The Young Widow ~ Smukler is an American Country Dance. It was published by John Griffiths in 1788 in A Collection of the newest and most fashionable Country Dances and Cotillions. It was interpreted by David Smukler in 2005 and published in CDSS News #185. Found in Cracking Chestnuts. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: G major.
John Griffiths published A Collection of the newest and most fashionable Country Dances and Cotillions in Providence, RI in 1788. It is the first known such work published in the United States.
The Playford Assembly (Graham Christian) calls this an English Country Dance, but Cracking Chestnuts (David Smukler) calls it an early Contra Dance; showing how uncertain the boundary between the two styles is. I call it an American Country Dance, as something between the two (but it really could pass as an English dance)
Cross Hands --- back again -- lead down the Middle, then turn your Partner up again, and cast off -- the Gent. casts off one Co. to the Ladies side and the Lady to the Gent. Side -- ballance all six -- set and go all round -- second and third Co. balance in the Middle, opposite to each other -- then Half right and left in the Middle.
The tune was published by Griffiths with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album At The 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: circle, cast, lead, hands across, 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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2005 by David Smukler. 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
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.