Reel, Four Hand/Foursome Reel

Social dance known from oral tradition from England and Scotland.

In the south of England the dance has become well-known as “The Dorset Four Hand Reel”, having been published under that title by the EFDSS.  The published version is derived from Peter Swann and Tony Parker who ran an EFDSS group called the Ashmore Dancers. The version from oral tradition is somewhat different.  Notations for the dance, and the relevant steps as recalled from oral tradition have been collected from:

Mrs Gertrude Burton – notation for the dance and her step.
Mrs Ann Clayton – notation for the dance and steps.
Mr John Cook – formation of the dance and a step.
Mr Norris – brief details of the dance and steps.

Information derived from interviews by T.M.Flett and J.F. Flett with Gertrude Burtonundated, a 2nd interview with her, also undated, with Ann Clayton undatedMr & Mrs AnningundatedJohn Cook, undated and with Mr Norrisundated.

In Cumbria the dance  formed part of the repertoire of:

Mr Garnett, a dancing master operating in the Wicham area in the 1820s
Robert Carson Robinson, operating in the Millom and Barrow areas.

Information derived from correspondence between Miss L.A.  Maddern and Tom Flett and an interview, August 1962 and with Addie Robinson on the  28 August 1962 (plus original notes of the same date).