Dance Of The Week – Labasheeda Reel Set

This week we’ve got an Irish set dance from county Clare called the Labasheeda Reel Set, sometimes just the Reel Set.  Make sure you get a good breakfast because this set has up to 7 figures.

Why “up to?”  Because figure 5 has a variation that is sometimes danced along with the others.  In any case, you’ll want to confer with the rest of your set to decide which version of figure 5 you’ll be doing if they’ll only be doing one of them.

Click through for notes and videos for each figure.

The following video includes both versions of figure 5

Video resizing

Since adding the ability to show embedded videos we’ve recognized that the default size is very small, rather than make it larger by default we’ve also had a link which would quickly take you to a new window where you could view the video in larger format.

If you’ve wished that the embedded videos were larger, wish no more.  You can now make them as large or small as you like.

After opening the Videos section while viewing a dance


Just grab either the right edge, bottom edge or bottom-right corner and drag until the video is the size you want


Updates to DanceMinder search

In addition to the back-end simplification for adding Contra dances (which has resulted in even more being added in the last few days) we’ve made some additions to the search capability in DanceMinder.

  • You can now search on the Fun and Difficulty ratings for a dance.  Select what you are interested in from one or more of the drop down controls and DanceMinder will return dances with the rating you’ve selected.  Keep in mind that DanceMinder will return a combination of all the filters that have been applied.  If you need to start fresh, just click on the Reset filters link.


If a dance doesn’t show up based on the difficulty or fun rating you’ve chosen that means that the dance either hasn’t been rated, or there haven’t been enough ratings given.  You might need to get out there and do some rating of  your own!

After St. Patrick’s season has concluded, we’ll make another modification to this search so that any dance rated higher than or equal to the level you’ve chose will show up in the results.  For now, it’s just equal to.

  • Text search has been expanded to include the figure and movement descriptions so that you’ll now see many more hits when searching on things like “christmas” or other words that typically only appear in the movement titles or descriptions.

What’s a Collection?

A Collection on DanceMinder is simply a list of dances.  These can be used as a series of dances for a public event, dances you’d like to study, dances for a class or for any purpose you like.  A collection includes a description and a field for a location where you can put the name of a studio, hall or even town crossroads.

How do you enter a collection?

Glad you asked.

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What is DanceMinder for? Part I

At the core DanceMinder is a collection of dances.  That may not sound like much and it would be understandable if you were thinking that if you wanted a collection of dances, you could buy a book.  DanceMinder is actually much more than just a collection of dances.

DanceMinder was started because I (Michael) wanted a more dynamic way to display the dances and I wanted to be able to easily carry around all the dances I like without that being a small stack of reference cards like this:

or a large stack of books like well, imagine a large stack of books.

Over the course of several years we had built up a stack of laminated reference cards with just enough information that we could call or participate in a dance we didn’t know cold.  Unfortunately as the stack grew it took more time to flip through it, looking for a specific dance.  Alphabetizing helped but the sets seem to center around the letters ‘c’ and ‘s’ and on the dance floor it takes a while to page through them.  Especially when Michael doesn’t put them back in order after an event. 🙂

We only ever had one copy of the cards so on the occasions where we weren’t in the same set or one of us was calling and the other dancing, one person was just out of luck unless we had the time beforehand to print out another copy.

It’s also not that unusual to reach into your pocket and take out your notes only to have them scatter across the floor after they slip out of your hand.

I wanted to be able to share these notes more easily with friends and students, so I started coding up the database and presentation and DanceMinder was born.

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