THE BACHELOR MILL



Published in Lee Owens, Advanced Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest, Palo Alto (CA): Pacific Books, 1950, pp 22-23.


“This dance and call was arranged by Jimmy Clossin of El Paso, Texas, from an original dance by George Waudby of Tucson, Arizona.


Description

              The first and third couples lead to the right and form two rings of four with the side couples, with whom they circle once clockwise.

              The two head gentlemen retire to their home place, leaving their partners with the side couples who form two lines of three, facing.

              The lines of three dance three steps forward and retire, with the two head or “end” gentlemen dancing three steps forward as the side six retire.

              The two end gentlemen retire as the side six now dance three steps forward.

              The two side gentlemen step backward into their home place leaving the four ladies in the center in two lines of two, facing each other.

              The two end gentlemen swing their own partners once around with a right-hand swing, then swing their left-hand ladies with a left-hand swing. The two end gentlemen now swing their right-hand ladies with a right-hand swing, and then swing their opposite ladies with a left-hand swing.

              The two end gentlemen now dance to the center of the formation where they swing once around with a right elbow swing, after which they swing their opposite ladies with a left-hand swing, then their right-hand ladies with a right-hand swing, followed by a left-hand swing with their left-hand ladies, and then swing own partners with a right-hand swing, thus completing the “mill” figure in which the active gentlemen swing the ladies indicated in the call according to the designation and names of the ladies in the original set formation.

              All “balance home,” and then dance an allemande left with corners, after which the four ladies form a right-hand star in the center, which circles once clockwise.

              Break the star and all promenade with partners one-quarter around the set, where couples wheel half-around counterclockwise, and promenade to home place (moving clockwise) where couples again wheel half-around counterclockwise and then promenade around the set in the usual counterclockwise direction.

              The call is repeated with the two side couples leading the figure.”


The Bachelor Mill

As adapted by William M. Litchman


              The figure begins in the same manner as above until the two lines of three are formed at the sides of the square and the two head men are at home alone. Each side man should have his partner on his right and his corner on his left.

              The lines of three advance and retire and then advance again and the two men retire alone to their home place.

              Note that whether the head couples lead out to the right to circle and form lines of three or the side couples do the same, the four ladies will be placed into the center in their original order around the center of the square (as are all four men in original order). Thus, either the two head men could move through the “mill” sequence or the two side men could do the same in the same order. In fact, all four men could actually do the “mill” and not encounter any traffic problems in performing the figure.

              I have changed the sequence of events slightly for the “mill” part of the figure to make it easier for the men to visualize where they are to go and the sequence of arm turns which they perform. In my sequence, the men turn the corner (left hand lady) first with the left hand, the partner with the right hand, the other gent in the center with the left hand (once and a half), the opposite with the right hand, the right hand lady with the left hand, the opposite with the right hand, the other gent in the center with the left hand (once and a half), the partner with the right hand, and finally, all four men can turn their corner with the left hand (allemande left). This is followed by a general right and left grand and promenade home.

              The call is quick and given at the time needed by the gents as they finish one turn to move to the next person. This is done so that the men can be lead by the call throughout the figure. Whether the head men or the side men are performing the figure, it is the same call. Finally, all four men are asked to turn the left hand lady with the left hand around and proceed through the “mill.” When the four gents come to the center, they star by the left hand just half way round to the opposite with a right hand turn (rather than turning each other by the left in the center once and a half). Likewise on the way back, they also star again by the left half way to go to their partner with the right.

              This is a simpler figure and even first night dancers can do this figure if they are active enough and listen carefully.

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