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T.A.G. Author: Roger Whynot, 'More of Whynot'
Formation: Set dance, 3 or 4 couples, gentle
1s lead down the centre; come back and cast out. (2s can assist, though the original dance specifically says 'unassisted'.)A2:
As the 1s cast, all the men do left hand star while all women do right hand star, but only until 1s meet at bottom, when they swap stars into M doing right hand star while W do left hand star. Other couples likewise swap stars as they meet at the bottom. Women always go in front when passing.B1:
As partners meet at the bottom again, swap stars again back into M doing left hand star while W do right hand star.B2:
As 1s meet yet again at the bottom they lead everyone up to top and cast - all follow (single file, in the original). 1s arch at bottom and others go through. Can swing if time but that's not in the original dance.
Tell the dancers to keep the stars together as long as possible before they change stars, otherwise the stars fall apart and everyone gets lost. Also helps if you keep the stars close together, so that you can reach one star from the other easily. I've given this difficulty 2 because the star-swapping is unforgiving - one bad mistake brings the whole set to a shambles. But it's easy really, as they say.
NOTE: this was originally published as a 4 couple dance. It works, but it's quite tricky for beginners. When it was called as a 3-couple set, I realised how much easier it was.
SECOND NOTE: Hugh Stewart writes - "When I do TAG as a 3 couple set I believe in doing a complete star before swapping stars, and going round nearly twice before swapping back (i.e. [touch; touch; touch; swap; swap; swap] x 2 ) but you then get very little time for the lead up and cast to the bottom and lead to progressed place bit."
Roger Whynot did it with each top couple in turn leading the figure, and then (without a break) each time through led by the bottom couple leading up.