The Magic of Merrill

a 32-bar reel for 3 couples

devised by Lyle Ramshaw, for the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS

suggested tune: "Return from India" (Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes, page 45)

1-21s and 2s set on the sides.
3-42s cast up to first place while 1s cross down (no hands) into double-triangles position facing the opposite side.
5-62s, 1s, and 3s set as in double triangles.
7-81s turn their first corner 3/4 by the right hand, leaving first woman between the 2s, first man between the 3s.
9-12Half reels of three across the set, 1s giving left shoulder to the person on their left -- that is, first woman to second woman and first man to third man.
13-16Right-shoulder half reels of three on the sides, 1s on own side; on bar 16, 1s pass left shoulder* to face first-corner position. Corners connect the previous half reels to these with extra quarter-loops, as in "Bratach Bana".
17-24 Half a reel of four on the first-corner diagonal and then on the second-corner diagonal; 1s pass right shoulder between the two half reels and pass right shoulder again on bar 24 to second place, own side.
25-32 2s, 1s, and 3s circle six hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Merrill Hall, designed by Julia Morgan, is the primary dance space at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, where the San Francisco Branch hosts a magical dance weekend each autumn.

* When first reading these directions, many fine dancers worry that the 1s will find it clumsy to pass by the left shoulder during bar 16. The dance floor typically dispels that worry.