Category Archives: Dance Type

Dances by type – reel, strathspey or jig

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Dances for June 12, 2024

No Video

SKATING ON THE RIDEAU CANAL
32 bar Strathspey for 3 couples in a longwise set

1-8 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance Inveran reels, 1s crossing down to begin. Second couple finish facing out.
9-16 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance Inveran reels, 3rd couple crossing up to begin; 2nd couple dance out and down and 1st couple dance in and down.
17-20 All 3 couples dance “turn and twirl” to cross to the opposite side.
21-24 1st and 2nd couples chase clockwise 2 places While 3rd couple turn right hand 1 ½ times to own side. [Order now: 2,1,3]
25-28 All 3 couples dance “turn and twirl” to cross to the opposite side.
29-32 1st and 3rd couples chase clockwise 2 places While 2nd couple turn right hand 1 ½ times to own side. [Order now: 2,3,1] Lady dancing into 2nd lady position finishes facing out.*

*At the end of the third and last repetition, lady dancing into 2nd place would face in for bow and curtsey.

Inspiration for dance: Skaters who glide effortlessly and smoothly, without stopping. Therefore all couples keep dancing throughout, hopefully reaching the required spot just in time to glide through without waiting for the music to prompt the next move. On a busy day, skaters would weave around each other, occasionally meeting up with a friend perhaps, for a brief hello.

Submitted by Lindsay Clark


Video:The Laird o’ Dumbiedike’s Favorite

The Laird o’ Dumbiedike’s Favorite
RSCDS Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian

The Dance – 1820 and 2021
32-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple set

1820 Instructions

1st and 2d Cu: 4 hands round, set and back again.

1st Cu: lead 3 outsides opposite, back again to places

_ poussette & right and left

2021 Reconstruction

1 – 8 1st and 2nd couples, with two skip change of step, circle to left, then retaining hands, set.

They repeat to the right back to places, dropping hands at the end of bar 6.
9 – 16 1st man, followed by 2nd and 3rd men, cross over, dance down the opposite side, cross through third couple’s position and back up own side. Meanwhile, 1st woman does the same with 2nd and 3rd women.

The women pass below the men at the top and the bottom of the set. 1st and 2nd couples finish in the middle.
17 – 24 1st and 2nd couples dance a poussette.

25 – 32 1st and 3rd couples dance rights and lefts.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Notes

A version of this dance has been previously published by the RSCDS in Book 12 – this interpretation is different.
Historic dance manuals provide no help in reconstructing bars 9 – 16. What is clear is that both 1st man and 1st woman are dancing for these 8 bars at the same time.
The progression in this dance can only have taken place during the poussette. It is suggested that the modern RSCDS poussette should be used. Dancers are welcome to try waltzing round one and a half times, as long as both couples are agreed in advance!
The 1820 instructions do not stipulate whether 1st couple dance the rights and lefts with the 2nd or 3rd couples. The dance seems more interesting if the 3rd couple are involved in these bars.

1938 Reconstruction
Video: The Laird of Dumbiedyke’s Favourite

The Laird of Dumbiedyke’s Favourite
RSCDS Book 12 – No. 4
40-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st and 2nd couples dance four hands halfway round to the left and set to partners.

5 – 8 2nd and 1st couples dance four hands halfway round to the right and set to partners.

9 – 16 1st couple, followed by 2nd and 3rd couples, cast off to third place, cross over and dance up to partners’ places on opposite sides. (Fig.)

17 – 24 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples repeat bars 9-16 to original places, the women again dancing on the inside. 1st and 2nd couples finish in the middle of the set facing partners with both hands joined.

25 – 32 1st and 2nd couples dance a poussette.

33 – 40 2nd and 1st couples dance rights and lefts.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

The Heart of Midlothian … Favourite Dances for 1820, printed by John Sutherland, Edinburgh.

Original tune: Johnnie’s friends are never pleased (Niel Gow’s Repository Part 4).


No Video

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters
Kate Nealley, Delaware Valley Gold

a 32-bar Jig for 3 couples in a 4-couple set

1 – 8 1st couple cross by the right hand and cast off one place on opposite sides. 1st couple dance a half figure eight up around 2nd couple. 24 couple step up on bars 3-4.

9 – 12 1st couple cross by the right hand and cast to their right while 2″¢ and 3’4 couples dance as in set & link for three:

9 – 10 2nd and 3rd couples set on the sidelines.
11 – 12 2nd woman and 3rd man cast to the other end of the sideline while 2nd man and 3rd woman dance to their right through the middle of the set to the other end of the sideline, pulling right shoulder back to end in lines of three across the dance, 1st man between the 2nd couple facing up, 1st woman between the 3rd couple facing down.

13 – 16 1st couple change places by the right and cast to their right while 39 and 24 couples dance as in set & link for three:

13 – 14 2nd and 3 couples set facing up and down.
15 – 16 2nd woman and 3 man cast across the dance while 2nd man and 3’¢ woman dance to their right through the middle of the set across the dance, pulling right shoulder back to end on the sidelines. Order is now 3x, 1x, 2x.

17 – 24 Repeat bars 9-16. Order is now 2, 1, 3.

25 – 32 All dance six hands round to the left and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devisor: Kate Nealley, 2019
The title comes from A. E. Housman’s poem “A Shropshire Lad.” Each dancer goes to all the points of
the compass in the course of the dance.

Teaching notes: Bars 9 – 24> Each supporting dancer follows the same path all the way around the set, either casting or dancing through the middle. 1St couple cast to their right around the same person (their 1St corner person in different positions) all four times.

Music: Calliope House, composed D. Richardson, Gilderoy Music MCPS/PRS


No Video

Crum Creek Hornpipe
Becky Birtha, Delaware Valley Gold

a 32-bar Hornpipe for 3 couples in a 4-couple set

1 – 4 1st couple set and cast one place. 2nd couple step up on bars 3-4.
5 – 6 1st and 3 couples face each other up and down the dance, nearer hands joined with partner, and set.
7 – 8 1st and 3 couples change places, 3st couple making an arch and 1st couple dancing under it. Order is now 2, 3, 1.

9 – 12 2nd couple set and cast one place. 3rd couple step up on bars 11-12.
13 – 14 1st and 2nd couples face each other, nearer hands joined, and set.
15 – 16 1st and 2nd couples change places, 1st couple making an arch and 2nd couple dancing under it. Order is now 3, 1, 2.

17 – 20 1st couple dance up between 3 couple and cast down one place.
21 – 24 All three couples turn by the right hand into allemande hold.

25 – 32 3rd, 1st, and 2nd couples dance a three-couple allemande.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devisor: Becky Birtha, 2009
Crum Creek, named by early 18″ century settlers, runs through Chester and Delaware Counties, including the woods on the Swarthmore College campus, and eventually reaches the Delaware River.
“Crum” is Dutch for “crooked.”

Music: Crum Hornpipe, by Josh Burdick

Dances for June 5, 2024

No Video

Miamha
Jayne Irwin, April 2024
A 40 bar hornpipe for 4 couples in a square set

1 – 4 All 4 women dance ½ reel of 4 up/down the set. To start: 1st & 2nd women pass right shoulders, 3rd & 4th women pass right shoulders. All finish in the opposite woman’s place (i.e. 1st & 3rd women change places, 2nd & 4th woman change places)

5 – 8 All 4 men dance ½ reel of 4 across the set. To start: 1st & 4th men pass right shoulders, 3rd & 2nd men pass right shoulders. All finish in the opposite man’s place (i.e. 1st & 3rd men change places, 2nd & 4th men change places)

9 – 16 1st & 3rd couples dance a mixed Rondel inside the square to get back to original places.
9 3rd couple dance under an arch made by 1st couple
10 1st & 3rd men guide their partner in front of them
11 1st woman & 3rd man dance to meet each other and join nearer hands (in front of 4th couple), 1st man & 3rd woman dance to meet each other and join nearer hands (in front of 2nd couple.
12 1st man & 3rd woman dance under an arch made by 1st woman & 3rd man
13 1st & 3rd men guide 3rd & 1st women across in front of them
14 1st & 3rd couples dance to meet partners and take nearer hands
15 3rd couple dance under an arch made by 1st couple
16 1st & 3rd men guide their partner across in front to finish in original places.

17 – 24 2nd & 4th couples dance a mixed Rondel inside the square to get back to original places
17 4th couple dance under an arch made by 2nd couple
18 2nd & 4th men guide their partner in front of them
19 2nd woman & 4th man dance to meet each other and join nearer hands (in front of 1st couple), 2nd man & 4th woman dance to meet each other and join nearer hands (in front of 3rd couple.
20 2nd man & 4th woman dance under an arch made by 2nd woman & 4th man
21 2nd & 4th men guide 4th & 2nd women across in front of them
22 2nd & 4th couples dance to meet partners and take nearer hands
23 4th couple dance under an arch made by 2nd couple
24 2nd & 4th men guide their partner across in front to finish in original places.

25 – 28 Sashay in tandem, 1st & 3rd couples with nearer hands joined, advance with pas de basque, passing the other couple by the left, and dance out to opposite sides

29 – 32 Sashay in tandem, 2nd & 4th couples with nearer hands joined, advance with pas de basque, passing the other couple by the left, and dance out to opposite sides

33 – 40 All 4 couples poussette one place clockwise around the square.
33 With both hands joined advance clockwise
34 All ¼ turn pulling back right shoulders
35 All advance clockwise
36 All ¼ turn pulling back right shoulders
37 All advance towards the centre
38 All ¼ turn pulling back right shoulders and open to face the centre of the set
39 – 40 All retire to the sides of the square

Note: Miamha, pronounced mee-ah is meow in Gaelic


Video: Madge Wildfire’s Strathspey – 1934 Reconstruction
No video for 2021 Reconstruction

Madge Wildfire’s Strathspey
RSCDS Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian

The Dance – 1820 and 2021
32-bar strathspey for three couples in a four-couple set

1820 Instructions

Six hands round, back again
3 couples crossing over opposite sides, back again & turn partners
set cross corners
lead outsides

2021 Reconstruction

1 – 8 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance six hands round and back.

9 – 12 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples, passing right shoulder, cross over. Passing right shoulder, they cross back.

13 – 16 Giving both hands, all three couples turn:
1st couple turn for 2 bars then cast off one place.
2nd couple turn for 2 bars and then dance up to top place.
3rd couple turn for four bars.

17 – 24 1st couple, advancing, set to first corners, then turn them, giving both hands, to face second corners. 1st couple set and turn second corners.

1st couple finish in the centre facing the men’s side, man with his partner on his right.

25 – 32 1st couple lead outsides:
Giving nearer hands, 1st couple dance out between 2nd and 3rd men, then cast back into centre. Giving nearer hands, they dance out between 2nd and 3rd women and cast back to 2nd place own sides.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Notes:

  1. In bars 9 — 12, it is unclear if hands would have been given in 1820.
  2. It seems clear that the progression must take place during bars 9-16. The above solution is traditional and unobtrusive.
  3. As in other dances in this leaflet ‘set cross corners’ is open to interpretation. The interpretation here is ‘set and turn corners’, a common figure which was often followed by a reel or ‘lead outsides’.
  4. Lead outsides could be danced out or the dancers cross, depending on fashion. In a crowded ballroom, 1st man could cross his partner in front of him giving left hands.

1934 Reconstruction

1 – 8 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance six hands round and back.

9 – 12 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples, passing by the right, cross to opposite sides.

13 – 16 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples repeat bars 9-12 to original places.

17 – 20 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples, giving both hands, turn partners. 1st couple finish facing first corners, and 2nd couple, on bars 19-20, dance up on own sides to first place while 3rd couple finish in original places.

21 – 24 1st couple set to corners.

25 – 30 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples dance reels of three on the sides. To begin 1st couple pass second corners by the right.

31 – 32 1st couple, giving right hands, cross over to own sides in second place.

Repeat, having passed a couple.
In Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott, Madge Wildfire is “the nickname of Margaret Murdochson, a beautiful but giddy girl, whose brain was crazed by seduction and the murder of her infant.”
Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing:
Bars 17-20 As 1st couple turn, they dance down the middle, opening out to face first corners, man releasing his left hand.

TACNotes:’
17-20 Cpls turn 2H, 2nd cpl turning in 2 bars & dancing out & up sidelines to top, while 1st cpl move down as they finish the turn & open out to face corners, 1st man dropping his LH & aiding partner.


No Video

SUSIE’S JIG
Duncan Brown, The Bovey Collection
32 bar Jig for three couples in a four couple longwise set

1 – 8 1st and 2nd couples dance right hands across and left hands across. 1st man finishes facing out.

9 – 16 1st man, followed by 1st woman, casts off one place, dances across the set, casts off one place and dances across the set. 1st couple finish in 3rd place, own sides. 2nd couple step up on bars 11 – 12, 3rd couple step up on bars 15 – 16.

17 – 24 2nd, 3rd and 1st couples dance six hands round and back.

25 – 28 1st couple, giving nearer hands, dance up to the top and cast off one place. 3rd couple step down on bars 27-28.

29 – 32 2nd, Ist and 3rd couples, giving right hands, turn partner once round.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devised for my younger daughter, Susie.
Recommended tune: Miss Sally Hunter of Thurston (Nathaniel Gow)


No Video

Further Ado
Lydia Hedge, Further Ado
32 bar Reel for 3 couples in a 4 couple longwise set
devised by Lydia Hedge 2019.

1 – 8 1s set, cross down between 2s (as 2s step up), cast behind 3s, dance up between 3s to 2nd place in the centre.

9 – 16 2s, 1s and 3s dance mirror reels of 3 (1s out and up, 2s in and down, 3s in and up) 1s finish back to back facing opposite sides.

17 – 22 2s, 1s and 3s dance 6 bars of double triangles.

23 – 24 1s petronella turn out to own sides in 2nd place.

25 – 32 2s, 1s and 3s circle 6 hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple

Tune: Further Ado by M. G. Hughes 2017

Dances for May 29, 2024

No Video

Silver Seven

48 bar jig for 3 couples in a 4 couple set
Jayne Irwin, March 2024

1 – 8 1st couple dance a figure of eight around 2nd couple, crossing down between 2nd couple to start.

9 – 16 1st couple cross over and dance a reel of 3 with 2nd & 3rd couples on the opposite sides

17 – 24 1st couple cross over and dance a reel of 3 on their own side with 2nd & 3rd couples

25 – 32 1st couple dance down the middle for 4 bars with nearer hands joined, on bars 21 & 22 1st woman dances under their raised arms and in front of her partner (as he dances below her) to switch places and face up, and dance up to 2nd place on bars 23 & 24, finishing in the middle of the set. 2nd couple step up on bars 19 & 20

33 – 40 1st man with 2nd & 3rd women dance right hands across, 1st woman with 2nd & 3rd men dance left hands across. 1st woman crosses in front of 1st man to dance right hands across with 2nd & 3rd women, 1st man dances left hands across with 2nd & 3rd men. 1st couple finish in the middle facing up, 2nd couple in top place facing out.

41 – 48 2nd couple, followed by 1st & 3rd couples, cast off & dance in to take nearer hands and continue dancing down for 4 bars. 1st & 3rd couple divide and follow 2nd couple back up to finish in progressed places.


Video:The Laird o’ Dumbiedike’s Favorite

The Laird o’ Dumbiedike’s Favorite
RSCDS Sir Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian

The Dance – 1820 and 2021
32-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple set

1820 Instructions

1st and 2d Cu: 4 hands round, set and back again.

1st Cu: lead 3 outsides opposite, back again to places

_ poussette & right and left

2021 Reconstruction

1 – 8 1st and 2nd couples, with two skip change of step, circle to left, then retaining hands, set.

They repeat to the right back to places, dropping hands at the end of bar 6.

9 – 16 1st man, followed by 2nd and 3rd men, cross over, dance down the opposite side, cross through third couple’s position and back up own side. Meanwhile, 1st woman does the same with 2nd and 3rd women.

The women pass below the men at the top and the bottom of the set. 1st and 2nd couples finish in the middle.

17 – 24 1st and 2nd couples dance a poussette.

25 – 32 1st and 3rd couples dance rights and lefts.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Notes

  1. A version of this dance has been previously published by the RSCDS in Book 12 – this interpretation is different.
  2. Historic dance manuals provide no help in reconstructing bars 9 – 16. What is clear is that both 1st man and 1st woman are dancing for these 8 bars at the same time.
  3. The progression in this dance can only have taken place during the poussette. It is suggested that the modern RSCDS poussette should be used. Dancers are welcome to try waltzing round one and a half times, as long as both couples are agreed in advance!
  4. The 1820 instructions do not stipulate whether 1st couple dance the rights and lefts with the 2nd or 3rd couples. The dance seems more interesting if the 3rd couple are involved in these bars.

Video: The Laird of Dumbiedyke’s Favourite

The Laird of Dumbiedyke’s Favourite
RSCDS Book 12 – No. 4
40-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st and 2nd couples dance four hands halfway round to the left and set to partners.

5 – 8 2nd and 1st couples dance four hands halfway round to the right and set to partners.

9 – 16 1st couple, followed by 2nd and 3rd couples, cast off to third place, cross over and dance up to partners’ places on opposite sides. (Fig.)

17 – 24 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples repeat bars 9-16 to original places, the women again dancing on the inside. 1st and 2nd couples finish in the middle of the set facing partners with both hands joined.

25 – 32 1st and 2nd couples dance a poussette.

33 – 40 2nd and 1st couples dance rights and lefts.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

The Heart of Midlothian … Favourite Dances for 1820, printed by John Sutherland, Edinburgh.

Original tune: Johnnie’s friends are never pleased (Niel Gow’s Repository Part 4).


No Video

Lochindorb
Duncan Brown, The Bovey Collection
32 bar Strathspey for two couples in a three or four couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st and 2nd couples dance set and link.

5 – 8 1st and 2nd couples dance four hands round to the left halfway and ‘melt’ into half a turn, giving both hands, with partners, to finish in original places.

9 – 16 1st couple lead down the middle for 4 steps. On bar 13, 1st woman dances under her partner’s arm as 1st man dances below his partner, so that 1st couple have changed sides. 1st couple lead up the middle for 3 steps to finish in 2nd place, opposite sides. 2nd couple step up on bars 11-12.

17 – 24 2nd and 1st couples dance a Ladies’ Chain.

25 – 28 1st couple dance half a figure of eight up through 2nd couple.

29 – 32 2nd and 1st couples, giving both hands, turn partner once round.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

When 1 first played this lovely E flat slow air in the mid 1990s, I thought this tune was a ‘cracker’. I thought it deserved a dance – 10 years later I devised this.

Recommended tune:- Lochindorb (Ian Hardie) — published in ‘A Breath of Fresher Airs’ publ.

Ian Hardie, also available at www.ian-hardie.co.uk


No Video

Further Ado
Lydia Hedge, Further Ado
32 bar Reel for 3 couples in a 4 couple longwise set
devised by Lydia Hedge 2019.

1 – 8 1s set, cross down between 2s (as 2s step up), cast behind 3s, dance up between 3s to 2nd place in the centre.

9 – 16 2s, 1s and 3s dance mirror reels of 3 (1s out and up, 2s in and down, 3s in and up) 1s finish back to back facing opposite sides.

17 – 22 2s, 1s and 3s dance 6 bars of double triangles.

23 – 24 1s petronella turn out to own sides in 2nd place.

25 – 32 2s, 1s and 3s circle 6 hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple

Tune: Further Ado by M. G. Hughes 2017

Dances for May 22, 2024

No Video

Marlborough Rant

A 32 bar reel for 3 couples in a 4 couple set
Craig Williams, March 2024

1 – 8 1st couple dance a ½ figure of eight on their own sides. Begin by dancing in and down. Take nearer hands when they meet between the 3rd couple, dance up to the top and cast off to 2nd place on own sides, 2nd couple stepping up on bars 7 & 8

9 – 16 2nd, 1st & 3rd couples dance a 3 couple Espagnole.
9 – 10 2nd man & 3rd woman cross to opposite sides
2nd & 1st women giving right hands, cross to opposite sides, 1st woman passing in front of 2nd woman
1st & 3rd men giving right hands, cross to opposite sides, 1st man passing in front of 3rd man
11 – 12 Repeat bars 9-10 from new positions
13 – 14 Repeat bars 9-10 from new positions. The dancers should finish on opposite sides in order (3, 1, 2) across from their partners
15 – 16 All ½ turn partners with the right hand, finishing ready for allemande.

17 – 24 3rd, 1st & 2nd couples dance a allemande.

25 – 32 Circle 6 hands round & back.

Marlborough forest is Ottawa’s largest natural area and lies in the south end of the City. It’s largely unknown to most residents. A 200 km2 patchwork of forest and abandoned homesteads, swamps and fens, dusty forestry roads and claustrophobic thickets — it hides off the beaten path, protecting its secrets


Video: Jeanie Deans’ Strathspey

Jeanie Deans’ Strathspey
RSCDS Sir Walter Scott – A Celebration through Scottish Music and Dance

The Dance — 1820 and 2021
32-bar strathspey for three couples in a four-couple set

1820 Instructions

1st Cu: swing round, & cast off there left hand
& set abreast top & bottom, same on the sides,
set cross corners
& lead outsides

2021 Reconstruction

1 – 8 Giving right hands, 1st couple turn and cast off one place: 2nd cou ple step up. 1st couple, giving left hands, turn to finish man between 3rd couple and woman between 2nd couple.

9 – 12 2nd and 3rd couples face up or down.

All set. 2nd and 3rd couples continue setting as, on bars 11 and 12, 1st man casts up to 2nd place on his own side and 1st woman casts off into 2nd place on her side.

13 – 16 All three couples set twice.

17 – 24 1st couple, advancing, set to first corners. 1st couple dance round each other by the right to face second corners. 1st couple set to second corners, then dance round each other to face the men’s side, man with his partner on his right.

25 – 32 1st couple lead outsides:

Giving nearer hands, 1st couple dance out between 2nd and 3rd men, then cast back into centre. Giving nearer hands, they dance out between 2nd and 3rd women and cast back to 2nd place own sides.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Notes:

  1. ‘Swing’ meant turn using one hand; ‘turn’ meant both hands.
  2. Bars 9 – 16 are different from modern RSCDS practice. The above version is similar to that in D.A.’s ‘Country Dancing Made Plain and Easy’ of 1764.
  3. The interpretation here of ‘set cross corners’ in bars 17 – 24 is based on Thomas Wilson’s ‘set contrary corners’ on pages 44 – 46 of his ‘Analysis of Country Dancing’ of 1811.
  4. Lead outsides could be simply danced out or the dancers cross, depending on contemporary fashion. In a crowded ballroom with little space for dancers to dance out together, 1st man could cross his partner in front of him, giving left hands.

Video: The Hazel Tree

THE HAZEL TREE
John Drewry, The Brodie Book
devised between 1972 and 1982

for the 25th Anniversary of the Goyt Valley S.C.D. Club

Jig – 3 couples ~ 32 bars
Tune – “Sandy Pirie of Hazelhead” by I. Munro
Kerr’s Thistle Collection page 29

1 – 8 1st and 2nd couples dance “The Espagnole” to change places. See the note at the end of the book. At the end, 2nd couple turn with the right hand to first place on own sides, but 1st couple turn with the left hand to face first corners.

9 – 12 1st couple turn their first corners with the right hand. At the end, 1st couple pass each other by the right to face partners’ first corners. They release hands after three steps but the corners continue to dance for the full four steps.

13 – 16 1st woman turns 3rd woman with the left hand, while 1st man turns 2nd man with the left hand. At the end, 1st couple pass each another by the left to face own second corners.

17 – 20 1st couple turn their second corners with the right hand. At the end, 1st couple pass each other by the right to face partners’ second corners.

21 – 24 1st woman turns 2nd woman with the left hand, while 1st man turns 3rd man with the left hand. At the end, 1st couple pass each other by the left to finish side by side in the middle of the dance in second place on wrong sides facing down.

25 – 28 Joining left hands, 1st couple dance down between 3rd couple crossing over to own sides and cast up to 2nd place.

29 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples turn partners with the right hand.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

“The Espagnole” (A new progression)

1 – 2 1st and 2nd women, joining right hands, dance towards the men’s side passing between their partners. On the second step, 1st woman crosses 2nd woman over in front of her, so that 2nd woman dances out and up towards first place while 1st woman dances out and down towards second place.

Meanwhile 1st and 2nd men cross to the women’s side passing on either side of their partners.

3 – 4 1st and 2nd men, joining right hands, dance back towards their own side passing between their partners. On the fourth step, 1st man crosses 2nd man over in front of him, so that 2nd man dances out and up towards first place while 1st man dances out and down towards second place.

Meanwhile 2nd and ist women cross back to their own side passing on either side of their partners.

5 – 8 2nd couple turn with the right hand while 1st couple turn with the left hand.


No Video

CATRIONA’S REEL
Duncan Brown, The Bovey Collection
32 bar Reel for three couples in a four couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples set and, giving right hands, cross over.

5 – 8 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples set and, giving right hands, half turn partner to finish in promenade hold facing up.

9 – 16 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance a promenade, finishing in original places.

17 – 24 1st couple lead down the middle and up, finishing in the middle, facing each other, both hands joined. On bar 24 2nd couple step in to finish in the middle both hands joined.

25 – 32 1st and 2nd couples dance a poussette.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Note: On the 2nd, 4th and 6th times through the dance it is recommended to dance a three couple poussette, with the bottom two couples stepping in on bar 24.

Devised for my elder daughter, Catriona.

Recommended tune: Iain MacPhail’s Compliments to the late Gordon Jamieson

Dances for May 15, 2024

Mo Video

Mrs Stewart’s Strathspey
Book 13 – No. 3
48-bar strathspey for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st and 2nd couples set to partners and, giving both hands, turn once round.

5 – 8 1st and 2nd couples dance four hands once round to the left.

9 – 16 1st couple lead down the middle and up. 1st woman finishes between 2nd couple facing 2nd man, 1st man between 3rd couple facing 3rd woman. 2nd couple step up on bars 11-12.

17 – 24 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples dance reels of three across the set, 1st woman and 2nd man and 1st man and 3rd woman passing by the right to begin. 1st couple; finish facing first corners.

25 – 32 1st couple turn first corners with the right hand, partner with the left hand, second corners with the right hand and, giving left hand to partner, turn to lead up on own sides. 1st couple finish in the middle at the top of the set, facing up. 2nd couple step down and in on bars 31-32.

33 – 40 1st and 2nd couples dance an allemande.

41 – 48 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples dance six hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Jacob Harbour’s Third Book of New & Favorite Country Dances, Strathspey Reels, Waltz, & Hornpipes, c. 1800.

Original tune: Jolin Roy Stewart (MacGlashan c. 1800)


No Video

The Heart of Mid-Lothian
The Dance – 1820 and 2021
32-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple set

1820 Instructions

1st & 2d Cu. 4 Hands across_back again
_down the middle_up again
_set cross corners
& Reel_or lead outsides

2021 Reconstruction

1 – 8 1st and 2nd couples dance right hands across and left hands back.

9 – 16 1st couple dance down the middle, then back to second place. (2nd couple step up on bars 11 – 12)

17 – 24 1st couple, advancing, set to first corners. Giving both hands, 1st couple turn 1st corners using skip change and face 2nd corners. 1st couple set and turn 2nd corners likewise. 1st couple finish in the centre, facing the men’s side, man with his partner on his right.

25 – 32 1st couple lead outsides: (see note 4)

Giving nearer hands, 1st couple dance out between 2nd and 3rd men, then cast back into centre. Giving nearer hands, they dance out between 2nd and 3rd women and cast back to 2nd place own sides.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Notes

  1. Down the middle and back to second place was the commonest progression in the early 19th century. As most formations finished on the sidelines, it would not be common to finish facing 1st corners.
  2. Leading down the middle was done using nearer hands at this time.
  3. Alternative endings were not uncommon. Although three of the dances in this leaflet finish with ‘lead outsides’, this is the only one in quick time and, hence, this is the ending selected for this dance.
  4. Lead outsides could be simply danced out or the dancers cross, depending on contemporary fashion. In a crowded ballroom with little space for dancers to dance out together, 1st man could cross his partner in front of him giving left hands.

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ATLANTA FAIR
Carol Bell – Atlanta Fare
32-bar Jig for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 6 1st couple cast off two places, meet below 3™ couple, and dance up (nearer hands joined) to their own places.

7 – 8 1 couple set to each other.

9 – 16 1st couple dance a half figure of eight about 2nd couple, then a half figure of eight about third couple, finishing in a diagonal line and joining left hands with partner and right hands with first corners. 2nd couple step up on bars 15-16.

17 – 24 Balance in line, 1st couple advance a quarter turn pas de Basque, balance in line with second corners, and dance out to second place on own sides. .

25 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples dance six hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Symbolism of the figures:

Casting off — Forms the Coca Cola bottle.

Up the middle and set — Coca Cola pouring out. These first two figures commemorate the Atlanta Branch’s 10″ anniversary and Coca Cola’s 1 00″ anniversary.

Half Figures of Eight — form the petals of the Dogwood Flower, symbol of Atlanta and the Atlanta Branch.

Diagonal Lines — form the St. Andrews Cross and the cross on the Confederate flag and are one of the figures in a favorite Atlanta dance, “The Balgeddie Reel”.

Six Hands Round — dancing around Stone Mountain, where we meet each Fall.


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A Trip To Newtown School
Rod Downey, The Piwakawaka Collection
A 3 couple 32 bar reel in a longwise 4 couple set.

1 – 4 All 3 couples take hands and advance and retire.

5 – 6 All cross RH and face clockwise.

7 – 8 All chase clockwise 14 to form two lines of three, the men across 3rd place and the ladies across first place.

9 – 12 All take hands and advance and retire.

13 – 14 All cross LH, and face anticlockwise.

15 – 16 All chase anticlickwise back to original places.

17 – 24 First man followed by his partner, chase behind the men’s line, across the set below 3rd couple, up behind 3rd lady and across the set in second place, first lady finishing in second ladies place. 2nd couple steps up on bars 5-6. First man should curl into place pulling back right shoulder.

25 – 32 All dance 6 hands round and back.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Notes Devised 21 August, 2023 as a simple ceilidh-style dance, for the first club night after our annual dance jointly held with Capital City on the 19th August, in Newtown School Hall. Recommended tune is “Unnamed Stallion” by James MacQueen, and a suitable recording is on “Excited States” on the
album by the same name by “Stringfire!”.

Dances for April 29, 2024

Video: Falls of Feugh

Falls of Feugh
9 for 90 RSCDS Aberdeen Branch 90th Anniversary
32-bar reel for three couples in a three couple longwise set

1 – 8 1st couple set, dance in towards each other, cast off one place and set advancing to face first corners. 2nd couple step up on bars 5-6.

9 – 12 1st couple, passing first corners by the right, cast round first corner position, pass each other by the right and face second corners.

At the same time first corners, giving right hands half turn to face each other in the middle and pulling back right shoulder dance out to each other’s places.

13 – 16 1st couple repeat bars 9-12 with second corners, meet each other in the middle of the set and pulling back right shoulder finish back to back facing second place opposite sides, ready for double triangles.

17 – 24 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples dance double triangles to finish 1st man between 3rd couple at the top facing women’s side, 1st woman between 2nd couple facing men’s side.

25 – 28 1st man and 3rd couple, 1st woman and 2nd couple dance half reels of three across the set. 1st and 3rd men, 1st and 3rd women pass by the right.

29 – 32 1st couple, giving right hand, turn one and a half times to finish in second place own sides.

Finish in order 3, 1, 2.
Repeat with new top couple.

Following a house move in 2013, I joined the Banchory Scottish Country Dancing Group. The River Feugh, whose falls are a local landmark, joins the River Dee at Banchory. The dance was written partly to encompass a couple of moves which are favourites of Isobel McMillan the teacher of the Banchory group (who was also a recent Chairman of the Aberdeen RSCDS Branch). Those moves – dancing in
and casting echo both the slow eddies and faster swirling of the Falls of Feugh.

Devised by Andrew Watt, Aberdeen Branch.


Video: Best Set in the Hall

Best Set in the Hall
RSCDS Book 46
32-bar jig for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 8 1st couple set and 1st woman, followed by her partner, casts off two places, crosses over below 3rd couple, casts up and dances in to face first corner. 1st man dances up the middle of the set to face his first corner. 2nd couple step up on bars 7-8.

9 – 12 1st couple and first corners set and, 1st couple, pulling back by the right, dance around each other and out to finish in partner’s first corner position. At the same time, first corners dance in towards each other and, pulling back by the right, finish back to back in the middle facing own places. (Fig.)

13 – 16 1st couple and first corners set and first corners, pulling back by the right, dance around each other and out to finish in opposite corner’s position. At the same time, 1st couple dance towards each other and, pulling back by the right, finish back to back in the middle facing second corners.

17 – 24 1st couple repeat bars 9-16 with second corners and pass each other by the right to finish in second place on opposite sides. 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples face clockwise.

25 – 28 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples dance clockwise halfway round the set.

29 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples, giving right hands, turn once round.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devised by Helen Greenwood, Auckland, New Zealand.
Note: the movement in bars 9-24 was devised by the late Alec Hay.

Notes Compiled by teachers, Summer School , St Andrews 2010
15-16 1st couple turn on the spot.

TACNotes:1-8 1st woman dances straight in on bar 8 to face 1st corner.

Dances for April 22, 2024

Video: The Ruby Celebration Strathspey

The Ruby Celebration Strathspey
A 32 bar Strathspey for 3 couples in a 2 couple set

1 – 8 1s+3s Petronella turn & set; Petronella turn & set. (1) 2 (3)

9 – 16 2s dance Diagonal R&L (2M down, 2L up). 3 2 1

17 – 24 2s+1s dance Bourrel:

17 – 20 2M+1L set advancing, 3/4 turn 2H & twirl to end BtoB (Lady facing up & Man down) while partners chase anticlockwise to face partner

21 – 24 Set to partners & turn 2H own sides having changed places

25 – 32 3s+1s+2s circle 6H round & back

Devised by Anne Thorn in April 2018 for the 40th Helensburgh Weekend School.


Video: J. B. Milne

J. B. Milne
A 32-bar reel for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st man and 2nd woman set advancing and, giving right hands, turn once round.

5 – 8 2nd man and 1st woman set advancing and, giving right hands, turn once round.

9 – 12 1st couple set advancing and, giving both hands, turn once round to finish facing the top.

13 – 16 1st couple cast off one place and dance a petronella turn to finish 1st woman between 2nd couple, all facing down, and 1st man between 3rd couple, all facing up. 2nd couple step up on bars 13 – 14.

17 – 20 1st couple set to each other and, giving right hands, turn three-quarters to finish in second place on opposite sides. At the same time, 2nd and 3rd women and 2nd and 3rd men, giving right hands, change places and set to partner.

21 – 24 1st couple set to each other and, giving right hands, turn three-quarters to finish 1st woman between the couple in third place and 1st man between the couple in top place. At the same time, 3rd and 2nd couples, giving right hands, cross over and set facing on the sides.

25 – 28 1st couple set to each other and, giving right hands, change places. At the same time, 3rd and 2nd women and 3rd and 2nd men, giving right hands, change places and set to partner.

29 – 30 1st woman casts off to second place and 1st man casts up to second place. At the same time, 2nd and 3rd couples, giving right hands, cross over.

31 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples, taking hands on the side, set.

Repeat having passed a couple.

Devised by Hugh Foss.

Original tune: J. B. Milne by Angus Fitchet.

Source: Angus Fitchet Scottish Dance Album.

Dances for April 15, 2024

Video: Triple Happiness

Triple Happiness
RSCDS Book 52
32-bar strathspey for three couples in a three-couple longwise set

1 – 2 1st couple advance one step, take right hands briefly, and retire one step.
3 – 4 1st couple, giving left hands, turn halfway to finish in the middle facing down.
5 – 8 1st couple, retaining left hands, lead down, cross below 2nd couple and cast up to original places.

9 – 16 1st and 2nd couples dance the knot. On bars 15-16 1st couple, retaining left hands, turn to face first corners. 2nd couple finish in first place.

17 – 20 1st couple dance corners pass and turn with first corners. First corners turn with both hands. 1st couple pass by the right shoulder to finish facing second corners.

21 – 24 1st couple dance corners pass and turn with second corners. Second corners turn with both hands. 1st couple pass by the right shoulder to finish in second place on own sides facing clockwise.

25 – 28 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples chase clockwise halfway round the set.

29 – 32 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples, giving both hands to partner, turn halfway, release hands and, pulling right shoulder back, dance on a curve to own sides of the set.

Finish in order 3, 1, 2.

Repeat from new positions.

Devised by Yoshiki Oyama, RSCDS Tokai Branch, January 2016.

Devised for the Scottish country dance group Mie Scottish Country Dance Family on the occasion of their special ball.


Video: The Royal Deeside Railway

The Royal Deeside Railway (Reel)
RSCDS Book 40

1 – 4 1st couple, without giving hands, dance down, cross below 3rd couple and cast up to finish in the middle of the set facing 2nd woman. 2nd couple step up on bars 3-4.

5 – 8 1st couple and 2nd woman dance right hands across once round.

9 – 12 1st couple and 2nd man dance left hands across once round. 1st couple finish in the middle of the set facing up, with the woman in front of the man.

13 – 16 With 1st woman leading, 1st couple dance up and cast off on own sides round 2nd couple to finish in the middle of the set facing 3rd man.

17 – 20 1st couple and 3rd man dance right hands across once round.

21 – 24 1st couple and 3rd woman dance left hands across once round. 1st couple finish in the middle of the set facing down, with the woman in front of the man.

25 – 28 With 1st woman leading, 1st couple dance down and cast up on own sides round 3rd couple to second place.

29 – 32 All three couples turn with the right hand once round.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devised in 1987 by Ron Arrowsmith, Vancouver for the Kerrisdale Community Centre Scottish Country Dance Class.
Tune: On the Fiddle (Copyright J. Hornsby)

TACNotes:’
5–12 1st woman is ahead of her partner in both ‘wheels’. 1st cpl finish in middle below 2nd cpl – approximately at 2nd position.
17–24 1st woman is again ahead of partner in both ‘wheels’, 1st cpl finish in middle at 2nd place, above 3rd cpl.

Dances for April 8, 2024

Video: Best Set in the Hall

Best Set in the Hall
RSCDS Book 46
32-bar jig for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 8 1st couple set and 1st woman, followed by her partner, casts off two places, crosses over below 3rd couple, casts up and dances in to face first corner. 1st man dances up the middle of the set to face his first corner. 2nd couple step up on bars 7-8.

9 – 12 1st couple and first corners set and, 1st couple, pulling back by the right, dance around each other and out to finish in partner’s first corner position. At the same time, first corners dance in towards each other and, pulling back by the right, finish back to back in the middle facing own places. (Fig.)

13 – 16 1st couple and first corners set and first corners, pulling back by the right, dance around each other and out to finish in opposite corner’s position. At the same time, 1st couple dance towards each other and, pulling back by the right, finish back to back in the middle facing second corners.

17 – 24 1st couple repeat bars 9-16 with second corners and pass each other by the right to finish in second place on opposite sides. 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples face clockwise.

25 – 28 3rd, 1st and 2nd couples dance clockwise halfway round the set.

29 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples, giving right hands, turn once round.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

For Campbell Mackay of Auckland who, when counting lines, encourages dancers to make up numbers by joining the ‘best set in the hall’.

Devised by Helen Greenwood, Auckland, New Zealand.
Note: the movement in bars 9-24 was devised by the late Alec Hay.

Notes Compiled by teachers, Summer School , St Andrews 2010
15-16 1st couple turn on the spot.

TACNotes:1-8 1st woman dances straight in on bar 8 to face 1st corner.


Video: The Piper and the Penguin

The Piper and the Penguin
The Scotia Suite of Scottish Country Dances devised by Roy Goldring

(Reel for Four Couples in a Square Set)

1 – 4 The women dance round their corners, passing in front of them to begin.

5 – 8 The women dance right hands across and remain in the centre.

9 – 12 The women dance round their partners, passing in front of them to begin.

13 – 16 The women dance left hands across and finish in original places.

17 – 32 The men repeat bars 1–16, but dance in front of partners before dancing right hands across, and in front of their corners before dancing left hands across.

33 – 36 1st and 3rd couples, giving right hands, turn partners one and a quarter times.

37 – 40 1st man, followed by his partner, dances between 4th couple and cast back to place. Similarly, 3rd couple dance between 2nd couple and cast back to place.

41 – 48 1st and 3rd couple dance rights and lefts.

49 – 64 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 33–48, 2nd couple dancing between 1st couple and 4th couple dancing between 3rd couple.

65 – 72 The women dance in and pull back right shoulders (2 bars), dance out (2 bars), and cast clockwise half way round the set to opposite woman’s place.

73 – 80 The men repeat bars 65–72, but pull back left shoulders at the end of bar 74, and cast anticlockwise.

81 – 84 All turn partners with the right hand, just over once round, to finish in promenade hold facing anticlockwise.

85 – 88 All promenade halfway round the set. On bar 87, all release right hands and the men lead their partners to original places ready for the bow and curtsey.

Dances for March 25, 2024

Video: The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh

The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh
RSCDS Book 23 – No. 4
32-bar strathspey for three couples in a four-couple longwise set

1 – 4 1st and 2nd couples set and link.

5 – 8 1st and 3rd couples set and link.

9 – 12 2nd, 3rd and 1st couples advance one step and retire one step and, giving both hands to partners, half turn to face partners in the middle of the set.

13 – 16 2nd, 3rd and 1st couples set and cast by the right to opposite sides. 2nd couple face each other, 3rd couple face down and 1st couple face up.

17 – 18 2nd couple, giving right hands cross over. 3rd and 1st women, 3rd and 1st men, giving right hands, change places.

19 – 20 2nd man and 1st woman, 2nd woman and 1st man, giving left hands, change places. 3rd couple, giving left hands, cross over.

Finish in the order 1,2,3, 1st couple on opposite sides.

21 – 24 1st and 2nd couples set and link. 1st couple finish back to back in the middle of the set facing opposite sides.

25 – 28 1st man with 2nd and 3rd women, 1st woman with 2nd and 3rd men advance one step and retire one step. 1st couple advance one step and turn right about to face in. 2nd and 3rd couples advance one step and turn right about to finish back to back facing own sides. (Note)

29 – 32 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples repeat bars 25 to 28, 1st couple, giving right hands on bars 31-32, to cross to second place on own sides.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

Devised by Alec Hay, Auckland, New Zealand.
Original Tune: The Dean Bridge of Edinburgh (Traditional)

Note: The deviser did not intend that hands be given in bars 25-28.


Video: Jeannie o’ the Witchin’ E’e

Jeannie o’ the Witchin’ E’e
RSCDS: Scottish Dances collected by Mary Isdal MacNab
(Jig)

l – 4 1st woman advances to partner and sets to him.
5 – 6 1st woman dances round behind 2nd man and faces him. Fig. 1.
7 – 8 1st woman sets to 2nd man

9 – 12 1st woman gives right hand to partner then left hand to 2nd man and all three set twice.
13 – 16 1st man turns his partner under his right arm to finish in allemande position facing 2nd woman. 2nd couple step up on bars 15-16.

17 – 22 1st couple dance a figure of eight round 2nd couple, passing 2nd woman with right shoulder to begin. Fig. 2.
23 – 24 1st man turns his partner under his right arm to finish back to back in the middle of the set, 1st man facing 2nd woman and 1st woman facing 2nd man, ready for a reel of four.

25 – 32 1st and 2nd couples dance a reel of four across the dance, 1st couple finish facing each other in the middle having passed each other with right shoulders.

33 – 40 1st couple set twice then turn one and a half times with the right hand to finish on own sides in second place.

Repeat having passed a couple

Dedicated to my friend Miss Jean Milligan

Collected originally in Ayrshire but gifted by Mrs Fassiefern Bain of Vancouver, late of Appin, daughter of the Rev. W. Stewart, Nether Lochaber

RSCDS: Scottish Dances collected by Mary Isdal MacNab

Jeannie o' the Witchin' E'e - Figure 1
Jeannie o' the Witchin' E'e - Figure 2