"For example: when the Society published the dance, they had not yet read
Wilson, who describes some figures of his day. One of these was "lead out
at the sides". As the actual
track was unknown at the time of publication, the reels of three on opposite
sides was used instead. If you study the semitry of the setting steps, or
noticed insecure dancers dancing this dance you will notice that there is an
uncomfortable transition between the setting [bars 17-24] the Society's
reels [25-32]. Lead out at the sides is nothing more than the 1s dancing a
figure of 8 round their corner couple. The transitions are easier, though I
must say that the dance is probably more fun than either way when done as a
Is this figure actually described in a Wilson? I ask because it has puzzled
me for some time, owing mainly to the words "lead out." I thought this
meant that the 1s danced *together* out one side and then out the opposite
side (see Collichur), in which case they are each dancing a Fig. 8 around a
standing couple. No wonder I couldn't figure out how one got from this
figure to the idea of reels of 3 on opposite sides. So this means that the
1s dance separately, W1 out the men's side, around M2 and then out again
around M3, with M1 doing similarly on the women's side?
An amusing aside: In the dance "Trip to Tunbridge" (now only in the ECD
repertoire as far as I know), the phrase "lead out the sides" was
interpreted to mean "lead the sides out." After turning corners, the 1s head
for their own side. W1 picks up W2 and W3 and leads them out, while M1 does
the same on his side. All fall back and turn partner. For some years I
wondered why I never saw that figure in any other dance.....
Responding to Riggiero's 1/10/00@01:40:11
Wilson's book has pictures of the paths for the named
phrases. There is no doubt what he has in mind.
The term "lead" both for Wilson & the RSCDS implies the use
of hands, although the RSCDS is not always consistant in
interpreting it this way. As I remember my EFDSS, it seems
we actually led our corners to the nearest wall behind them
and back. The only variations I have seen have depended on
the position of the 1s at the end of the previous phrase,
if the man was above, he would cross the lady in front of
him to begin the figure of eight. In either case, they were
expected to take hands as the loops of their figure of 8
came into proximity.
Another figure where the RSCDS published an error prior to
discovery of Wilson is in their "double triangles" [why not
"double angles" as who ever heard of a two sided triangle
which we would have unless the corners also joined hands.
Here, Wilson's figure indicates that the 1s (2nd place own
side) each dance out the ends of the minor set, behind their
corners, and back to place, inscribing two triangles between
them, sort of a smushed "Mogan David" [vide infra].