Grenadiers Exercise

Grenadiers Exercise is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Bray in 1699 and published in Country Dances: Being a Composition Entirely New, London. It was interpreted by Pat Shaw (website) in 1968 and published in Another Look at Playford. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.

Bray writes

The 1st. Man and Wo. change places with the right Hand, and lead down betwixt the 2d. cu. and turn from each other, the 2d, cu. at the same time fall back, and cast up half way, and meet the 1st cu. with their Faces to each other all on a row, cross the Room; then the 1st. Man pulls the 2d. Wo. to him below, the 1st. Wo. pulls the 2d. Man to her above, at the same time, then all turn S. The same again, only the 2d. Man begins with the 1st. Wo. and the 1st. Man and 2d. Wo. fall back and cast a little up as before, The 1st. Man cast off and go round the 2d. Wo. on the inside, his Wo. following him at the same time, and go round the 2d. Man on the inside till they meet below the 2d. cu. and then cross over with each other Then 1st. Man cross over with the 2d. Wo. 2d. Man with the 1st. Wo. after them; then 1st. Man and 2d. Wo. again, the other cu. the same And so to the end.

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.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: turn single, cast, lead, poussette (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 itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1968 by Pat Shaw. 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 © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.