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Notes on Dance Instructions

This is the index page for dance instructions. Please add a link here as appropriate when you have posted a set of instructions. Note that pages in RED still need to be supplied. Others may still need work (it would be nice to have an amber link!??) There are names in grey boxes that MAY (or may not) be dances for which instructions are available. The tag '??rename' is to indicate that the link does not have the prefix 'ins_' which is desirable to allow us to count the dances.

May 2017: ECD Sea to Sea

The booklet “ECD Sea to Sea: Dances in the English Country Tradition by Canadian Composers” has been produced “In celebration of Canada's one hundred and fiftieth birthday 2017” is available for purchase. Contact

  Lorraine Sutton,
  163 Slabtown Road,
  Clarksburg, Ontario
  N0H 1J0


Each booklet is $10.00 plus shipping of $2.50 in Canadian Funds. Please make cheques payable to Lorraine Sutton.

Tags for finding special material

The following tags can be put in pages. Eventually I (JN) will try to establish some mechanisms for searching. In the meantime, they will serve to help people find music etc. for dances.

  • <GENRE: ….> where …. is one of Playford, English, contra, (please contact JN before adding other genres)
  • <MUSIC-SHEET:….> where …. is a reference to the sheet music (may be in this wiki in the Sheet Music section).
  • <MUSIC-DOWNLOAD:….> where …. is a link to the appropriate source, e.g., iTunes
  • <MUSIC-CD:….> where …. is a reference to the CD and track (may be in this wiki in ???). Please include track identifier.
  • <MUSIC-TAPE:….> where …. is a reference to the tape. Please include track identifier.
  • <MUSIC-LP:….> where …. is a reference to the (vinyl) recording. Please include track identifier.
  • <FORMATION: ….> where …. is the formation e.g., longways, round, square
  • <NUMBER: ….> where …. identifies number of couples or number of dancers
  • <VIDEO: ….> where …. is a link or reference to a video of the dance

A tool

While the template below is useful to show structure, Graham Thompson has created a tool to aid the formatting:

Formatting dances

Dances generally are easiest to “line up” with the tags for the parts of the music (e.g., A1, A2, B1, B2, C) if you use a monospace (typewriter-like) font to maintain spacing. This is best done in a text editor (the most common in Windows is Notepad.)

Dokuwiki displays text that is bracketed by the tags <code> and </code> in a monospace font. This is likely the simplest way to present dance instruction blocks.

For formatting to index cards, see dance on card.

One of the easiest ways to submit a new dance is as follows:

  • find a dance that displays as you would like your dance displayed
  • make sure you are logged in – only logged in users can edit
  • in the dance instructions index, locate the alphabetic location where your dance will be placed
  • click the edit button below this section of the index
  • highlight the dance above or below where your dance will go, copy it (Ctrl-C), then paste (Ctrl-V) TWO times (once for the dance that is there, once for yours)
  • change the name of BOTH the instructions page (the first part of the index element in the brackets) and the name to be displayed for your dance (the second element)
  • Save the block (leftmost button below the box. May be out of view, requiring scroll down.)
  • go to the page that has the dance you like (i.e., click on its link in the instructions index) and click the edit “button” (top one on the RHS of the material displayed)
  • highlight all the text in the dance. On many machines, Ctrl-A will do this.
  • copy the text (often Ctrl-C)
  • optionally, open a text editor (e.g., Notepad) and paste the text into it and save for future use.
  • return to the index and find your dance link (it should be red, meaning it does not yet exist)
  • click on the link. You should be told it does not exist. You can create it with the Edit/Create button, which is the top button on the RHS of the box.
  • paste the “old” dance instructions into the box
  • edit the text, using the existing formatting tags
  • Save (bottom left of box – again, may need scroll down)

This sounds like a lot because the instructions here are rather detailed. Essentially we are copying a dance and then editing it.

A prototype tool for spacing

The following Perl script will add the spaces. It is executable in Linux and likely Mac command box, and possibly a Windows box, but may need to be run via

perl file.txt
# -- add spaces to beginning of text file to get boxes in Dokuwiki and Mediawiki
use strict;
my $infile = @ARGV[[0]];
print "towikibox on file $infile, result in $";

open (INFILE, $infile);
my $outfile = "$";
open (OUTFILE, ">$outfile");
my @all =<INFILE>;
foreach my $line (@all) {
        chomp $line;
        print OUTFILE "   $line\";
print "DONE!";

Note the list of English dance videos at

dance_instructions_notes.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/14 18:28 by nashjc