Tucker Old Dan Tucker ~ Burchenal Old Dan Tucker ~ Link

Tucker is an Appalachian Circle Dance. It was published by Cecil Sharp & Maud Karpeles in 1918 in The Country Dance Book (Part 5). It is a Custom dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

The Kentucky Running Set is the name Sharp gave to a style of dancing he found in the Southern Appalachians when he visited in 1917. The locals called the dances square dances even though they were often danced in large circles. Sharp, however, describes squares, and this is an attempt to follow his description.

Old Dan Tucker is an old American Country Dance. The earliest source I've found for it is in the Unique Dancing Call Book by Charles Link, Rochester, NY. 1893. In most version I've seen Tucker tries to join the set in a grand right and left, but this version has Tucker slipping in while people are doing the hand turns.

Sharp writes:

At the conclusion of the Running Set it is customary to dance Tucker, a variant of the well-known children's singing game, The Jolly Miller, as follows:

A fifth man joins the dancers and stands in the centre of the Set. He is called Tucker.

Hands eight once round.

Men turn their partners half-way round, their contraries half-way round, move forward, rejoin their partners, cross hands with them and dance round counter-clockwise. During the turning movements — i.e., when the dancers are for the moment disengaged—Tucker endeavours to dispossess one of the men of his partner and capture her for himself. If he is successful, the man, whose partner has been stolen, takes his place in the centre and becomes Tucker in the next round.

While the dancers are circling round him, Tucker should dance a hoe-down, or perform any fancy steps that me chooses.

This dance does not have an introduction, nor any of the superstructure of grand and little promenades that the other running set dances do.

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.

1-8Circle eight once around
9-12Two hand turn partner
13-16Two hand turn corner
17-24Promenade once around
1-8Circle eight once around
9-12Two hand turn partner
13-16Two hand turn corner
17-24Promenade once around

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 out of copyright in the US, but I'm not sure of other jurisdictions. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 1863 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.