Chase the Squirrel

Hunt the Squirrel - Howe

Chase the Squirrel or Hunt the Squirrel - Howe is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1858 in Complete Ball-Room Hand Book. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Howe writes:

First lady down the outside (gentleman crosses over and follows), return up the middle — first gentleman down the outside (lady crosses over and follows), return up the middle (join hands) — down the centre, back, cast off — right and left four.

This was probably intended to be danced as a triple minor, but the 3s do nothing, so I've made it a duple minor.

Howe recommends a tune called The Cuckoo (I do not know if that is Playford's The Cuckoo) but given the alternate name of the dance I'm using Hunt the Squirrel

The tune, called Hunt the Squirrel, was published in a later edition of Playford. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album A Playford Ball. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 115 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). 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.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

A11-8W1, followed by partner, cast down two places and come up the center to home
A21-8M1, followed by partner, cast down two places and come up the center to home
B11-41s lead down center
5-6Skip back up
7-8Cast off
B21-8Right and left four

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.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 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.