The Sunday Class
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Taught/practised on:
2011 May 1 st
WIDDERSHINS (J8x32) Ken Martlew  1- 8 1s turn LH, cast 1 place & turn RH to face 2 nd  corners  9-16 1s turn 2 nd  corners LH, turn partner RH, turn 1 st  corners LH & partner RH to end facing 2 nd  corners 17-24 1s dance reels of 3 on opposite sides giving RSh to 2 nd  corners & end crossing LH to own sides 25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H to right & back
Widdershins means to take a course opposite the apparent motion of the sun i.e. to go counterclockwise or lefthandwise. The Oxford English Dictionary's entry cites the earliest uses of the word from 1513, where it was found in the phrase ‘widdersyns start my hair’, i.e. my hair stood on end. The use of the word also means "in a direction opposite to the usual", It is cognate with the German ‘widersinnig’, i.e., "against" + "sense". The term "widdershins" was especially common in Lowland Scots. Because the sun played a highly important role in primitive religion, to go against it was considered very bad luck for sun-venerating traditions. “Widdershins” = “The Witches’ Way”.  Superstitious dancers undertake these inverted figures entirely at their own risk! Ken Martlew lives in Hemel Hempstead, where he was church organist and choir master for many years. He is the resident musician for London RSCDS advanced classes and plays piano for day schools, etc., often teaming up with Barbara Manning (who plays the fiddle). He has devised at least 5 dances and composed 34 tunes. This dance was published in the Berkhampsted Golden Jubilee 1952-2002 Book, with an accompanying CD by Ken and Barbara. His daughter, Zoe Martlew, is an international cellist.