Cockle shells (down) is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1701 in The Dancing Master, 11th ed.. It was interpreted by Charles Bolton (mod) in 1985 and published in Retreads Vol.1. Found in The Playford Assembly. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: D minor.
The 1. man turns the 2. wo. with his right hand, and his Partner with his left The 2. cu. does the same The 1. man changes places with the 2. wo. and the 2. man with the 1. wo. then hands half round and cast off Then the Figure of Eight through the 3. cu. and turn your Partner
This describes a triple minor dance, where the 3s do nothing (except act as posts for the figure 8). Bolton converted the dance to a duple minor and has the figure 8 around the next set of twos below.
The tune, also called Cockle Shells, appeared in Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album By Choice. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.
The animation plays at 111 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 (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.
|A1||1-4||1st Corners right hand turn|
|5-8||1st Couple left hand turn|
|A2||1-4||2nd Corners left hand turn|
|5-8||2nd Couple right hand turn|
|B1||1-2||1st Corners change|
|3-4||2nd Corners change|
|5-6||Circle left half|
|7-8||1s cast down, 2s lead up|
|B2||1-4||1s half figure-8 down (through new 2s)|
|5-8||1s two-hand turn to proper|
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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1985 by Charles Bolton (mod). My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2019 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023 by George W. Williams V
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.