Frank Hall meets dancers in Bailieboro County Cavan and learns about the half set.

A set dance is a folk dance where four couples are arranged on the side of a square, and a half set consists of two couples opposite each other.

Set dancing is descended from the quadrilles and cotillions originally danced in mainland Europe in the eighteenth century. Brought to Ireland by dancing masters as well as members of the British military these dances were adapted to suit Irish traditional music, and regional variants developed over time.

Packie Sexton and friends dance the Breffni Half Set accompanied by Vincent Tighe on accordion in Bailieborough.

He also demonstrates steps handed down to him by his father, who himself had learned them from an older generation.

There was always an awful interest in dancing around this part.

Dancing a set as a pastime is one thing, but dancing it at competitions these days is a completely different matter. Adjudicators at set dancing competitions are placing too much emphasis on appearance alone maintains Packie Sexton, and not the dance itself,

You have to give more marks on footwork, timing and tradition.

This episode of 'Hall And Company' was broadcast on 23 November 1986. The presenter is Frank Hall.