Shearing the Sheep

A circle dance for 8-10 couples (random progressive) devised by Pam Merrigan.

Music : 32 bar single jig

In this dance we have shearers and sheep. After the circle has been formed, ladies on right of partners, drop hands. Ladies will have first turn at being shearers. They make a smaller circle in the middle with the men (now the sheep) on the outside.

8 bars : Shearers circle left for eight steps then back to the right. Sheep on the outside start walking around the circle

(paddock) clockwise direction. At the end of the eight bars gaffer “rings the bell”.

8 bars : When gaffer rings the bell shearers rush to the outside and grab a sheep and swing on the spot (this is the


8 bars : Promenade around the circle anti-clockwise (ladies always on outside) 12 steps and then form up circle (lady

on right of man) hands joined.

8 bars : All take four steps in and back. Four steps in again and the shearers leave the sheep (down the shute) in the

middle and shearers return to the outside for four steps.


The dance begins again with the roles reversed (sheep are the shearers & visa versa). The aim is to shear a different sheep each time and alternately everyone gets a chance to be a shearer and a sheep.


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