The English Ceilidh dance (as described in the Community Dances Manual, book IV) goes something like this, with assorted notes and comments... The CDM says this dance is from Titchmarsh, was one of several variants known in Northamptonshire and was collected by Sibyl Clark
Here the bold shows the words 'as published' in the CDM, the notes and annotations hopefully make things easier.
The dance is progressive even if the description doesn't say so, longways dances are normally progressive I suppose and the 'duple' also implies this. Progressive means that you find you move up or down the set, each time through the dance you have swapped places with the couple you were dancing with. It also means that you have a surprise when you get to the end of the set.
The A and B below mean the parts of the music. It's a 16 bar hornpipe. It all depends on the music but your feet will most likely end up doing a step-hop. It can get quite relaxed and lollopy
It's probably best not to get confused by the reference to Drops of Brandy, yes, you are doing a right arm turn but the music, stepping etc will be quite different.
If you've got to the end of the set and are ready to swing - and nobody is there?
Don't panic, there will be one time through the dance where you'll be watching and someone will join you. You will see the four people next to you in the set doing the first corner swing, second corner swing, chassé and cast. When everybody swings, you can swing too..
And you continue, but with a bit of magic, if you had been a 'first couple' dancing down the set, you will start dancing as a 'second couple'.
Vice versa, the couple who had reached the top of the set, having danced as a second couple all the way up now starts dancing as a 'first couple' and dancing down.
The dance originally appeared in the Seven Midland Dances by Sibyl Clark in 1955, which referenced notes by Miss Silvia Thursfield from the 1930's . The introduction includes:
See the Folkopedia entry which describes an earlier form and a shedload of references in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
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