Manx Dance Figures

Unlike most 3LF dances, the Manx dances are right-foot oriented.

Set
You set to your right then your left. Women hold their hands in a fist on their hips (knuckles on hips). Men hold their arms outstretched with their thumb and middle finger touching in a graceful manner (not too pointy, not too round). Often immediately followed by Turn.

Turn
Taking 4 small steps, turn over your right shoulder. Often follows Set.

Double Forward, Double Back
Starting with your RIGHT foot take 4 steps (right, left, right, left) forward with the last step being a small-medium sized tap ahead of the body so that the dancer is standing (briefly) on their right foot with the left foot reaching slightly forward with the toe pointed (called "right, left, right, tap"). When dancing in a square set, the tap in the double forward is replaced by a small reverance.

The double back is the reverse of the double forward. Without changing hand-grips, with your LEFT foot starting take 4 steps straight back (left, right, left, right) so that the final step is bringing your right foot back in line with your left (it is often called "left, right, left, close"). Remember to cover as much distance backwards as you did forwards, i.e. you should end up in exactly the same place you started the figure.

Manx Reel Step
This is similar to a Salterello step or a polka step.
For a Manx Reel Forward, starting with your right foot, take 3 steps forward (right, left, right) followed by a small hop on your right foot.
If you are doing 2 Forward steps, you would start the next one with your left foot
For a Manx Reel Backward, starting with your left foot, take 3 steps backwards (left, right, left) followed by a small hop on your left foot.

Cutting the Turf

Four couple set dance, set up proper in a square with a person in the middle holding a piece of turf/dirt
This dance has 5 verses. The chorus follows every verse and does not change.

A1
Join hands in a circle, take eight slip steps left,
drop hands, face your partner, set and turn to your partner
A2
Join hands in a circle, take eight slip steps right
drop hands, face your partner, set and turn to your partner

B1
Double into the center of the square, clapping hands on beats 3 and 4
Double out of the square, clapping hands on beats 3 and 4
Face your partner and do a back-to-back (do-si-do) passing right shoulders first, clapping on beats 7 and 8
B2
Double into the center of the square, clapping hands on beats 3 and 4
Double out of the square, clapping hands on beats 3 and 4
Face your partner and do a back-to-back (do-si-do) passing left shoulders first, clapping on beats 7 and 8
The B1B2 will be referred to as B - CHORUS for the rest of the dance

A1
Circular hey halfway around, no hands, begin by passing your partner by the right. This is very fast so you need to come out of the chorus fairly close together.
Set and turn
A2
Circular hey halfway around, no hands, begin by passing your partner by the right.
Set and turn

B
Chorus

A1
Take your partner by the right hand (low hand-shake grip), pull through, meet the next person and take their left hand (low hand-shake grip) and turn them once around (counter-clockwise), ending up in your partner's place (improper).
Set and turn to your partner.
A2
Take your partner by the left hand (low hand-shake grip), pull through, meet the next person and take their right hand (low hand-shake grip) and turn them once around (clockwise), ending up in your own place (proper).
Set and turn to your partner.

B
Chorus

A1
With your partner, arm right twice around (fast) holding your free hand straight up. End up in your original place facing your corner.
Set and turn to your corner.
A2
With your corner, arm left twice around (fast) holding your free hand straight up. End up in your original place facing your partner.
Set and turn to your partner.

B
Chorus

A1
Join hands in a circle, take eight slip steps left,
drop hands, face your partner, set and turn to your partner
A2
Join hands in a circle, take eight slip steps right
drop hands, face your partner, set and turn to your partner

B
Chorus

Ending Figure
All join hands in a circle, step right slowly (2 beats), reverance the dirt
Step left slowly (2 beats), reverance the dirt
Drop hands and run away from the dance.

End Cutting the Turf

Hunt the Wren

Circular couples dance for as many couples as will (this is a proper dance so the lady should be on the right). Set up with a person in the middle holding a bush with a representative of a bird in the bush (originally this would have been a dead real bird).

I'm not 100% sure about the music notation for this dance. Fred thinks ABBA.

1st Figure (A)
All join hands in a circle. Crossing your right foot over your left, stomp with the right foot
Do seven slip-steps to the left
Crossing your left foot over your right, stomp with the left foot
Do seven slip-steps to the right.
2nd Figure (B1)
Men do 1 Manx Reel Steps backwards while Women do 1 Manx Reel step forward. Women shake their right fist at the bird and do a quick half pivot over their right shoulder.
B2
Men do 2 Manx Reel Steps Forward (towards the center of the dance) while Women do 2 Manx Reel Steps forward (away from the center of the dance). The men and women should pass about where the figure first began
Men shake their right fist at the bird and do a half-pivot to the right while women do a half-pivot to the right. Couples should be facing one another but not close together.
Both Men and Women do another Manx Reel Step forward so they meet in the original circle.
3rd Figure (A2)
Taking Right hands (high-hand grip), with fore-arms upright and touching if possible, each holds the otherís right elbow in their left hand (with the palm flat and facing upwards)
Turn 1 1/4 clockwise
4th Figure
Dropping hands from the 3rd figure, reach forward with the left hand as you pass your partner and take the next person by the left hand (low hand-shake grip).
Turn that person 1 time counter-clockwise
Unfold so that the woman of the new couple is on the right.
Reform the circle and repeat the dance.

End Hunt the Wren



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