Right and Left

Right and Left is a Square Dance. It was published by Lloyd Shaw in 1939 in Cowboy Dances. It is a Square dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 112 bars.

Lloyd Shaw writes:


  1. Everybody swing his prettiest gal..
    Left allemande and right hand grand.
    And promenade, oh promanade.
    1. First and third couples lead to the right
    2. With a right and left through,
      And a right and left back
    3. Two ladies change
      And change right back.
    4. Ladies star by the right in the center of the set,
    5. Two getns turn in a little side bet.
    6. Now grab your own — you're not through yet.
    7. And circle four with the couple you know
      Docey-doe with the gent you know
      The ladies go si and the gents go do
      Balance home and everybody swing.
  2. Left allemande and a right hand grand
    Plant your tatters in a sandy land,
    And promenade back to the same old stand.

Repeat 2 and 3 with "second and fourth couples out to the right."

Lloyd uses a figure he calls docey-do which is related to but different from the figure Cecil Sharp calls "do-si-do" in his description of the running set (Country Dance Book, Part 5). It is nothing like the figure I know of called do-si-do. Lloyd has many pet names for this figure and I have chosen "Ladies go si and the gents go do" to avoid confusion with the more common meaning.

At the end of a circle the hands break, ladies pass between neighbor and the other lady (ladies passing dos à dos), back to her partner who takes her left hand into his left then she turns round behind him, eventually dropping hands. He remains facing the other gentleman as she circles counter-clockwise around him.

Now each takes his/her neighbor of the opposite sex by the right hand and the ladies circle clockwise around their neighbors (the gents continue to face and drop right hands when they need to).

Then each takes partner left in left ending in a courtesy turn hold. The traveling couple can move on to the next this way.

I suspect this may be an ancestor of the MSW "Do Paso".

Lloyd Shaw says that right and left through and ladies chain were rarely seen in western squares when he was writing.

I may have missed something because it looks very awkward when the inactive women go into the star, and when they come out of it to find their partners again. But Lloyd does say how that transition happens as far as I can tell.

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.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, circle, lead, hands across, rights and lefts, ladies chain (courtesy turn), right and left through, swing (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 is copyright © 1939 by Lloyd Shaw. 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 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.