A Barn Dance Repertoire
by Thomas Green
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Bird in the Cage

Author:  Traditional American
Formation: Square
Difficulty:  1
Style:  American

Figure:
First couple lead out to the right and circle four (with the twos).
Bird in the cage and shut the door (the other three circle left around the first lady).
The bird fly out and the crow hop in (the other three circle left around the first man).
Those two couples swing partner.
Now the ones move on to the threes and repeat the figure.  Then ones with fours, and everybody swing.
Break:
See below.
Each couple in turn leads the figure.

Colin says   The dance isn't phrased to the music - watch the dancers and call to them.  Encourage the "bird" and "crow" to play-act rather than just stand there!

You need a break involving all four couples.  This could simply be: Circle left.  Circle right.  Swing partner.  Promenade.  For more experienced dancers you might also try: Allemande left corner.  Right to partner: Grand chain (Grand right and left).  Swing partner.  Promenade.  And you can vary the break and you don't need to teach it in advance - just stick with figures they already know: do-si-do, swing, circle, etc.

A version of this appears in "Old Square Dances of America", Neva L. Boyd & Tressie M. Dunlavy, Chicago, 1925, so it's been around a long time.  It's used in Kentucky Running Set.

Music:  Unphrased (not too tuneful) American reels.