# Thread: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

1. ## Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

"And away they all went in the dance, Twenty pairs at the same time, round and round, down the middle and up again"
In this sentence,dose "the middle" mean "weist"?
I can't imagine the scene.If possible, please explain the scene .

2. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by yuyu0615
"And away they all went in the dance, twenty pairs at the same time, round and round, down the middle and up again"
In this sentence, does "the middle" mean "weist"?
I can't imagine the scene.If possible, please explain the scene .
No. It's some form of 'sequence dance'.
The couples line up with ten men standing side to side, and ten women side to side facing them.
mmmmmmmmmm
wwwwwwwwww

The head couple join hands and dance up between the others (down the middle).
mmmmmmmmm
...m ->
...w ->
wwwwwwwww

Then the next head couple do the same. 'Up again' - not sure about this; maybe they dance back up to the head outside the group before the second couple take off.
...<- m
mmmmmmmmm
wwwwwwwww
...<- w

3. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by yuyu0615
"And away they all went in the dance, Twenty pairs at the same time, round and round, down the middle and up again"
In this sentence,dose "the middle" mean "weist"?
I can't imagine the scene.If possible, please explain the scene .
No, I'm sure "the middle" doesn't mean "waist" (note spelling).

Where is this quote from? When I read it, I imagine a dance from a Jane Austen novel, such as Pride and Prejudice. If you have ever seen one of those movies, you can picture a row of men and a row of women facing each other. When they begin dancing, they often meet in the middle between the rows, and then dance up between the rows to the opposite end...

I can't really describe it all, but I suggest looking for an example of English country dancing (or "contradancing") on YouTube!

4. ## Thank you very much

I've never known "'sequence dance." Thank you for teaching me what it is.I'm glad to understand it.

5. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by Raymott
No. It's some form of 'sequence dance'
I love your diagram, Raymott! But I don't think a 'sequence dance' is the same as what you (or the OP) were describing. I'd never heard of sequence dancing before now, so I looked it up and it's more closely related to ballroom dancing (e.g. tango, foxtrot, etc.).

Here is a video clip from Pride and Prejudice of the English Country Dancing that I was talking about: Mr. Beveridge's Maggot (I hope the link works!)

6. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by mayita1usa
I love your diagram, Raymott! But I don't think a 'sequence dance' is the same as what you (or the OP) were describing. I'd never heard of sequence dancing before now, so I looked it up and it's more closely related to ballroom dancing (e.g. tango, foxtrot, etc.).

Here is a video clip from Pride and Prejudice of the English Country Dancing that I was talking about: Mr. Beveridge's Maggot (I hope the link works!)
You're right. Sequence dancing is quite popular in Australia. Sequence dances include the Gypsy Tap, Pride of Erin, Barn Dance, Canadian Two-Step - anything where all couples do the same steps at the same time. It's also called "Old Time and New Vogue" dancing here.
It's quite possible that the dances in Jane Austen's time were not called 'sequence dances', but they are dances with a set sequence.
Sorry for any confusion.

7. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

PS: Here's one of my favourites, the Swing waltz
1. How it should be done

2.How it's usually done
YouTube - The Old Swing Waltz - Old Time Bush Dance in Australia

Some modern dances are almost indistinguishable from those of Jane Austen's time (at least in concept)

8. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by Raymott
PS: Here's one of my favourites, the Swing waltz
1. How it should be done
Nice! This is how I pictured sequence dancing after I read about it!

2.How it's usually done
YouTube - The Old Swing Waltz - Old Time Bush Dance in Australia

Some modern dances are almost indistinguishable from those of Jane Austen's time (at least in concept)
I think we have a basic vocabulary/dialect difference! What you all call "bush dance" is what we call "contra dance" - and I imagine both of them come from English Country Dance, thanks to the imperial aspirations of the British crown!

9. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Originally Posted by mayita1usa
I love your diagram, Raymott! ...
Me too. It took me back to my primary school - the Virginia Reel (YouTube - Virginia Reel - though we were three or four years younger than these guys. Girls - yuck. )

b

10. ## re: Does 'the meddle' mean waist?

Aren't we talking about a square dance here?

Rover

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