Chase the Goose ~ Kentucky Square Dances

Chase the Goose ~ Kentucky Square Dances The Wild Goose Chase ~ The Running Set Newport Quadrille ~ Ford Grapevine Twist ~ Standard

Chase the Goose ~ Kentucky Square Dances is an Appalachian Circle Dance. It was published by Ida Levin in 1928 in Kentucky Square Dances. It is a Custom dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 226 bars.

Ida Levin describes an early form of "square dancing" which is actually danced in a large circle. This bears some similarities to the dance which Cecil Sharp called The Running Set 10 years before.

Every "change" of a dance begins win an introduction, first Ida gives the calls for this:

  1. Join hands, circle left all the way around.
  2. Swing home
  3. Corners, too.
  4. Don't forget your partner

And then she explains what the calls mean:

  1. All couples join hands in a circle and walk to the left completely around.
  2. Partners join both hands and swing once around.
  3. Each gentleman joins both hands with the lady on his left and swings her once around.
  4. Each gentleman joins left hands with his partner and swings her once around

(At this time "Swing" was a generic term which meant roughly: "turn in a circle", it did not mean the modern partner swing.)

One essential figure for this style of dance is the do-si-do. This is not the standard back to back figure we all know. I will call it simply "do-si" so as to avoid confusion with the better known variant. Sharp, Levin and Shaw all give descriptions of the do-si-do and all of them are different. The following is how Levin says it should be called:

  1. Out to the right and circle four once around.
  2. Partners join left hands and swing half around.
  3. Give opposite your right hand and dance all the way around.
  4. Promenade, both hands joined.

Which means...

  1. First couple walks to the last couple, all four join hands in a circle and walk to the left completely around.
  2. Partners then join left hands and change places.
  3. Each gentleman joins right hands with the opposite lady and swings her completely around.
  4. Each gentleman takes his partner on his right and joins both hands crossed with the right above the left. The visiting couple passes to the right of the other one, around behind that couple's place and back to its own place in the circle. Simultaneously the other couple describes a circle following the visiting couple and finishes by turning into its own place.

After the introduction a "change" is performed. The first couple leads to the right and dances a particular figure with the second couple. Then the first couple moves right again to dance the same figure with the third couple. As they move on to the fourth couple the second couple moves right to dance with the third couple (at the same time). Both 1s&2s then move on to the 5s&4s. When they move on to the 6s&5s the third couple will start up with the 4th. And so on until everyone is dancing.

Quoted from Ida Levin:

A figure danced by all couples in the circle is called a Change. In each Change the first couple walks to the couple on the right, dances with this couple, then with the next couple on the right, and so on until it has danced with all the couples in the circle. In leading the lady to the next couple the gentleman takes her left hand in his right.

In the majority of these Changes, when the leading couple has danced with all but the last couple in the circle it does the Do si do (No 1) with this couple (...)

When the first couple moves on to the fourth couple, the second couple simultaneously walks to the couple on its right and begins dancing with this third couple (a couple must be careful not to lead off to the couple on the right too soon, and in order to avoid confusion the prompter may call "Next"). As each couple completes the trip around the circle it takes its own place in the circle and remains there, dancing with the other couples as they coume along.

When all the couples have danced the Change, the prompter calls "Swing home, corners too" (...)


Three Changes are called while the same couples are on the floor.

This example shows only one Change, not three. I have chosen the figure "Chase the Goose". "Chase the Gander" seems a better title to me, given that Man 1 leads, but it's a variant of The Wild Goose Chase. Ida only has one couple doing this change rather than all of them.

Again Ida gives calls:

  1. Way to the left around the first lady.
  2. Back to the right around the gent.
  3. Circle four.
  4. On to the next.
  5. Swing home, corners too.

and meaning...

  1. First gentleman, taking his partner's left hand in his right hand, leads her to the couple on the right, between this couple and around the lady.
  2. First gentleman continues leading her in a figure eight as follows: he leads to the left, then, turning to the right, leads her between this couple again and around the second gentleman.
  3. All four join hands in a circle and walk to the left completely round.
  4. These four then go to the next couple on the right and repeat 1, 2 and 3. (No. 3 call must then be changed to "circle six").
    First couple continues in this manner until the entire group is dancing, a new couple joining the line each time.
  5. Each gentleman, joining both hands with his partner swings her once around, then joining both hands with the corner, that is, the lady on his left, swings her once around.

*This dance is the same as Figure Eight with the exception that in Chase the Goose the couples join on until all are dancing.

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.

1-12Circle left, all the way around
13-15Partner two hand turn
16-18Corner two hand turn
19-22Partner left hand turn
1-1Gent 1 taking partner's hand, out to the right
2-4Active man, followed by partner, passes between the outside couple and loops the outside lady
5-8...and comes back between them to loop the gent
9-12Circle four
13-13All four to the next
14-22Full figure eight around the outside couple
23-28Circle six
29-29All six to the right
30-42Full figure eight around the outside couple
43-50Circle eight
51-51All eight to the right
52-67Figure eight around the outside couple
68-77Circle ten
78-78All ten to the right
79-99Figure eight around the outside couple
100-111Circle twelve
112-112All twelve to the right
113-138Figure eight around the outside couple
139-152Circle fourteen
153-153All fourteen to the right
154-182Figure eight around the outside couple
183-198All sixteen circle
199-201Everyone partner two hand turn
202-204Everyone corner two hand turn

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:

< Prev Top Next >

The dance is copyright © 1928 by Ida Levin. 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.