I was teaching this dance last night, and taught it as I had always done, which
worked well fro the one person who had never danced it before. My system is based on
two couple in promenade hold dancing past each other - the people on the outside
continue the way they are dancing, while the people who are next to each other change
partner and direction.
I was already aware that some people think about it as the men going round the four
corners clockwise while the ladies go round the corners anti-clockwise, and that
there were other ways that people remembered where to go.
However last night somebody said she just danced towards the other couple in the
middle of the set and changed to face out with the person she met - the first 1/2
reel starts with the couples going to the right, after the first change the couples
face out and go to the left, after the second change they go right, after the last
change they go left.
This certainly seems to agree more with the description published in the Canadian
I'm sure it all a matter of a few inches, but I wondered how other people thought
about the reels - would they be happy to dance up and down the middle of the set
before they change partners, or do they view the four half reels as occurring on the
side of the set, with the only move into the centre happening at the end of the last