Birdie in a Cage

Birdie in a Cage is a Square Dance. It was published by Lloyd Shaw in 1939 in Cowboy Dances. It is a Square dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 344 bars.

Lloyd Shaw writes:


  1. Up and down and around and around,
    Allemande left and allemande aye.
    Ingo, bingo, six penny high,
    Big pig, little pig, root hog or die.
    1. First couple balance-swing,
      Lead right out to the right of the ring.
    2. With a birdie in a cage,
      And three hands round
    3. The bird hop out and the crow hop in.
    4. The crow hop out and circle again.
    5. Docey-doe with the gent you know
      The ladies go si and the gents go do.
    6. And on to the next —
    7. Repeat 2 as written beginning with (b).
      Repeat again, changing last line to: Balance home.
  2. Swing, swing, and swing 'em high.
    Allemande left and allemande aye,
    Ingo, bingo, six penny high,
    Big pig, little pig, root hog or die.

Repeat 2 and 3 entire for second, third, and fourth couples.

Lloyd uses a figure he calls docey-do which is related to but different from the figure Cecil Sharp calls "do-si-do" in his description of the running set (Country Dance Book, Part 5). It is nothing like the figure I know of called do-si-do. Lloyd has many pet names for this figure and I have chosen "Ladies go si and the gents go do" to avoid confusion with the more common meaning.

At the end of a circle the hands break, ladies pass between neighbor and the other lady (ladies passing dos à dos), back to her partner who takes her left hand into his left then she turns round behind him, eventually dropping hands. He remains facing the other gentleman as she circles counter-clockwise around him.

Now each takes his/her neighbor of the opposite sex by the right hand and the ladies circle clockwise around their neighbors (the gents continue to face and drop right hands when they need to).

Then each takes partner left in left ending in a courtesy turn hold. The traveling couple can move on to the next this way.

A variant of this is the ancestor of the MSW "Do Paso".

The balance in "balance and swing" is done by stepping backward and coming forward (without taking hands).

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), circle, lead, rights and lefts, swing (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance is copyright © 1939 by Lloyd Shaw. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.