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Prince William

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Published on May 18, 2014

Pat Shaw published his reconstruction of Prince William (Walsh,1731) in his book Holland as Seen in the English Country Dance, 1713-1820. In New York and elsewhere, it is one of the more popular 3-couple historical set dances, appearing regularly on balls in New York, Westchester, Boston, Elm City, and Philadelphia, among others. In New York, for instance,it has been the second most popular dance on ball programs, bested only by Mr Isaac's Maggot.

In this version, danced at CD*NY's April 5th ball so beautifully to music by Naomi Morse, violin; Doug Creighton, flute; and Karen Axelrod, keyboard, the dancers add several appealing refinements: Notice for example how the 2s, by elongating their track in the second cross-over hey, are able to lead up the center of the set to first place without pause, as the 1s cross and go below for their 2-hand turn. After the 2s cross and go below for a 2-hand turn 1 1/2x, they smoothly move up into 1st place for the second half of the dance, either moving up together or with the 2W casting. And finally, all the inactive dancers hold the frame of the set to provide a stage within which the 1s show off their nicely rounded, well-timed hand turns. All in all, a really fine performance!

Many thanks to the dancers and the musicians for bringing this classic to life so memorably.--Paul Ross

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