New Boe Peep

(Pickadilla)

{1651}


Introduction

New Boe Peep (also later called Pickadilla) is a dance from the first edition of Playford's English Dancing Master (1651).

It's one of easiest of the first edition Playford dances to learn, making it suitable for beginners. For more advanced dancers, the constant peeping of the chorus might seem tiresome, but that same aspect of the dance makes it great for a masquerade party.



The Formation

Longways for as many as will, proper (with all of the Follows to the right of the Leads facing up the hall).


The Dance

This dance has a clear verse chorus structure, with three verses.


Verse 1 (16 counts)

Up and Back (8 counts): Taking hands with partner, walk four steps up the hall, and fall back four steps down the hall.

Repeat Up and Back (8 counts)


Chorus (48 counts)

Leads Chase Follows (8 counts): The Follows turn away from their partners and walk four steps toward the right wall. Then the Leads chase them four steps, ending up right behind them. (The direction the Follows turn to face the wall is unspecified. It doesn't really matter, but it looks best if all the Follows agree which way to turn. To make things easy, we dance this and every other turn in the dance as a turn to the right.)

Leads Peep (8 counts): Peep at each other side to side, with one partner going one way and the other going the other. (Which way each person goes is unspecified, but we dance it with the dancer behind going right first and dancer in front going left first. It doesn't really matter, but it looks best when everyone in the set agrees on the directions they'll be peeping. At the very least, it's important that each couple agrees on the directions they'll be peeping.)

Fall Back and Turn Single (8 counts): Everyone back up to original place with four steps, and turn solo to face the left wall. (Most people interpret this as a half turn, but some more advanced dancers make it a turn and a half, which feels more like a usual "turn single" you might know from other dances.)

Follows Chase Leads (8 counts): The Leads walk four steps toward the left wall. Then the Follows chase them four steps, ending up right behind them.

Follows Peep (8 counts): Peep at each other side to side, with one partner going one way and the other going the other. (Once again, which way each person goes is unspecified, but to keep things simple, do the same thing as we did on the other side, with the dancer behind going right first and dancer in front going left first)

Fall Back and Turn Single (8 counts): Everyone back up to original place with four steps, and turn solo to face partner. (Most people interpret this as a half turn by the Leads alone, but it could also be a full turn by the Follows and a turn and a half by the Leads.)


Verse 2 (16 counts)

Side Right (8 counts): Approach partner with four steps, ending right shoulder to right shoulder, then back away four steps. (This is the historical style for siding, although you may also see some people do it with the more dynamic "Cecil Sharp" style of siding, in which you trade places and then trade places back home. In a modern context, either is fine, as long as you and your partner/community agree.)

Side Left (8 counts): Approach partner with four steps, ending left shoulder to left shoulder, then back away four steps. (Or do the Cecil Sharp styling, if that's your community's preference.)


Repeat Chorus (48 counts): But this time, the Leads get chased first, and then the Follows.


Verse 3 (16 counts)

Arm Right (8 counts): Taking right arm with partner, walk eight steps clockwise around each other to place. (Many different styles are seen for arming including: touching forearms, linking elbows, holding forearms, or holding hands, low or high. The only real requirement is that you and your partner/community agree on how you're going to do it.)

Arm Left (8 counts): Taking left arm with partner, walk eight steps counterclockwise around each other to place.


Repeat Chorus (48 counts): Like the first time, Follows get chased first, then Leads get chased.


The Music

Here is a nice tune for dancing New Boe Peepe:


Sources


© 2020 Nick Enge


For more, see our two books on dancing:
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge,
and Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge.


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