The Britains is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1696 in The second Part of the Dancing Master, London. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp (website) in 1922 and published in The Country Dance Book (Part 6). It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars.
The 1. man cast off to his left-hand into the 2. wo. place, and the 2. wo. cast up into the 1. man's place, then turn bboth hands into their own places; then the 1. wo. cast off to her right-hand, into the 2. man's place, and the 2. man cast up into the 1. wo. place, then take both hands and turn into their own places; then the two men lead through the two we. and cross over into each other's places, and then hands round and come into each other's places again; then the we. go between the men and cross over into each other's places and hands round.
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.
|1st corners cast left and loop neighbors into each other's places
|1st corners two hand turn once and a half back home
|2nd corners cast right and loop neighbors into each other's places
|2nd corners two hand turn once and a half back home
|The men lead between the women, cast home and change places with each other
|The women lead between the men, cast home and change places
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 out of copyright, and is in the public domain. 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 © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.