Squirrel ~ Neal or Hunt the Squirrel ~ Neal is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1709 in The Dancing Master, 14th ed.. It was interpreted by John & William Neal, Rich Jackson & George Fogg in 1726 and published in A Choice Collection of Country Dances. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 64 bars.
The tune and the first 32 bars of the figure are the same as Playford's version of the dance. The final 32 bars bear intermittant similarities.
The Neals write:
1st ma: hey on ye womans side his partner ye same at ye same tome on ye mans side:
1st ma: ye same on his own side his partner ye same at ye same time on her own side:
1st cu: cross over & turn both hands in 2d cu: place:
2d cu: ye same into their own places:
1st ma: wth his right hand takes his partner by her left he casting off & leading her betweene 2d & 3d men & through2d & 3d women coming up through ye 3d cu: & letts her loose in 2d cu: place he goes betweene 2d & 3d men to his place & she betweene ye 2d cu: to her own place: the wo: laid's her par: ye same on her own side
1st & 2d fall back meet then right & left:
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 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||1-8||1s cross between 2s into mirror heys on the opposite side|
|A2||1-8||1s cross again into mirror heys on their own sides|
|B1||1-4||1s cross, go below as 2s move up|
|5-8||1s two hand turn once and a half (to proper)|
|B2||1-4||2s cross, go below as 1s move up|
|5-8||2s two hand turn once and a half|
|A3||1-8||1s face up, take hands, M1 leads around M2, across between other couples, around W3, up middle, separate, outside 2s to places|
|A4||1-8||1s face up, take hands, W1 leads around W2, across between other couples, around M3, up middle, separate, outside 2s to places|
|B3||1-4||M1+W2 change, W1+M2 change|
|5-8||1s+2s single file circle clockwise half, clapping|
|B4||1-4||1s+2s fall back with neighbor, and come forward|
|5-8||1s+2s face partner, three changes of rights and lefts|
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 out of copyright, and is in the public domain. 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
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.