Skandia CD, tracks 12 and 13


Credible English Title Six Persons' Reel.


Heritage Norwegian.
U.S. Source As learned in Norway in 1951 by Gordon E. Tracie, and taught at Skandia Folkdance Society, Seattle.
Motivation and application Both recreational and performance-oriented.  Good for beginners.


Type Duple-meter (2/4).


Function 3-couple set dance.
Character and form Sprightly, with vigor.
Footwork Parallel, repetitive.
Specific steps Small, loping step-skips.
Dance holds Ring hold:  couples facing center of ring, all hands joined and held at shoulder level.  Two-hand hold, described in text below.
Formation Three couples in ring, W on M's R.



1 - 7
Figure I. (with "tilt"):
A.  Ring:

Couples in ring formation, beginning on L foot, 14 step-skips to the L.
8 Stop with 3 stamps (L, R, L) turning to own R (CW) on final stamp.
1 - 7 Beginning on R foot, 14 step-skips to the R (CCW).
8 Stop with 3 stamps (R, L, R), turning to face partner on R foot final stamp.

B.  2-hand hold:

All beginning on L foot, clapping own hands once and joining both hands with partner, arms outstretched with outside arms lifted so they are higher than inside arms.  Body should lean in towards center of circle.
10 - 15 M dancing forward, W backward, in LOD (CCW), with 12 step-skips.  (Note: M must direct his partner so she does not dance into the person behind her.)
16 Stop with 3 stamps (L, R, L), all turning to own L (CCW) to face corner person on the final stamp.
17 All beginning on R foot, 2 step-skips while clapping own hands once and joining hands with corner (arms outstretched in same manner as above), again leaning inward.
18 - 23 All continue in original LOD (still CCW, this time M backward, W forward) with 12 more step-skips, the W directing.
24 Stop with 3 stamps (R, L, R), turning to own L (CCW) to face partner on the final stamp.

C.  Chain:

Beginning on L foot and clapping own hands once.
26 - 32 R hand first to partner, all dance a full "Grand R and L" around the ring, continuing upon meeting partner the first time, and stopping at partner the 2nd time, to rejoin hands in a ring, as in I A., above.  Step-skips throughout.

1 - 8,
1 - 8
Figure II. (with hand clapping):
A.  Ring:

As in Figure I A., the same except that at the end of last measure after turning to face partner, couple does not join hands.

9 - 16
B.  Hand clapping:

As in Figure I B., except that instead of holding hands, partners clap own hands with "brush" handclap (hands going up and down, palms facing inward), one clap to each of 14 step-skips, M dancing forward, W backward, with 3 stamps on measure 16 while turning to own L (CCW) to face corner.
17 - 24 Repeat "brush" handclap figure of counts 9-16, with M dancing backward, W forward, with 3 stamps on measure 16 while turning to own L (CCW) to face partner.

25 - 32
C.  Chain:

Precisely as in Figure I. C,

The entire dance is repeated from beginning, if music allows.  In the "Skandia" CD recording for Seksmannsril, the dance ends after one time through Figures I and II, ending after the second chain.

If dancers prefer a repeat of the whole dance; press the "Skip to Beginning of Track" button on your CD player as the second chain ends.  Skipping to the beginning will restart the dance, without replaying the introduction.  By the last steps of the second chain, the music is slowing for the finalle, so the dancers will notice a change in tempo.


Any repertoire of Norwegian folk dances would be incomplete without the sprightly Six Persons' Reel, or Seksmannsril.  As with several other folk dances of similar nature in Norway, it is generally considered to have been an "import" from Scotland a couple of centuries ago, but over the years it has acquired a typically Norwegian character, despite the fact that the tune most frequently used for the dance is well known to both Britishers and Americans: "Soldier's Joy." However, there are other more typically Norwegian melodies also used.  Native folk dance instructors point out that the Reel is a bright, lively dance, and as such should be danced with a certain amount of abandon. Pulling out during the circle formations gives the ring greater momentum.  All stamps and handclaps should be precise.  Also, Norwegian dancers typically shout "Hey!" upon making each turn away from or toward partner.

Curiously; according to the book "Dances from Norway" by Daniel Beal, Scots no longer dance reels in groups of six persons.

Copyright © 1997 Skandia Music Foundation Seksmannsril

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