The New England Jig

Source: Composed by Vic Smeltzer; published in English Dance & Song, September 1958, Vol. XXII, No. 6
Formation: Longways; Duple Minor; First Couples Improper

A1 Star Right; Star Left (Hands Across)
A2 "Under & Over": #2s Arch, # 1s go through; #1s Arch & back over the #2s - both couples moving
B1 #1s Down the Middle & Back, Cast into 2nd Place - #2s Move Up
B2 Basket

Any 32 bar jig, e.g. "Maggie Brown's Favourite".

In A2 the instructions say, "back to places". Does it mean "back up to your places" or "turn and go back to your places"? I prefer the backing up, but Vic may well have intended the couples to change hands and face back before going back through the arch forwards.

Basket: Vic's instructions say, "Men join hands and girls join hands underneath; then bring arms over the top to form a basket, and pivot swing in position." While this looks good (also known as a "California Show Basket") it does take time. If you do an assisted cast you can sweep into the basket very quickly and have more time spinning the basket.

This was probably danced energetically back in 1958 with lots of stepping, galloping down the middle, and fast baskets. You can of course interpret it more gently with walking steps, leading down the middle, and doing the full California Show Basket: ladies join hands, men join hands above, ladies bow while the men raise their hands over, men bow while the ladies raise their hands over, then walk the basket.

I find the transition from the basket into stars with new neighbours slightly awkward. Moving the basket up to A2 may make some of the transitions smoother.

Original page from English Dance & Song, September 1958

The New England Jig

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