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Quadrille

Supposed to have evolved from the Cotillon in the mid-18th century in France, they were known as the Contredanse Anglais and originally used two couples in the dance. The dance was introduced to England in the early 1800s and originally there were three kinds: The Quadrille, The Lancers and The Caledonians. It was the forerunner of the Square Dance much used in Barn Dances today.

A typical Quadrille, still danced today as an Old Time Set Dance:

Quadrille square set. All figures except 5 begin with honouring partner and corner. Figure 5 is straight in.

Figure 1
First and second couples Right & Left Home (2 half R & L),
Set and swing partners
Ladies’ chain
Promenade to opposite places
Half R & L to place
Repeat third and fourth

Figure 2
First and second couples advance and retire
Cross over (without changing sides and turn in)
Advance, retire and cross back
Set and swing partners
Repeat third and fourth
Repeat All

Figure 3
First Lady, Second Gent advance touching R hand, retire to opposite place
Advance again, join L hand give R hand to partner
Line of 4 balance left, right, left, right
Turn towards partner & promenade to opp. places
First Lady and opposite Gent advance & retire
Advance honour and retire
First and second couples advance retire, half Rs & Ls to place
Repeat with Second Lady, First Gent
Repeat with Third Lady, Fourth Gent
Repeat with Fourth Lady, Third Gent

Figure 4
First couple advance and retire
Readvance, First Lady join opposite couples
Line of 3 advance and retire, first Gent retires half way
Line of 3 retire, First Gent retires to place
Line of 3 advance and hand both ladies to first Gent
Line of 3 advance and retire, second Gent retires half way
Line of 3 retire, Second Gent retires to place
Advance and form circle of 4
Circle left halfway and retire to opposite places
Half R & L to place
Repeat with second couple leading
Repeat with third couple leading
Repeat with fourth couple leading


Figure 5
All advance and retire in a circle
Swing partners
All Ladies advance, curtsey and retire
Gents advance, honour and retire
All set and swing corners
Promenade to Gents' places
Repeat 3 times to return to place (Gent changes Lady each time)

Finale
All advance and retire in circle
All swing partners