English Country Dance Formations

These are brief descriptions of the different formations used in English Country Dances.


3 facing 3

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4 couples in a square

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4 facing 4

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duple proper longways

Line up as a line of couples with the women on the right as you face the top of the hall. Take hands in groups of 4 (2 couples) starting at the top of the set. The couples in each minor set closest to the top are the 1's the other couples are the 2's.


duple improper longways

Line up as a line of couples with the women on the right as you face the top of the hall. Take hands in groups of 4 (2 couples) starting at the top of the set. The couples in each minor set closest to the top are the 1's the other couples are the 2's. To get into improper formation the 1's trade places with their partners.


circle for 3 couples

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longways for 3 couples

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Sicilian circle

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triple proper longways

Line up as a line of couples with the women on the right as you face the top of the hall. Take hands in groups of 6 (3 couples) starting at the top of the set. The couples in each minor set closest to the top are the 1's, the next couple below them are the 2's and the remaining couples are the 3's.


Last updated on May 25, 2002