Perpetual Motion – Music: Menousis, by Irene Papas

We danced this with Rosie Turnbull from Findhorn.

Basics: watch for sidesteps right and sidesteps left. .04. This goes one left; two right.

We’ll probably do this one at our “basics” sessions in the summer.




Basic Steps – Wish I’d had this ten years ago!

We’re planning a couple of sessions just for beginners where we’ll cover off and practice steps like:
side step; slip step; waltz.
We’ll demonstrate the steps and then have several dances that use mainly or exclusively those steps.
Contact me if you’re interested.
Here are a few of the other steps that are in patterns that sometimes confuse people at first.

 This one is really common and unless it’s really fast is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You need to pay attention though: sometimes it goes left; sometimes right. Sometimes you start with cross over, sometimes you start with a sidestep and sometimes you start with cross behind.  It’s well worth getting comfortable with this one.
In Circle dance we play with this saying that when  the step starts with the left foot we call it a lemenite and when we start with the right foot we call it a remenite.
 There is also a forward yemenite which is only confusing if you’ve always done backwards yemenites.
A mantra to say is “Change Those Feet” – that helps me!

Tcherkessia Step:

And the mystery is solved of why I could never find anything about “cherkassia” no matter how much I tried–it starts with a “T”!

I sometimes avoid the debate about where the accent is on the name and just call it: cross left over right/replace; cross right over left/replace.

And from the land of Scottish Country Dancing…


We don’t do this one much but I like it.



Alunelul with some side steps

Alunelul from Rumania.  Pronunciation: ah-lu-NEH-loo

Translation: Hazelnut

More information here:

If you’re new to circle dance, this has lots of side steps in it.  (I’ve promised to look for some dances that use some of the common steps we do.)

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Dance Steps: Grapevine

A new dancer asked me to share a video of the grapevine step (and other basic steps). I found it’s not that easy to find. We haven’t danced this dance, but it’s got a nice slow grapevine in it.

The thing about grapevines is:

  1. it’s always the same pattern: you’re putting one foot in front of the other and the same foot behind the other, travelling in one direction or the other
  2. however… you might start with a side step and then foot in front or just foot in front or just foot behind
  3. and you may go left or you may go right.
  4. I learned that this “complete” pattern is not what they do in tango, salsa, line dance or hip hop. There it’s what we might call 3/4 of a grapevine.

I find it a great relief to do a dance where there are several full grapevines all in a row–you really get into the rhythm of it.

At the time marker of 0:20-0:24 is a complete grapevine to the left!

When I put out a request to a serious circle dancer friend she told me that it’s also called  Mayim, Mayim or Maim Maim (mime mime) aAnd found this helpful tutorial for Israeli folk dance:

I hope some circle dancers might take up the challenge of making a series of videos with basic steps. It would have really helped me when I was brand new. It was all very well and good to have such a lovely supportive group assuring me I’d learn over time but I would have practised the basic steps at home and enjoyed dance earlier than I did.

What about other newbies? would this (have been) be helpful to you?