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Hashual was originally choreographed (by Rivka Sturman) as a circle-couple dance, though it is rarely if ever danced with the couple part.
The original instructions, which include the steps, music and words are found in the Hebrew "10 Rikudei-Am by Rivka Sturman" edited by T Hodes 1961 and its English "10 Folk Dances for all ages by Rivka Sturman" edited by Rickey Holden 1962.
The lyrics are listed as by A. Weiner, music by Emanuel Zamir. It says "This dance was created to be enjoyed all in relaxed and free style."
Hashual is described as a circle dance for couples, with the second part done twice - 8 measures in a circle and 8 measures as a couple. It also says that sometimes, instead of the last 8 measures as couples, the circle part is done twice, especially for beginners and large groups.
When Kenneth Spear wrote the instructions for Tikva record T-98 "dance with RIVKA" he described the 2nd part to be done either twice as a circle or twice as a couple. These instructions were approved by Rivka in 1965.
Neither instruction has it as a game with a single dancer in the center as it is often danced. Rivka Sturman does describe her other dance Shualim Ktanim that way.