Cornish Folk Tradition: Songs Music Dance and Associated Customs
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Cornish Dance: Old Hand In Hand
In 'Traditions and Hearthside Stories if West Cornwall, Bottrell mentions a dance, which he calls the 'peculiar hand in hand dance', in connection with the midsummer bonfires. In the early 1990s Cornish dancers who were aware of this and curious to know more would ask at displays for anyone who had heard of this dance to let them know. Whilst dancing with a group called Ros Keltek at a fair in 1991, Mary Murphy met a lady who did remember a dance of this name and provided a description. By the time the time the group had finished their performance the lady had disappeared (in true droll-telling tradition) but Mary was subsequently able to provide the authors sufficient information for the following notation
 

Formation :Dance For Couples in a line or large circle around the room.

Steps

Move with a slip step

Hold
Gentleman reaches behind lady to hold her right hand in his right hand at shoulder height. At the same time he holds her left hand in his left hand in front at waist height Truro_Agricultural-show
Bars  
1-4 Four slip steps forward.
  Man lifts right arm over the lady's head turning her to face him.
5-8 Man leads lady back four slip steps.
9-10 Man spins lady under his arms without releasing hands.
11-12 Lady spins man likewise.
13-14 Repeat bars 9-10
15-16 Repeat Bars 11-12
17-24 Raise joined right hands and lock elbows and swing partners, pivoting on right foot. Return to original position in time to start the dance again by gentlemen lifting joined right hand over the lady's head.
Tune: any 6/8 jig suggested here Truro Agricultural Show  
   
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