Contrafusion
Monday Evenings - Ashford
Tuesday Afternoons - Maidstone
Saturday Evenings - Ashford

The Five-Hand Reel

Home || Dance Videos || Contra Dancing || Your Ceilidh/Barn Dance || Contra Waltz || Dance Index || About Us || Contact Us || Links

The Five-Hand Reel

Source: Thomas Hardy, interpreted by Julian Pilling and the Diddle Daddle Dancers; published in English Dance & Song, August 1965, Volume XXVII No. 4
Formation: Five Dancers in a Cross

Slow Measure Stepping, during which (except for the first time): Middle changes places with the first person they faced in the Heys
Quick Measure Hey for three: Middle turns 1/4 left (except for the first hey of the dance) and starts right shoulder
Hey for three: Middle turns 1/4 left and starts right shoulder

Music:
Reels & Hornpipes to fit whatever the dancers are doing.

Notes:
The musician keeps playing until all the dancers have dropped out from exhaustion!

Here is Thomas Hardy's description from 1893.

The article below was reprinted in Volume 43 Number 2 in 1981. Then lots more (reproduced below) was published in Volume 43 Number 3 1981.

Thomas Wilson documented various versions of a Reel of Five starting in 1808.

See also Three-Hand Reel and Four-Hand Reel and Dummer's Five Hand Reel.

Original page from English Dance & Song, August 1965

The Five-Hand Reel

Original pages from English Dance & Song, Volume 43 Number 3 1981

The Five-Hand Reel
The Five-Hand Reel

Original page from English Dance & Song, Summer/Autumn 1982

The Holly Berry
Back to Dance Index

I'd love to hear from you if you know anything more about this dance, its composer, its style, or its history..

Feedback is very welcome on any aspect of these dances or Web pages.

Please contact You must enable JavaScript to see this e-mail address. with your comments.

Home | Dance Videos | Contra Dancing | Your Ceilidh/Barn Dance | Contra Waltz | Dance Index | About Us | Contact Us | Links