Leslie’s Valentine

Leslie’s Valentine
(for Leslie Talon) Longways, Duple minor
Music: Miss Grace Hay’s Delight (32 bar jig)

Sheet music is available in Peter Barnes’ collection of English Dance Tunes (the “Red Book”)

A1
1-4 1st Woman set (advancing) to 2nd Man (who admires). Both turn single (right).

5-8 1st Woman casts down the outside behind 2nd Woman, and then dances across the set — with 2nd Man following her. (2nd Woman moves up to accommodate*). This phrase ends with 1st Woman in 2nd Man’s place, 2nd Man in 2nd Woman’s place.

A2
9-12 All face Partner (up & down): Set and turn single.

13-16 Men dance across set and continue to loop around (clockwise, as before) – followed by partner. This is actually just a single-file circle left 3/4, but awareness of partner is important ! This phrase ends with the 1st couple below, proper, and 2nd couple above, improper.

B1
17-20 1st couple dance a Mad Robin path around 2nd couple (who stand still*). 1st man begins this by moving up the outside, then dances down the center. 1st woman begins moving up the middle, then loops down the outside.

21-24 All turn Partner with both hands – once round for the 1st couple, who then face up. The turn is just halfway for the 2nd couple, who cast out to the ends of a line of 4. This phrase ends with the 1st couple in the middle of a line of 4 facing up (all proper).

B2
25-28 Line of 4 moves up the hall and falls back – staying in line facing up !*

29-32 All set (facing up). 2nd couple gate the 1st couple up the center and around to progressed places.

Teaching Notes:
*A1, bars 5-8: Please encourage dancers to participate in the ‘story’ of the dance ! (e.g., 2nd man is activated by 1st woman’s approach, and follows her … 2nd woman may explore several options while moving up … .)

*B1, bars 17-20: It is important for the 2nd couple to stop moving at the end of A2 — their solid placement anchors the Mad Robin movement.

*B2, bars 27-28: If the instruction is clear from the beginning to “stay in line facing up as you fall back,” then dancers quickly adopt this path. If the walkthrough is not crisp, and allows time for ingrained habits to take over, then dancers will want to bend the line to face across as they fall back.

Wooing Mairi

Wooing Mairi

Three couple longways set Scott Higgs, 1986
Top couple improper

A1 1 – 8 Dance crossover mirror heys. 1st couple cross down to begin. Note that the crossover results in all three women dancing a hey together, and the three men likewise. All end proper.

A2 9 – 12 1st couple two hand turn halfway. 1st and 2nd couples circle four hands halfway.
13 – 16 All three couples circle six hands halfway (1st couple release hands with partner to connect with 3rd couple). This leaves the order 312 from the top, with 1st couple improper.

B1 17 – 24 1st couple gates once around with the 3rd couple above. 1st couple then gates once around with the 2nd couple below. 1st couple ends in middle place.

B2 25 – 32 All set and turn single. 1st couple dance a half figure eight down. End with the set in the order 312, with the new top couple improper.

The sheet music is available in Peter Barnes’ English Country Dance Tunes (vol 1 – Blue).

Eric Scott, composer of this tune, was a dear friend, and an inspirational musician. When I asked him about this tune, he suggested dance movements that build in the second A, and then ‘open’ dramatically as the B music begins. Use all available space and make the gates zesty. Eric’s tune is designed to medley with Mairi’s Wedding, as heard on the recording: Hold the Mustard – English Country Dance Favorites.