  QUICKSTEP SLOW   FOXTROT
AN  LASAIR'S  REEL GAY  GORDONS (b) MACLEOD'S  FANCY SOUTHERN  ROSE  WALTZ         
AN  RINCE  MOR GATES   OF  DERRY MAZURKA             SOUTHERN TWO-STEP
ANNIVERSARY    TWO-STEP GERMAN MELODY   FOXTROT SPANISH  JIVE   
ANTRIM   REEL GLASSDROMMOND   REEL MILITARY   TWO  STEP (b) SQUARE   TANGO
AOIFE  THREE STEP  (a) GLASGOW  HIGHLANDERS MILITARY   TWO  STEP-2 (b) STACK  OF  BARLEY (b)
AUXUM   REEL GLENCAR   REEL MILLENNIUM  BARN   DANCE STAICIN  EORNA (b) 
BACK TO BACK  HORNPIPE GLYN  GARY  SWING (SWAING) MILLENNIUM  HORNPIPE STAICIN  EORNA-2 (b) 
BALLYVOURNEY   FLING (a)    GUIDMAN  OF  BALANGIGH MISS  FLORENCE  ADAMS STERN  POLKA
BALMORAL  BLUES GYPSY  TAP        MISSISSIPPI  DIP         STOPOVER STEPPING
BARN  DANCE (b)  GYPSY  THREAD MODERN  WALTZ STOW BARN  DANCE (b)
BERKSHIRE    FOOL HARRY   LIME  FOXTROT  MORRIS  REEL        STRIP  THE  WILLOW (ORCADIAN)
BIRTHDAY   WALTZ HARVEST   TIME  JIG MR. ROBERT  H.  MACKAY STRIP  THE  WILLOW (SQUARE)
BLACKHAWK   WALTZ    HASTE  TO   THE  WEDDING  MRS.   BYRNE'S  FANCY     ST.  BERNARD WALTZ (b)
BLACK  MOUNTAIN  REEL HAYMAKERS  JIG MRS.  STEWART  OF   FASNACLOICH ST.  MARGARET  WALTZ
BLUEBELL   POLKA HEEL TOE (a)                            MRS.  MILLIGAN'S STRATHSPEY ST.  PATRICK’S  DAY 
BLUE   BONNETS HEBRIDEAN  WEAVING  LILT MULLABAWN   REEL SUMMER   ASSEMBLY
BLUE   DANUBE  WALTZ HESITATION  WALTZ MUSIC  MAKERS                      SWEDISH   MASQUERADE
BONFIRE   DANCE HESITATION   WALTZ (NEW) NEW  KILARNEY  WALTZ SWEETS  OF  MAY
BOSTON TWO-STEP HIGH  CAULED   CAP   NOTTINGHAM   LACE SWEETHEART  WALTZ    
BREAKAWAY   BLUES HIGHLAND (a)    ODD   ONE  OUT TANGO  SERIDA
BRIDGE   OF  ATHLONE HIGHLAND  FAIR OLD   LANCERS TEMPLE   HOUSE
BRITANNIA   PROGRESSIVE HIGHLAND  FLING (a) ON  LEAVE  FOXTROT    THREE-STEP  (a)   
BRITANNIA   TWO-STEP  (b) HIGHLAND   SCOTTISCHE  OVER THE  TOP THREE  TUNES   
CALL OF THE PIPES HONEYMOON   PARADE OWEN   &  CATERINE  HARRISON'S  WALTZ THERE'S  NAE  LUCK  ABOOT  THE  HOOSE
CANADIAN BARN DANCE   (a) (b) HOOKS   AND  EYES PAT-A-CAKE   POLKA   TRIP  TO  THE  COTTAGE
CANADIAN BARN DANCE-2  (b) HUMOURS  OF  BANDON PAUL'S   FANCY TRIUMPH
CERCHIO   SICILIANO  (a) HURRY  THE   JUG   PEELER   AND  THE  GOAT  TWELVE   COATES  CRESCENT 
CHARLESTON IDEAL   SCHOTTISCHE         PELORUS  JACK TWO-HAND  COUNTRY  DANCE
CHAPELOISE   CIRCLE         INVERNESS  CIRCLE PETRONELLA             TWO-HAND HORNPIPE  (a)
CHICAGO  SWING IRISH HIGHLAND (a) PINE  WOODS  TWO-STEP TWO-HAND JIG (a)
CIRCASSIAN   CIRCLE IRISH   ROVER POLLY  (PALAIS) GLIDE     (a) (b) TWO-HAND  POLKA
CIRCLE  WALTZ   IT'S  JUST   FOR  FUN PORT NA SIAMSA (a)     TWO-HAND REEL (COR BEIRTE)
CLONEEN  JIG     JAZZ   TWINKLE POSTIE'S  JIG VELETA   (VALETA, VALITA)  WALTZ       
COME  UNDER  MY  PLAIDIE JIMP  WAIST PRIDE OF ERIN     (b) VIENESE  SWING
COR BEIRTE (TWO-HAND REEL) JOE   McDERMAIND'S  JIG      PRIDE OF ERIN-2  (b) VARSOVIENNE  (a)                   
CORN REEKS (or RICKS or RIGS) JOHNNY  SCHOTTISCHE (a) (b)  RAGTIME  SWING VICTORY  WALTZ
COTILLION (3-HAND) JUBILEE   JIG RED   HOUSE  OF  CARDIFF (a) VIRGINIA   REEL
COTTON   EYED  JOE  (b)   KEEL   ROW RED  ROSE  SAUNTER WALLS  OF  LIMERICK      
COUNTRY HOUSE WALTZ  (a) KELVINGROVE   TWO-STEP REEL  OF  THE  51ST DIVISION WALTZ  CATHERINE
CROSS   REEL KILLARNEY   WALTZ RING OF ULSTER  (a) WALTZ  COUNTRY  DANCE  (a)
CUCHULAINN   JIG KILLIAN'S   DREAM  (FOUR-HAND) ROSE   JIG  WALTZ   MARGUERITE
CUCKOO   WALTZ KING'S  HEAD                                                                ROUND  REEL  OF  EIGHT WALTZ   OF  THE  BELLS  
DASHING   WHITE  SERGEANT LADIES   OF  DUNSE ROYAL  EMPRESS  TANGO WATERFALL WALTZ
DINKIE TWO-STEP LANCELOT   TWO-STEP ROYAL   WINDSOR   WALTZ WAVES  OF TORY  
DOIRINN  ALAIN  JIG LE  MOULIN  ROUGE RUBY   WALTZ WHISPERING FOXTROT
DONEGAL  MAZURKA     LA   RINKA RUMBA  ROSALIE WHITE  HEATHER  FOXTROT 
DUKE   OF  PERTH LA  RUSSE SALLY  ANN   CHA  CHA WINDSOR WALTZ
DUKE  REEL       LA  VA SAN  ANTONIO   POLKA  YEARNING  SAUNTER
EIGHTSOME  REEL LANCERS SAUNTER  TOGETHER YORKDALE  PLAZA  
EIGHT-HAND  JIG LANNIGAN’S   BALL SCHOTTISCHE (a) (b)
EIGHT-HAND  REEL LET'S  MEET  AGAIN SHANLESS  REEL  
EVA  (EVE, EVENING) THREE-STEP LILAC  WALTZ SHIFTIN'  BOBBINS
EVERY   MAN'S  CHANCE LEVI  JACKSON  RAG SHOE THE DONKEY (a)  
FAINNE ULADY   (a) LOMAND   WALTZ SIAMSA   BEIRTE  
FAIRY   REEL LONG  GERMAN   SIICILIAN    CIRCLE  (a)  
FATHER   O'FLYNN          MALLON'S   REEL SIEGE  OF  CARRICK  
FESTIVAL GLIDE MAGGIE PICKENS SIEGE   OF  ENNIS      
FIONA'S   POLKA MAJOR  IAN   STEWART       SILVER  WEDDING  WALTZ  
FLIGHT OF THE EARLS MARGARET   WALTZ SIXTEEN  HAND  REEL          
FLIRTATION TWO-STEP     MARINE   FOUR-STEP STEPS  
FLYING  SCOTSMAN MAUREEN'S   WALTZ SKY   WALTZ  
FORGET-ME-NOT   WALTZ MAYFAIR SLOSH  
FOUR-HAND  JIG  
    
    
SET   DANCE  DOCUMENTATION

(a) known by other names  (b) multiple versions exist

 

      Crooked River Set Dancers

The Crooked River Set Dancers are individuals of northeast Ohio who enjoy the grand fun and exercise of Irish dancing; there is no formal organization.  The dancers attend ceilis, festivals, workshops and practice sessions in Ohio and elsewhere.  See www.setdancingnews.net for a schedule of set dance opportunities throughout the world.

 

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   WEBMASTER:  larryetaylor@hotmail.com             UPDATED:   02-23-2009        GO TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE

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