Torc Ceili Club
some dancing lingo
Waltz Hold - The lady's R and the gent's L hands are held at, or below shoulder level, while the gent's R arm goes around the lady to hold her somewhere between the waist and the L shoulder blade. The lady's L hand normally rests upon, or behind, her partner's R shoulder although some ladies prefer to hold the gent's upper arm instead. Do what you feel comfortable with. The hold may be termed 'closed' when partners face each other or 'open' when partners face into the set.
Waist Hold - The gent's R arm is around the lady's waist while her L hand rests on his R shoulder.
Ceili Lead Around - Partners face into the square and take inside hands at shoulder level with elbows bent. Ladies L hand on top of gents R hand.
Ceili Swing - Partners face each other. Take R hands as if shaking, take L hands as if shaking underneath this. Hands to be at chest level.
Fast Swing or Pivot Swing Hold - Partners face each other. Place R hands on partners waist, wrap L arm under partners R arm and shake L hands. Frowned upon by the Gaelic League due to it not being a respectable distance apart from your partner!
Advance and retire - Danced in various hold positions. Dance two 3's into the centre, and two 3's back to place. Set dancing footwork tends to be 1,2, 123, back 2, 123. Ceili footwork, 123, 223, back23, back23. Often danced twice to make an 8 bar movement.
Chain - A movement in which dancers pass each other, either to cross the set or to move half way or all the way around the set. They pass on alternate sides, first passing R to R, then L to L and so on. Three different holds may be used - hand, arm and elbow.
House - The verb 'to house' is now generally accepted as the act of moving in a general anti-clockwise direction while simultaneously turning clockwise one full turn in each 2 bar sequence.
House Around - The term, an abbreviated form of 'Around the house - and mind the dresser!', used to describe the anti-clockwise progress of all four couples around the space occupied by the set, with couples turning clockwise one full turn into each place (2 bars) as they go, thus making four full turns to get back home. Each dancer steps around his/her partner on the step beginning with the L foot and turns in place on that beginning with the R in order to achieve a smooth circular movement. (8 bars)
House around each other - When opposite couples dance the 'House around'* movement into each other's place and back home. (8 bars)
Quarter House - A movement danced in polka and hornpipe figures though with a significant and often ignored difference between the two. With waltz hold*, all couples dance in place (2 bars) then turn one full turn (2 bars) on to the next place on their R. They repeat this 4 bar movement into each place and back home thus splitting the 'house around' movement into four quarters.
Lead around - A movement normally danced by all four couples, using one of a range of hand or partner holds, partners side by side and facing anti-clockwise around the set. All dance 3s around the set and back home.
Wheel - Any movement danced by two or four couples in which hands are held in or across the centre - like the spokes of a wheel - and dancers move in either direction around the set, usually as couples with waist hold rather than singly.