The Sweets of May

The Sweets of May — старинный фигурный танец для 4 пар.
This is an old Armagh Figure Dance for four couples.
(1) — первая топ пара
(2) — вторая топ пара
(3) — первая сайд пара
(4) — вторая сайд пара

Music: Double Jig Time, name of tune ‘The Sweets of May’.
                O X
     (4) X            O (3)
          O            X
                X O
(1) and (2) are First and Second Tops, respectively, while (3) and (4) are First and Second Sides.

Танец The Sweets of May состоит из следующих частей:

  1. First Figure: Rings (16 тактов)
  2. The Body:
    1. Cross-over and Back (8 тактов)
    2. Advance and Retire (8 тактов)
    3. Ringing the Bells (16 тактов)
  3. Second Figure: Lead Around (16 тактов)
  4. The Body (32 такта)
  5. Third Figure: See-Saw (16 тактов)
  6. The Body (32 такта)
  7. Fourth Figure: Sides Under Arms (16 тактов)
  8. The Body (32 такта)
  9. Finish: Rings (16 тактов)

First Figure: Rings

All dancers join hands in a ring of eight and side-step clockwise, finishing with two short ‘threes’, return anticlockwise, finishing as before (8 bars). The side-step movement is then repeated, this time moving anticlockwise, then clockwise (8 bars). While doing the last two ‘threes’, all couples, breaking the ring, fall back to their original places, partners retaining.

The Body

  • (a) Cross-over and Back

1. Couples 1 and 2, partners holding inside hands, exchange places with Promenade Step, passing across, gents left shoulder to left shoulder (2 bars). While Top Couples are exchanging places Couples 3 and 4 dance two ‘threes’ in place.
2. Side Couples exchange places in like manner (2 bars) while Top Couples dance two ‘threes’. These movements are then repeated leaving all couples back in original positions (4 bars).

  • (b) Advance and Retire

1. Top Couples, still holding inside hands, advance to meet in centre, while Side Couples mark time with two ‘threes’ (2 bars).
2. Sides advance to centre while Tops retire (2 bars).
3. Tops advance while Sides retire (2 bars).
4. Tops retire while Sides mark time (2 bars).

  • (c) Ringing the Bells

All dancers bend and beat left hand on left knee and right hand on right knee 4 times (1 bar); then clap hands in front of forehead twice (1 bar). Repeat the whole movement (2 bars). Partners side-step past each other, the gent passing behind, and all dance two ‘threes’ in new places (4 bars). This movement is now repeated, but partners side-step back to place, the gents now passing in front (8 bars).

Second Figure: Lead Around

Partners hold inside hands, and lead around anticlockwise a complete circle; release hands, about turn inwards, take inside hands (8 bars). Return clockwise back to original positions (8 bars).

The Body

The Body is now repeated.

Third Figure: See-Saw

All couples take uncrossed hands, swing round (revolving clockwise) moving in an anti-clockwise direction (8 bars). Couples reverse their swing and return, moving in a clockwise direction to place (8 bars). (Please note that the arms are not moved up and down in this movement).

The Body

The Body is again repeated.

Fourth Figure: Sides Under Arms

Partners take inside hands, Top Couples holding up hands to form an arch, and with Promenade Step, Tops and Sides change places, 2nd Sides passing under arch of 1st Tops, while 1st Sides pass under that of 2nd Tops; release hands and face about (4 bars). All inside hands again and dance back to places, this time Sides making arches and Tops passing underneath (4 bars).
Repeat on opposite side, i.e., 1st Sides passing under arch of 1st Tops, and 2nd Sides passing under that of 2nd Tops, returning to places (8 bars).

The Body

The Body is repeated once more.


Then the introductory movement – Céim an Fhainne (Rings) – is performed again to complete the dance.

The Walls of Limerick
The Fairy Reel
Bonfire Dance
Harvest Time Jig
The Siege of Carrick
The Sweets of May
An Rince Mor
An Rince Fada

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