A Dance: Hole in the Wall

Sister Mairi Jean

 Source: Playford (1695), Letter of Dance v1, The Playford Ball

 “A perennial SCA favourite; hated by musicians, demanded by dancers, used to raise money at Pennsic, with the musicians willing to pay to avoid playing it.”
(SCA dance cheat sheets)

 Setting: A longways set of couples (a crocodile)

 The couples are numbered 1, 2, 1, 2 etc. There should be an even number of couples dancing with another couple waiting to come in at the bottom.


1 – 4 First couple casts off around twos, leads up the middle back to place.
5 – 8 Second couple casts up around ones, leads down the middle to place.
9 – 10 First man and second woman change places,
11 – 12 second man and first woman change places,
13 – 14 All hands halfway round. (couple 1 and 2 take hands and turn in a circle to return to original positions)
15 – 16 Ones cast down while twos lead up the center to progress. (The top couple moves down to the bottom of the crocodile while that waiting couple mentioned above move in as a couple number 2)

 I’m pretty sure I have interpreted these steps correctly. Anyway, we danced this in Southfarthing at our event and we had a lot of fun. We intend perpetrating this dance often and with vigour, so Be Prepared.

 “The Poles, so I have heard said, invariably walk on their toes.”
Thoinot Arbeau, Orchesography