The West Kerry Set from the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland
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The West Kerry Set (Co. Kerry):

Pattern for figures 1, 2 & 5: Double-house & lead
a) All: double-house (16) and lead (8) [24]
b) Dancing Couple(s): dance the Figure
Repeat a) & b), until everyone has danced the Figure
All: double-house (16) and lead (8), finishing with a clap [24]

Pattern for 3rd figure: Slide & lead
Same as above, except that double-house is replaced by slide, i.e:
slide in/out, dance to opposite, slide in/out, dance to home

Pattern for 4th figure: lead & lead
a) All: lead around with crossed hands back to place (8),
turn the lady and continue leading back to place again (8) [16]
b) Dancing couple: dance the Figure
Repeat b) until everyone has danced the Figure, ending with a clap when the last couple finishes

The Figure:
1st figure (polka): right hands in

Pattern: double-house & lead, danced twice
all 4 couples: ladies right hands in the centre, dance to home (4), and (long) swing (12) [16]
dancing couples: dance the Figure: ladies chain, left around opp. gent & back to meet partner (8), dance around the opposite couple (8) [16]
2nd figure (polka): show the lady

Pattern: double-house & lead, danced 4 times
dancing couple: dance the Figure: dance inside twice [16]
3rd figure (slide/jig): ladies chain

Pattern: slide & lead, danced 4 times
dancing couple and opposite couple: dance the Figure ladies chain, left around opposite gent, and back to meet partner (8), dance around the opposite couple (8) [16]
4th figure (polka): show and slide

Pattern: lead & lead, danced 4 times
dancing couple: dance the Figure dance inside twice [16]
dancing couple and opposite couple: slide in/out, dance to opposite (8), slide in/out, dance to home (8)[16]
5th figure (slide): 3/4 way round

Pattern: double-house & lead, danced 4 times
all: circle, advance/retire twice [8]
all: ladies right hands in the centre and dance three-quarter way around (4), gents left hands in the centre, back to place (4) and swing (8) [16]
6th figure (hornpipe): this figure, the "hoppy", is often skipped, but if it is danced, you'll be warmed up after it!

all 4 couples:
- house around, with ladies backing up for the first two bars [8]
- house around again, doubling (hop1, hop2, hop3, hop4) all the way [8]
- ladies walk on to the next gent on the right and wait for the music [8]
continue until everyone has danced again with their own partner

Tips on remember the sequence:
  • The Figure in the 1st and 3rd figures is the same, but the 1st figure has the star and long swing beforehand.
  • The Figure in the 2nd and 4th figures is the same, but the 4th figure has the slide with the opposite couple afterwards.

Notes:
  • 1st sides are on the left, sequence is 1st tops, 2nd tops, 1st sides, 2nd sides.
  • When dancing house (around or inside), the lady backs up for the first two bars.
  • Except for the 4th figure, the lead is done with the gents arm around the lady's waist and the lady's arm on the gent's shoulder.
  • Brendan Begley recalls that, in the past, the pace was slower and all you'd hear, until the very last bar, was the "swish" of the dancer's feet as they slid along the floor.
  • Timmy McCarthy (better known as "Timmy The Brit") describes the "lead and lead" movement in the 4th figure as "turn the lady upside down". He also says that originally, in the 5th figure, the gents didn't go in at all, but stayed at home and did a long 12 bar swing with the new lady. This variation feels very natural and fits in well with the 12 bar swing in the first figure. Although this is a very minor variation, it gives a more relaxed feel to the 5th figure.

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

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The West Kerry Set from the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland