Dance for eight recorded from oral tradition in many parts of England and Scotland.

In the southern Lake District (where it was often known as the Square Eight), Yorkshire and north Lancashire, it featured in the repertoire of almost every local  dancing master and was danced in shoes.  The dance was perhaps used both as a performance piece for pupils to show off their expertise following  a series of classes but also frequently as a social dance.

The format of the dance in this case is not a true reel where phases of stepping alternating with phases of running  a figure, but rather a square country dance.

The dance was taught by:

Richard Allan of Langwathby
Dizzy Bryden of Workington
Oliver Cowper of Workington
Mr Garnett, operating in Whicham in 1825
Jack Iveson of Penrith
“Pop” John Mason in Dent
Bobby Miller of Penrith
Joseph William Robinson (“Old Jos”)
Stainton Robinson of Windermere
Billy Urquhart in Bleamoor, Ribblehead

Notations for the dance were collected from Lucy Short (with Clara Boyle), Fred Coward , Cissie Wilson and  Mr and Mrs Akrigg

Information derived from correspondence/interviews by Tom Flett with:

In Northumberland a dance in the same formation but of a different structur, closely related to the dance form in Scotland was known as the Eightsome Reel.

Information derived from interviews by Tom Flett with Tully, Mr & Mrs William