The annotated Waterfall Waltz

A graceful, waltz-time dance done in a big circle where you and your partner face another couple and each couple move clockwise or anticlockwise round the room... This formation is called a Sicilian Circle. Listen for Couple facing Couple in a Sicilian Circle.
You may also hear the caller announcing a Circassian Circle. This is a distinct dance.

The dance may also include seagulls

The Dance

You need a partner and find your way onto the dancefloor. You then need to find another couple and join into a big circle round the edge of the room. One couple has to face clockwise round the circle, the other faces anticlockwise.

A1: The two men take right hands....

In the little group of four, the two "men" are diagonally opposite each other

  • The two men take right hands and turn each other once round.
    It is waltz time, so you'd do it with a one-two-three, one-two-three step, subdued and with eye contact.
  • Everyone back to back with their opposites.

The men step back a little at the end of this to leave room for the two ladies...

A2: The two women take right hands...

  • The two women take right hands and turn each other once round, one-two-three, one-two-three
  • Everyone back to back this time with partners, ending up facing them.

B: Slip sideways...

Chassé means you slide sideways, without turning to face the way you are going.

You are facing your partner; still in your little group of four people.

  • You and your partner chassé sideways, in this instance without taking hands. The idea is that you want to change places with the other couple.
    Means one couple is moving clockwise round the big circle, the other is moving anticlockwise. Or the "Men" are moving to their left, "Women" are moving to their right.
  • Of course if you do just that you are likely to run into each other. The "men" need to allow the "women" to slip gently in front of them, without collisions, while keeping eye contact with their partner
  • Give two hands to your partner and turn them, one-two-three, one-two-three, half way. You have changed places with your partner and you are ready chassé sideways again...

Do it all again to get back to where you were.

C: Circle halfway...

Circling halfway gets you to change places with the other couple, turning you partner once and a half gets you back onto right side of your partner.

  • Join up into a little circle of four and circle left half way
  • Keeping the momentum going, turn partners one and a half times round two-handed, finishing facing a new couple.

The 'little extra' to remember is that you end up facing a new couple. That is, if you started facing clockwise, you need to end up facing clockwise and vice versa. The "men" specifically have to be awake and ready for their right hand turn.


There is a variation, likely in honour of the seagulls in the Anchor Gardens in Sidmouth, where the slipping sideways is accompanied by flapping arms like seagulls in flight and two seagull-like squawks. You can ham it up...

This can be considered a counterpoint to the sometimes over-the-top waltz-time music.

More information: Origins...

  • Written by Pat Shaw, written up on the memorial site
  • Won "Best Twympath Dance" in the 1996 Welsh National Eisteddfod (see note in the Bush Dance site)

See also...