Virginia Reel

Formation: Proper Contra Lines — facing lines with all gents in the right line facing their partner in the left line. If the reel is included, it is best to limit the line to six couples.
Music: “The Virginia” or other reel or jig.

Download RTF file: Virginia Reel

Prompts for the Traditional Dance:
Intro or
57-64   – – – -; Long Lines Forward and Back;
    1-8   – – – -; Forward and Back;
  9-16   – – – -; Turn partner by the right;
17-24   – – – -; Turn partner by the left;
25-32   – – – -; Turn partner both hands around;

33-40   – – – -; – – Partner Dosado;
41-48   – – – -; Top couples chasse (or strut) to the foot;
49-56   – – – -; – – Chasse (or strut) back to the top;
57-64   – – – -; Top couple Reel the Set;

The Reel:
    1-8   – Turn partner right 1 1/2; turn next opposite left;
  9-16   – – Turn partner right; – – next opposite left;
17-24   – – Turn partner right; – – next opposite left;
25-32   – – Turn partner right; – – next opposite left;

33-40   – – Turn partner right; – – next opposite left;
41-48   – – Turn partner right half; actives chasse to the top;
49-56   Actives separate and lead own line to foot; – – – -;
57-64   Actives arch and others come up through; – – Forward and Back;

    1-8   Dancers walk forward four beats and back up to place.
  9-16   Repeat beats 1-8.
17-24   Partners turn by the right arm (pigeon wing hold).
25-32   Partners turn by the left arm.

33-40   Partners join both hands, and turn clockwise once around back to their own side.
41-48   Partners Dosado. (Pass right sides, slide back-to-back, back up passing left sides, and end back in long lines.)
49-56   Just the couple nearest the caller, join both hands and sideways chasse (side, close; side, close; etc.) or join near hands and strut down for eight beats.
57-64   Active couple chasse or strut back to the top.

The Reel:
The next section is the Reel. Flexible timing is often necessary. Efficient dancers in a six couple set can just complete the reel, and the follow and arch in 64 beats. If late, use 8s.
  1-48   The active couple right arm turn once and a half around, then each dancer left arm turns with the next opposite dancer down the line. The gent turns with the second lady, and the lady turns with the second gent. The actives return to the center to turn each other by the right arm, then they turn the next opposite dancer with the left. This continues all down the line. They finish the reel by joining both hands to turn half around then chasse back to the top.
49-64   The actives then separate and each active dancer walks down the outside of his/her own line leading all the dancers in that line. The actives meet at the bottom of the set to make a two-hand arch. All the other dancers go on below them and join their partner to come up through the arch with the second couple becoming the new top couple. The original top couple is now at the bottom of the set.

Choreography by: (Traditional)
Source: Printed in CD Journal, March 2015. See this issue for other variations on the Virginia Reel and various related dances.

Usage: This is one traditional version of this dance. If the reel is too challenging, consider the “Virginia No Reel” variation. That variation was written by Calvin Campbell and is listed in Dancing for Busy People. It omits one Forward and Back, the Dosado and the Reel, but uses the chasse, follow and arch.

This page from (CALLERLAB Dance Resource)

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