North Kerry Set

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Category: Irish, Set

This well known polka set is danced by the Ballybunion Set Dancers.
Dance description from Toss the Feathers by Pat Murphy.  Reproduced by permission.

Changes have been made to match how this has been danced in Kerry and by the Ballybunion set dancers.
Most notably the 1st sides are on the right rather than the left and there’s no house in the 3rd figure.  If you use the music by Matt Cunningham you’ll find that the music is 8 bars longer than necessary without the house, though the music by Shaskeen is the “correct” length.

Videos:(select to open)

Additional videos are available below with each figure.
Steps for the North Kerry Set:
1ss6-JG0oMw

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Figure 1: Wheel around

Polka, 144 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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1Everyone
Body All couples, in waltz hold, dance the body: they dance in and back (2 bars); then turn clockwise to the right (2 bars) and repeat both movements three times, dancing around the set to place.
16
2Top Couples
Wheel Couples join right hands in the centre, dance around (4b); then join left hands and dance back to place (4b).
8
3Swing At home, in waltz hold.8
4Everyone
Body All couples, in waltz hold, dance the body: they dance in and back (2 bars); then turn clockwise to the right (2 bars) and repeat both movements three times, dancing around the set to place.
16
5Side Couples
Dance 2 and 3
16
6Everyone
Body All couples, in waltz hold, dance the body: they dance in and back (2 bars); then turn clockwise to the right (2 bars) and repeat both movements three times, dancing around the set to place.
16
7Top Couples
Dance 2 and 3
16
8Everyone
Body All couples, in waltz hold, dance the body: they dance in and back (2 bars); then turn clockwise to the right (2 bars) and repeat both movements three times, dancing around the set to place.
16
9Side Couples
Dance 2 and 3
16
10Everyone
Body All couples, in waltz hold, dance the body: they dance in and back (2 bars); then turn clockwise to the right (2 bars) and repeat both movements three times, dancing around the set to place.
16

Figure 2: House inside

Polka, 144 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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1Everyone
Body All couples dance the body as in figure 1.
16
21st Tops
House inside Couple house inside (show the lady).
8
3Slide in & back; dance 1 turn Slide to the centre and back. The man puts his arm around the ladies waist and she puts her left hand on his shoulder and they advance into the centre of the set then retire (4b); then dance one turn in place in waltz hold (4b).8
4Everyone
Body All couples dance the body as in figure 1.
16
51st Sides
Dance 2 to 4: First side couple (on the right of first tops).
32
62nd Tops
Dance 2 to 4
32
72nd Sides
Dance 2 to 4
32

Figure 3: Balance and change

Slide, 176 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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1Everyone
Body
16
2Top Couples
Balance and Change Both couples dance toward the centre and back in open waltz / waist hold (4b); then house across to the opposite position - they cross on the right, turning clockwise twice (4b).
8
3Balance and Change to Home Both top couples dance forward to the center and back (4b); then house back home - they cross on the right, turning clockwise twice (4b).8
4House Note that when danced in Kerry, this movement is not included in the figure.  The music for this figure on Matt Cunningham Vol 1 includes this movement though the music by Shaskeen does not.8
5Everyone
Body
16
6Side Couples
Dance 2 to 4
24
7Everyone
Body
16
8Top Couples
Dance 2 to 4
24
9Everyone
Body
16
10Side Couples
Dance 2 to 4
24
11Everyone
Body
16

Figure 4: Wheel and turn

Polka, 80 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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1Everyone
Body
16
2Wheel and turn The four ladies join right hands in the centre and dance clockwise to the opposite side (2b); then they take the opposite gent’s left hand and dance anticlockwise around with him, turning under his arm (2b). Note that some sources have the ladies turning twice under the gents arm.  The ladies now join right hands in the centre again and dance back to join their partners in waltz hold (4b).8
3Swing8
4Body16
5Repeat 2 to 432

Figure 5: Mixer

Hornpipe, 120 Bars + 8 bar lead-in

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1Everyone
Body (Hop 123, Stamp 123) All couples dance the body, with hornpipe steps. They dance in (hop 123), gents hopping on their right foot, ladies on their left foot and back (stamp 123), gents stamping on their right foot and dancing the first step back on the right foot also, ladies on their left foot (2b). Then all couples turn clockwise to the position on their right, (hop 123; hop 123) (2b). They repeat the movements three times, dancing around to home.
16
2House8
3Move on The four gents dance in and back as in movement 1, while the ladies dance on to join the gent on the right (2b); then all, with new partners, turn (clockwise) to the position on their right (2b). All couples now dance the body three times, dancing around to the gents’ original positions (12b).16
4House8
5Repeat 3 and 4: ladies now dancing with the gent opposite their own original positions24
6Repeat 3 and 4: ladies dancing with the gent left of their own original positions.24
7Repeat 3 and 4: ladies now back home, dancing with their own partners.24

Added on 2012-02-26 11:21:17.
Modified on 2017-03-12 13:56:21.
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