Ding Dong Merrily On High Christmas Line Dance How To

Christmas celebrations date back to the middle ages. The Christmas carol “Ding Dong Merrily on High” originated as a middle age song and dance called branle de original. This merry little medieval dance is pared perfectly with the Holly King and the Ivy Queen for your Christmas celebration. Have fun learning how to line dance to “Ding Dong Merrily on High”.

Holly King and Father Christmas

Many of our Christmas traditions were taken from other festivals. In Celtic legends the changing of the season were a battle between the winter Holly King and the Summer Oak King. The changing of each season cumulated with the winter and summer solstice. This tradition inspired the images of Father Christmas with a holly crown. The Holly King would bring gifts to good children to brighten the long winter night.

Ivy Queen

Some Celtic sources say that the Holly King and the Oak King were battling for the hand of the Ivy Queen. The Ivy Queen is also referred to as the green lady and mother earth. “Holly and Ivy are often linked together at Christmas; this goes back much further, to the idea of the Holly (male) and Ivy (female) being burnt together at the pagan festival of Beltane.” According to AncientOrigins.net.   The church then altered this relationship making Holly the crown of Christ, and Ivy to represent the virgin Mary.

Medieval roots of Ding Dong Merrily on High

“Ding Dong Merrily on High” began as a medieval song and dance. I altered the traditional branle de original medieval circle dance to a fun Christmas line dance. I kept all the original patterns and adjusted the toss a duchess part to be a half turn for all dancers. This is a lovely dance for our Holly King and Ivy Queen this Christmas.

Ding Dong Merrily on High Christmas Line Dance

  1. Sidestep to the left (4 count)
    ( Left foot side, right foot closes together, left foot side, tap right foot to left foot)
  2. Sidestep to the right (4 count)
    ( right foot side, left foot closes to right, right foot side, tap left foot to right foot)
  3. Repeat a Sidestep to the left (4 count)
    ( Left foot side, right foot closes together, left foot side, tap right foot to left foot)
  4. Dance a Sidestep to the right (4 count)
    ( right foot side, left foot closes to right, right foot side, tap left foot to right foot)
  5. Four singles to the left or grapevine (8 count)
    (Each single is side left, close right foot to left foot) –
    or to swish the skirts, a 8 count grapevine to the left ( side left foot, cross behind right foot, side left foot, cross in front with your right foot, repeat until you get to the 8th count)
  6. Four kicks forward (4 count)
    Left, Right, Left, Right,
  7. Rotate to the left half turn taking 4 steps, count 1,2,3,4.
  8. Repeat 4 single (Side, close) or (8 count grapevine)
  9. Four kicks forward (4 count)
    Left, Right, Left, Right,
  10. Rotate to the left half turn taking 4 steps, count 1,2,3,4.
  11. Repeat the whole dance from the top to the left until the end of the song.

Our Location

We filmed on location at the historic Arapahoe Spring. This spring was completed in 1936 as a picnic area and water resource for car radiators on the way to Bergen peak. It fell into disuse after squaw pass road was moved below the spring’s current location. You can still drive the jeep road up to this historic colorado location west of Evergreen Colorado.

Music Selection

The song we used was “Branle De L’Official” performed by Wolgemut. Other songs I have used in the past are “Official Bransle Toss the Duchess” featuring Brieann Chappel on the album “Dance the Knight Away”
“Ding dong merrily on high” by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on their Orchestral Christmas album.

Our cast

Holly King- Craig Tomazin

Ivy Queen – Holly Tomazin

Holly Tomazin
WEDDING DANCE instruction
DANCE LESSONS.
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of:
The Knot Hall of Fame best wedding dance instruction,
top 50 Dance Blogs
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance
720-276-0562
info@adventuresindance.com
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Resources

https://everythingbackyard.net/christmas-holly-history/

http://www.christmascarnivals.com/christmas-history/christmas-holly-history.html

https://www.learnreligions.com/holly-king-and-the-oak-king-2562991

https://www.glastonburyabbey.com/holy-thorn.php

https://throughyourbody.com/winter-solstice-holly-king-oak-king/

http://www.tartanplace.com/faery/dameverte.html

https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-ancient-traditions/holly-and-ivy-how-pagan-practices-found-their-way-christmas-007224

http://www.emrysydewin.com/the-holly-king-and-the-oak-king/

http://www.okinhealth.com/articles/green-man-oak-holly-kings