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Sellenger's Round

Source: Steps from Playford (1670), variation on music given in Playford by William Byrd (1609). In third Playford edition in simpler form.

Setting: A circle of couples

Version: 1.0

 1- 8  Take hands and circle 8 slip steps left, and 8 slip steps back.
 9-12  Two singles into the center, and a double back to place
13-16  Face partner, set and turn single.
17-24  Repeat 9-16.

 1- 8  Holding hands, forward a double into the center, and a double
       back out (``beerhall run'').
 9-24  As before.

 1- 8  Siding.
 9-24  As before.

 1- 8  Arming.
 9-24  As before.


This dance first appeared in the 3rd edition of Playford, but the version given above is the one I've seen danced by the SCA, which follows the reconstruction by Cecil Sharp of the 4th edition (1670) Playford version. The music done in the SCA was likewise chosen by Sharp; it's a variation of the version in Playford printed in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (1609).

Sharp's reconstruction includes a repetition of the first verse and chorus, but I've never seen that done in the SCA. However, some recordings of this tune are 5 times through, so some dance classes have been taught with an extra repeat. As usual, Sharp turned Playford's doubles left and right into a slipping circle.

The Playford Ball notes that there is a reference to the title of this dance in Thomas Heywood's play A Woman Killed with Kindness, 1607. There are also numerous other references.

One common modern variation involves having the women double backwards during the chorus, so that they are going out while the men go in.