A Barn Dance Repertoire
by Thomas Green
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Strip the Willow (set dance)

Also known as  Drops of Brandy
Set dance, 5 or 6 couples
Difficulty:  1
Style:  English
Longways proper

1s turn with R elbows one and a half, then 1st W turns 2nd M with L elbow, turns partner in centre of set with R, 3rd M with L, etc to end of set; 1st M does the same up the line of W, starting with bottom W; on reaching the top again they go down both lines simultaneously.  Next couple starts as soon as there's a chance - i.e.  before the current couple has reached the bottom.

Caller should note that this dance isn't phrased, so if there's more than one set they'll soon be out of synch and once the dance has started you can't do much if they go wrong.  So explain clearly at the start.  Rule is 'right arm to partner, left to others, but don't hold the dance up if you or anyone else get mixed up, just take the arm that's offered'.
(I recently discovered that in Scotland whenever a new couple starts it's usual to take a cross-hand hold at arm's-length for the first swing and to go round lots of times until they get bored.  That means that you should stick to short sets or else it gets very boring in between turns.)

Music:  brisk slip jigs or ordinary jigs or reels