Hunt the Squirrel ~ Weeks

Hunt the Squirrel ~ Weeks Hunt the Squirrel ~ Duple Hunt the Squirrel ~ 1909 Hunt the Squirrel ~ 1709

Hunt the Squirrel ~ Weeks is an American Country Dance. It was devised by Clement Weeks in 1783 and published in Clement Weeks' Commonplace Book. It was interpreted by Kate van Winkle Keller & Ralph Sweet in 1976 and published in A Choice Selection of American Country Dances of the Revolutionary Era. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.

This is almost exactly the same as Playford's dance of this name from 1709 (The Dancing Master, 14th ed.), differing only in the second half, especially B3+4. A3+4 are different from Sharp's interpretation, but Playford is loose enough that they might be accurate.

Playford writes:

Note: Each Strain must be play'd twice over to each Part of the Dance.

The first Man Heys on the We. side, and the 1. Wo. on the Men's side at the same time Then 1. Man Heys on the Men's side, and Wo. on the We. Side, till they come into their own Places Then 1. cu. cross over and turn Then the 2. cu. do the same
The 1. Man goes the Figure of 8 on the Men's side, his Partner follows him at the same time; then she slips into her own Place The 1. Wo. cast off on the outside of the 3. Wo. and half Figures with the 3. and 2. We. her Partner follows her at the same time; then the Man slips into his own Place The 1. cu. being at the top, the 1. Man changes over with the 2. Wo. and the 1. Wo. with the 2. Man, then all four Hands half round, then the 1. cu. being at the top, cast off The Right and Left quite round, and turn your Partner

The tune, also called Hunt the Squirrel, was published in Playford with the dance. 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 113 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.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, hey, mirror hey, rights and lefts (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.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1976 by Kate van Winkle Keller & Ralph Sweet. 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.