Catching of Quails

Catching of Quails is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1670 in The Dancing Master, 4th ed.. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp (website) in 1912 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 3). It is a Square dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 72 bars.

Playford writes:
Hands all and two D. round Set and turn single That again First man faces with his own wo. and go ad D. back, she following him The second as much The third as much ·: The fourth cu. as much

Sides all That again First man take his own wo. by the hand and shake it three times and go half round, she following him The second as much The third as much ·: The fourth as much

Arms all That again First man put his toe to his woman's toe three times The second as much The third as much ·: The fourth as much

Playford (and Sharp) number couples clockwise. I have changed their nomenclature to match that of modern square dances with couples numbered counter clockwise.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

I.A1-4Circle eight left, ...
5-8... and back by the right
I.B11-2M1 moves in front of his partner and faces her
3-4M1 followed by partner backs to center
5-6M4 moves in front of his partner and faces her
7-8M4 followed by partner backs to center
I.B21-2M3 moves in front of his partner and faces her
3-4M3 followed by partner backs to center
5-6M2 moves in front of his partner and faces her
7-8M2 followed by partner backs to center
II.A1-4Partner side right
41-4Side left
II.B11-21s shake hands three times
3-41s box the gnat
5-64s shake hands three times
7-84s box the gnat
II.B21-23s shake hands three times
3-43s box the gnat
5-62s shake hands three times
7-82s box the gnat
III.A1-4Partner arm right
5-8Arm left
III.B11-2M1 taps his partner's right foot three times
3-41s move to their original place
5-6M4 taps his partner's right foot three times
7-84s move to their original place
III.B21-2M3 taps his partner's right foot three times
3-43s move to their original place
5-6M2 taps his partner's right foot three times
7-82s move to their original place

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.

< Prev Top Next >

The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022 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.