The Caledonian Set from Co. Clare Ireland
Join   Sets   Steps   Tunes   Hooley   End-of-term-N   End-of-term-S   Links   Contact
ceili.ie   
Home   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Day   News   FAQ

The Caledonian Set (Co. Clare):

Pattern for figures 1 to 5:
All: circle, advance/retire twice (8) and dance at home (8) [16]
Tops: dance the Figure, dance at home (8) and repeat the figure (the 5th figure is only danced once, i.e. no repeat in the 5th)
All: advance/retire, dance at home [8]
Sides: dance the Figure, dance at home (8), repeat the figure (the 5th figure is only danced once, i.e. no repeat in the 5th)
All: advance/retire, dance at home [8]
All: house around [8]

The Figure for figures 1 to 5:
1st figure (reel):

advance/retire, dance across (8), advance/retire, dance back home (8) [16]
2nd figure (reel):

dance around the opposite couple [8]
3rd figure (reel):

advance/retire, dance at home (8), advance/retire, dance across (8),
advance/retire, dance in the opposite place (8), advance/retire, dance back home (8) [32]
4th figure (jig):

dance around the opposite couple (8), advance/retire, gents cross over while ladies do one turn in place (8)
dance around the opposite couple with new partner (8), advance/retire, gents cross back while ladies do one turn in place (8)
dance around the opposite couple with own partner (8) [40]
5th figure (reel) *:

dance around the opposite couple, advance/retire, gents around each other to the lady on the left (while those ladies only advance/retire and do one turn in place) (8), repeat until you have danced around again your own partner
6th figure (hornpipe):

All: Body, House and ladies move on - move on is advance/retire in waltz-hold, gents dance in ("figure of 8"), while ladies dance on


*: How the 5th figure is danced today:
I learned The Caledonian Set from Paddy Queally, from Co. Clare, many years ago and he taught the 5th figure as outlined above. This is also how Paddy Nealon, from Co. Clare, still teaches it every year at the Willie Clancy Summer Scool in Miltown Malbay and how it is still danced by native Clare people in many parts of Clare today.

However, for whatever reason, dancers throughout the rest of Ireland have chosen to change the 5th figure and this is how it is mainly danced today:
- when the dancing couples advance, the non-dancing gents, who originally stood still, now advance retire, with their partners, when the figure is danced for the 1st and 3rd time
- even when they don't have a partner, when the figure is danced for the 2nd and 4th time, they still advance-retire, by joining up in the corners with the ladies who are about to dance
- originally, only the ladies who were about to dance would turn in place, but now everyone is turning, often making it difficult for the dancing gents to get through to the next lady.

In class, we teach the original version, but explain the way the 5th figure is mainly danced today. While I would dearly love to see a return to the original 5th figure, which is a lovely relaxing figure to dance compared to today's version, I don't see any realistic chance of turning back the tide at this stage.

This summary is intended as a memory aid for people attending my classes, it is not intended as stand-alone instructional material

Home   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Day   News   FAQ
Join   Sets   Steps   Tunes   Hooley   End-of-term-N   End-of-term-S   Links   Contact   Links
The Caledonian Set from Co. Clare Ireland