Wheels Within Wheels
Four-couple box (square) set mixer
32 bars of 3/4
I've used Come let's be merry, Amelia, My Old Cape Breton Home, Ashokan Farewell
Formation preliminaries: The formation is a box with three dancers on a side. Four dancers start in the corners (thereby being on two edges at once) and each of the other four dancers at the middle of a side of the box. Call the two roles corners (o in the diagram) and sides (=). As all of the dancers face in, partner pairs consist of one middle and the corner to the right.
||Partners set and (big) turn single; spacious right-hand turn
||Middles left-hand star (once around) & right-hand star (once around).|
As you approach home, aim for your other corner person, not the partner you just left, and take two hands with that person.
||Two-hand turn 3/4 at the corner of the box, then dance along one edge of the box, clockwise, middle person backing up|
Two-hand turn 3/4 at the next corner of the box, then dance along the next edge of the box, clockwise, corner person backing up
||Two-hand turn 3/4 at the next corner of the box, then dance along the next edge, middle person backing up|
Two-hand turn 3/4 at the last corner of the box, then turn halfway more
- The whole B part of the dance is done keeping two hands joined. It is, in effect, a four-couple turning poussette.
- At the end of once through the dance, the middle people are back home and the corner people, are one corner counter-clockwise from home. The dancers who traveled around the box are partners for the next time through.
- At the end of the fourth time through, the last instruction is "two-hand turn 3/4 then step and honor." Omitting the "halfway more" exchanges the middle and corner roles: the original middles are now at corners and original corners in the middle of lines. To put it another way, original partners are now partners again, but in opposite roles. Run the dance four more times through, eight in total.
- The dance has worked well in practice, but I have found it difficult to teach. The main teaching points are:
The diagram at the top can be used to show both the formation and the turn-travel portion of the dance.
- the formation
- the two-hand turns happen at the corners of the box
- couples travel together along edges of the box (so the 3/4 turns need to be fairly well aligned)
- In communities more accustomed to thinking of gent/lady role names, I suggest starting with one role (ladies, say) on the corners and the other in the middles. The calls on the B part are then "turn 3/4 & gents back up, turn 3/4 & ladies back up, turn 3/4 & gents back up, turn 3/4 & halfway more" for the first times through the dance. After the change in roles, it is "turn 3/4 & ladies back up, turn 3/4 & gents back up, turn 3/4 & ladies back up, turn 3/4 & halfway more"