The Dashing White Sergeant - Howe

The Dashing White Sergeant - Howe is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1862 in The American Dancing Master, Boston. It was interpreted by Rickey Holden in 1953 and published in The Contra Dance Book. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Howe writes:

This is not only one of the most fashionable, but one of the most elegant Country Dances of the day: the figure is graceful; and when danced by a large number, has a most imposing effect. It may be briefly described as follows:— The first lady and gentlemen cross, and pass round below the second couple; they then turn with right hand, stopping between the second couple; the four form a line, the second couple being outside, forward and back; forward and turn down the middle and back again, and right and left; continue the figure with remaining couples.

The tune was composed around 1820 by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop.

Holden calls for the right and left to be with next neighbors, but that's not what Howe meant.

Note: This is a completely different figure from the Scottish dance of the same name. And uses 24 bars of music rather than 32.

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: hand turn (allemande), set, lead, cross go below (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 © 1953 by Rickey Holden. 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 © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.