American Square Dances of The West
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176
American Square Dances
VIRGINIA REEL, DESCRIPTION Southwestern Version, Four Couples to a Set
This dance uses a contra formation of two facing lines of dancers, with the lines four steps (eight feet) apart. All gentle­men are in the line at the caller's right, and all ladies are in the line at the caller's left. The best method of forming these lines from a square or quadrille formation is for the caller to direct the First Couple to Promenade inside the set and face outward at home place. The Second Couple now steps behind the First Couple, facing the caller, and the Fourth Couple steps in place behind the Second Couple and faces the caller. All now face their Partners and fall back two steps, which will give the contra formation.
The Head Lady (nearest the caller) and the Foot Gentleman (farthest from the caller) are the "First Two" in the Virginia Reel, while the Head Gentleman (nearest the caller) and the Foot Lady (farthest from the caller) are the "Second Two," and are so designated in the call. In the first part of the dance, the First Two dance a movement in the center. The same move­ment is then repeated by the Second Two. This pattern is continued throughout the first part of the dance, the second part being led by the Head Couple (those dancers nearest the caller).
First Part
The First Two dance three steps forward and bow, and then retire, with the Second Two following up as the First Two retire. As the Second Two retire, the First Two dance a Right Hand Swing and retire; the Second Two follow up; the First Two dance a Left Hand Swing; the Second Two follow up; the First Two dance a Two Hand Swing; the Second Two