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Reels

Both a Tune in 4:4 time and a Country Dance move like a Hey and a Country Dance containing a Reel move and danced in Reel time.

A Reel is an object around which other things are wound which lends its name to a movement of people in a Dance where they move around each other. In practice there are many variations of the basic theme - half-reels, cross-over reels, corner reels etc but all follow the principle of embarking on dancing a figure of 8 in a group of three people all at the same time. If you imagine the other 2 in their positions as you walk a figure of 8 and ignore the fact that they are moving about and walk your figure around their imaginary selves, it becomes quite easy.

The dance is thought to be Scottish originally but not known in accounts before the 16th Century. It was suppressed for a while and re-emerged in the 17th Century. The Sir Roger De Coverley or Virginia Reel is probably the best known from this period.

In parts of Ireland, they are regarded as so important that Reels are called simply Tunes.