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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Canadian Breakdown and Glover's Reel

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Information: A dance.

Canadian Breakdown is a great fiddle tune. Eleanor Boyer taught a contra to that name at Texas Camp in 1961 that strongly resembles Glover's Reel, the second dance described, and for which Canadian Breakdown is a recommended tune.

Region: United States

Meter: 2/4

Formation: Longways set: a line of men, L shoulders to top of set, facing a parallel line of women. It's a duple minor improper: subsets of 2 couples with couple 1 in each others' places.


1-2 Dancers listen while caller calls:
1.   Balance partner and do-si-do. This call is for the active couples only.
1 Step to R onto R ft (ct 1), swing L ft in front of R ft (ct 2).
2 Repeat action of ct 1 with opposite footwork.
3 Walk forward, passing partner by the R shoulder.
4 Walk backward to place, passing partner by the L shoulder. The caller calls:
2.   Allemande left with the one below.
5-6 Take thumb grip with the one below and walk 1 1/4 'round CCW. The caller calls:
3.   Balance, 4 in line. Join hands at shoulder height in a line of 4 across the set.
7-8 Repeat action of cts 1-2. Smile at people as you balance toward them. The caller calls:
4.   Swing your partners.
9-16 Active couples assume ballroom position, place R hips and outside of R feet together, and dance 16 buzz-step swing steps, turning CW as a couple. During bars 15-16, the caller calls some variant of:
5.   Down the center.
17-19 Active couples, hand in hand, woman to man's R, walk down the set 6 steps.
20 Turn in place toward your partner to face up the set. The caller calls:
6.   And come right back.
21-22 Active men and women walk back to the inactive couple they just left. The caller calls:
7.   Cast off to a right hand star. Each man holds woman's R hand in his R hand at woman's R waist and holds woman's L hand forward in his L hand.
22-24 Actives continue walking forward to turn as a couple with the inactive, 3/4 'round.
25-28 Actives and their inactives join R hands in the center and walk forward and CW 8 steps. The caller calls:
8.   Left hand star right back to place.
29-32 Same 4 turn individually CW in place to join L hands in the center and walk forward and CCW for 8 steps.
  Repeat as long as the music and caller last. When active couples progress to the bottom of the set, they change places and become inactives. When inactives progress to the top, they cross over and become actives.



Glover's Reel

BACKGROUND Glover's Reel

Information: A dance.

An American Contra devised by Lawrence (Duke) Miller prior to 1950, and based on an English dance described to him by a glove cutter.

Region: United States

Meter: 4/4

Music: Canadian Breakdown

Formation: Longways set: 1-3-5-etc. cross over.


         The Dance.
1-4 Do-si-do with the one below, allemande right with your partner.
5-8 Allemande left with the one below, swing partner in center.
9-12 Down the center and back, cast off.
13-16 Left-hand star, back to place.


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