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The change of position, from Column to Front, or vice versa, whether made by jumping or by stepping to measure, is executed invariably thus:—
To change Column to Front the dancers turn inward. Thus, in Position 1, Nos. 1, 3, and 5 make a half-turn to the right; Nos. 2, 4, and 6 make a half-turn to the left.
To change Front to Column, in Position 2, Nos. 1, 3, and 5 will make a half-turn to the left; Nos. 2, 4, and 6 a half-turn to the right.
In changing from Column to Front when the column is reversed—that is, the dancers having their backs to the music—the half-turns as given above will be reversed also.
As for the distance to be maintained between individual dancers, whether in Column or Front, the files (i.e., odd and even numbers) should stand so far apart that, when arms are extended, the hands of each will overlap his neighbour's hands.
The distance between the files will vary according to the nature of the dance. In the Stick and Handkerchief dances, pairs (Nos. 1 and 2, &c.) stand near enough to clap hands or tap sticks with each other. In the Corner dances, as will readily be seen from the descriptions and Notation, the files must be well apart to give plenty of room for the necessary movements. The right distance will easily be found; roughly, the side should form a square measuring some twelve feet each way.
In the Notation, the term "Partners" is used to denote the pairs as they stand fronting or abreast, Nos. 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6.
The term "Opposites" is used in referring to couples when they must change places, or re-change, as in Corners and Capers, Nos. 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4. The latter couple, the centres, it will be noticed, will have both terms applied to them, according as the movement described is Corners or Capers, or another, such as hand-striking.
In some dances, as, for instance, in "Bean-setting," the side forms a ring, and many dances end in this formation. Instructions for this, as and where it occurs, will be found in the Notation, and will be marked under Formation, thus:—Ring.
Here follows a detailed description, with diagrams, of the various evolutions necessary to the dances which we have embodied in this series; to each evolution a Notation word is attached.
The best way for a teacher who has never seen the dances performed, yet wants to teach them from the book, is to study the diagrams and learn by heart the Notation word for each. He should then stand a side upon the floor, make them go through the evolutions by word of command, or Notation word, slowly, as described; counting the beats, but without music.
This manner of beginning is advised only when the teacher has nothing but the book for guide: where an experienced dancer is available we have found it best for the novices to set to at once upon the dance; the practised one showing steps, evolutions, &c, as they occur.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III