Canadian Breakdown

Source: Ralph Page, contributed by Roy Dommett; published in English Dance & Song, Winter/Christmas 1968, Volume XXX No. 4
Formation: Longways; Duple Minor; First Couples Improper

A1 Partner Balance (4); Partner Dosido (6)
Neighbour Allemande Left to an Ocean Wave (#1s in the Middle) (6) - #1 Lady has to go 1 & 1/2
A2 Balance the Wave (F/B) x2
#1s Swing
B1 #1s Lead Down, Turn Alone
#1s Lead Up, Cast into Second Place - #2s Move Up
B2 Right & Left Through x2
OR Ladies' Chain x2
OR Star Right; Star Left

32 bar reels such as Canadian Breakdown.

There is a slightly different version given in Zesty Contras in 1983. In that version only the #1s do the Balance/Dosido, perhaps reflecting more crowded dance floors with less room for everyone to Dosido across the set; there is only one Balance in A2; and B2 is Stars.

In the SYLLABUS of the 20th Annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend the same version is given, with the suggested timings shown above. It also says "Based on an earlier dance called the Monadnock Reel, which was written in 1942 and originally named MacArthur's Reel after the World War II general. That dance was renamed because of MacArthur's apparent unpopularity with many of the troops who came from southern New Hampshire." Strange then that Zesty Contras says that Monadnock Reel is a variant of Canadian Breakdown. I wonder which really came first!

The article covers two dances; the other one is Princess' Country Dance.

Original page from English Dance & Song, Winter/Christmas 1968

Canadian Breakdown

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 John Sweeney with your comments.