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Cumberland Square Eight

Formation: Square
Difficulty:  1
Style:  English

A1: Heads galop across in ballroom hold (men back-to-back); return (women back-to-back).
A2: Sides ditto.
B1: Heads right hand star, left hand star.
B2: Sides ditto.
C1: Heads basket.
C2: Sides ditto.
D1: All circle left (16 steps).
D2: All promenade partners anticlockwise to place.

Baskets are fun but be careful: people with bad backs, especially short women, can get hurt.  (My wife now refuses to do this dance.) Also, if you choose to let the women have their legs fling out, make sure there's enough room not to kick people.

Colin says   I agree with Thomas's wife!  I don't like the women with their legs in the air - they're very likely to kick the head of a woman in a stationary couple, and the men may drop them!  I tell the women to push down with their elbows if they feel their legs are in danger of leaving the floor, which should restrain the men.

There are complicated ways of getting into a basket, but this cuts down the time you're actually spinning round.  The men put their hands round their partner's waist and she puts her hand on his nearer shoulder.  Then as the two couples meet, the men put their arms round the other woman and one grasps the wrist of the other, while the women put their other hand on the nearer shoulder of the other man.  I emphasise nearer since many women want to put their hands on the man's further shoulder; I tell them that if they both do that his head may fall off.  Now put your right foot in and push with your left foot, just as in a swing.

Make sure you tell the heads to break early, or the sides won't get a long enough basket.

Music:  64 bar reels or 2x32.  Here are a couple of popular choices.
I find switching from a reel to a jig for the third time through is very effective.
Thumbnail:  Galops, stars, baskets, promenade.