[SCA-Dance] Half Hannikin heresy

Mary Railing mrailing at kiva.net
Thu May 15 18:09:45 EDT 2008

When I said that Half Hannikin, as danced in the SCA, is an SCA invention,
I was referring to the the way it is danced in the Middle Kingdom.  Perhaps
this is not the way it is danced everywhere, but it is the only way I have
seen in the Middle and Northshield. To wit:

(Couples as many as will in a circle.)
Holding hands, double into the center and back. Repeat.
Side left and right with your partner.
Arm right once around with your partner.
Arm left one and a half times, so that you end up in a new spot.
Take hand in a circle & begin again.

This *is* quite different from the original dance, and I was assuming
(perhaps falsely) that this was the dance Tim McDaniel meant when he said;

>>> I've always been fond of Half Hannigan for a warmup.
>>> - it's vigorous without being exhausting (if your music isn't too
>>>    long)
>>> - it's the prototypical English Country Dance, consisting of nothing
>>>    BUT doubling, siding, and arming
>>> - it's a mixer, so it's good for "how do you do?" or a brief "hi,
>>>    Jane, long time no see!"
>>> Daniel Lincolinum



>> From:  Mary Railing
>> Many people in the SCA seem unaware of this, but the mixer
>> version of Half
>> Hannikin is an SCA invention.  The actual dance is quite
>> different.  This
>> is not the result of ambiguous instructions in Playford.
>> Someone made a
>> deliberate decision to create a stripped down dance.  As a
>> teaching dance
>> this works, but so would many more authentic dances.
>> --Urraca
>Far be it from me to automatically assume correctness when
>reading Playford - I've messed up more than once in doing
>so - but could you inform us how:
>Halfe Hannikin                     Longways for as many as will  *  *  *
>                                                                 )  )  )
>Lead up a D. forwards and back _.__ That againe _:__
>        Sides all _._ turn your owne _:__ First man stand alone,
>        and the last Wo. stand alone, the rest of the men take all the
>next We.
>Lead up all as before _:__
>        Sides all _.__ Turne your We. _:__ First man take the 2. man
>        his left hand, last Wo. taking the next Wo. with her right hand.
>Lead up as before _:__
>        Sides all _.__ Turn your we _:__ then the 2. man stand alone
>        the first taking the third man, the last Wo. taking te next.
>        Change thus every time till you come to your owne place.
>does not lead one to a partner-changing, top-man-and-bottom-woman-out
>on alternate repeats, dance?  (Note that in the second chorus it
>explicitly states that the progression is down the opposite sides,
>so that men dance with men, women with women.)
>Thanks for the clarification,
>       \\Dafydd
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