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HSCDC TOP TWENTY

There are so many Scottish Country Dances that no one can be expected to know them all by heart. Nevertheless it's good to be able to commit a few to memory. The dances listed below appear frequently on the HSCDC club nights and there will be no walk-through whenever these are on a program. If necessary MC's may talk-through only.


THE HIGHLAND RAMBLER (R8x40) 3C (4C set) R Goldring Leeds Silver Jubilee
1- 8 1s dance in and cast to 2nd place, dance RH across with 3s
9-16 2s+1s dance LH across, 1L followed by partner cast up round 2L and dance down middle to 1L between 3s and 1M between 2s
17-24 1s+2s+3s dance down the middle and back
25-32 1M followed by partner cast down round 2L to 2nd places on own side and turn RH
33-40 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back

THE IRISH ROVER (R8x32) 3C (4C set) J Cosh 22 SCDs
1- 8 1s dance down below 3s and cast up to 2nd place own sides, 1L dances RH across with 2s while 1M dances RH across with 3s
9-16 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 1st corners, ½ reel with 2nd corners and ½ turn LH in centre to face 1st corners
17-24 1s dance reels of 3 across giving LSh to 1st corners ending in 2nd place own sides. (3)1(2)
25-32 1s dance Diag R&L (1M crossing down and 1L crossing up to start). 213

MAIRI'S WEDDING (R8x40) 3C (4C set) Cosh 22 SCDs
1- 8 1s turn RH and cast to 2nd place, 1s turn LH to face 1st corners
9-16 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 1st corners, 1s dance ½ diagonal reel with 2nd corners
17-24 1s dance ½ diagonal reel with 3rd corner (pstns), ½ diagonal reel with 4th corner (pstns)
25-32 1s dance reel of 3 across (Lady with 2s, Man with 3s - LSh to 1st corner)
33-40 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back

MISS JOHNSTONE OF ARDROSSAN (R5x32) 5C set R Goldring 14 Social Dances
1- 8 1s set and cast 1 place, 1s followed by 3s dance up and cast - 1s to 3rd place and 3s to 2nd place
9-16 1s cross down and dance reflection reels of 3 with 4s+5s on opposite sides - 1s end in 3rd place opposite sides
17-24 1s cross up and dance reflection reels of 3 on own sides with 2s+3s - 1s ending in 3rd place own sides
25-32 1s set and cast down 1 place, 1s followed by 5s dance up between 4s and cast - 1s to 5th place and 5s to 4th place. 23451


THE PLANTATION REEL (R5x32) 5C set T Moretti Pinewoods Coll 2
1- 8 1s and 3s cross RH and cast down 1 place, lead down between the couple below and cast back to 2nd/4th place (opposite sides)
9-16 2s+1s and 4s+3s dance ½ R&L and Petronella turn 2 places anticlockwise round square (end in same places as at bar 8)
17-24 All dance RH across (1M with 2s, 1L+3M with 4s, 3L with 5s) and 1s and 3s change places with partners to dance LH across
25-32 1s and 3s cross RH cast down 1 place and all turn RH


REEL OF THE 51ST DIVISION (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Atkinson RSCDS Bk 13
1- 8 1s set and cast below 3s, lead up to face 1st corners
9-16 1s set & turn 1st corners RH to balance in line, set & 1s turn LH to face 2nd corners
17-24 1s set and turn 2nd corners RH to Balance-in-Line, set and 1s turn LH to 2nd place own sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back


REEL OF THE ROYAL SCOTS (R8x32) 3C (4C set) R Goldring RSCDS Leaflet 7
1- 8 1s ½ turn 2s on sides (1M RH - 1L LH) to face out, 2s+1s+3s set, 1s ½ turn 3s on sides (1M LH - 1L RH) end 3s facing out and 2s+3s+1s set
9-16 1s followed by 3s dance up between 2s, cast down 1 place, dance in and 1s cast up to 2nd place 3s end in 3rd place
17-24 1s turn 1st corners RH, pass partner RSh turn 2nd corners RH and cross passing partner RSh to 2nd place own sides
25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round and back


A TRIP TO BAVARIA (R4x32) 4C set J MacGregor-Brown Collins Pocket Ref
1- 4 1s and 4s cross RH while 2s+3s dance ½ RH across, 1s+3s and 2s+4s change places LH on sides
5- 8 3s and 2s cross RH while 1s+4s dance ½ RH across, 3s+4s and 1s+2s change places LH on sides
9-16 Repeat bars 1-8 until back in original places
17-24 1s set to 2s and cross over to face 3s, set and cross to face 4s
25-32 1s set to 4s and cross over to 4th place on opposite sides, all Adv+Ret 2 steps 1s changing places 2H to retire to own sides. 2341


WEST'S HORNPIPE (R4x32) 4C set 5 Traditional SCDs 1965
1- 8 1s cross down and dance reflection reels of 3 on opposite sides
9-16 1s cross down to dance reflection reels of 3 on own sides
17-24 1s lead down the middle and back to top (1s end facing 2s diagonally)
25-32 1s set to 2s and dance down to 4th place, 4s+1s circle 4H round to left


HOOPER'S JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) MMM 2
1- 8 All clap and 1s cross passing RSh, cast to 2nd place and dance RH across with 3s
9-16 All clap and 1s cross passing RSh, cast to 1st place and dance LH across with 2s
17-24 1M+3L change places RH and 1L+3M change places RH (as 1M+3L loop round), 1M+3L change places RH (as 1L+3M loop round) and 1L+3M cross LH 1L ending in 2nd place (as 1M casts to 2nd pl)
25-32 2s+1s dance R&L


JENNIFER'S JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) J Drewry Silver City Bk
1- 8 1s+2s+3s set cross RH, set and cross back RH
9-16 1s+2s dance double Fig of 8 (1s cross down to start)
17-24 1s dance Inveran reels with 2s+3s
25-32 1s followed by 2s lead down 3 steps, turn RH (3 bars) and 2s lead up followed by 1s to new places. 213

THE JUBILEE JIG (J8x32) 3C (4C set) RSCDS Leaflet 19
1- 8 1M casts to 2nd place, sets to 3L, turns RH and dances back to 2nd place on own side
9-16 1L casts to 2nd place, sets to 3M, turns LH and dances back to 2nd place
17-24 1L with 2s and 1M with 3s dance RH across, 1s end in centre LH joined, 1s set in centre and dance out to 2nd place on opposite sides
25-32 1M with 2s and 1L with 3s dance RH across, 1s end in centre LH joined, 1s set in centre and dance out to 2nd place on own sides

NAPIER'S INDEX (J8x40) 3C (4C Set) B Charlton RSCDS Bk 45
1- 8 1s set and cast 1 place, turn LH 1¼ times to end in Balance-in-Line position between 1st corners
9-16 1s+1st corners Balance-in-Line and turn corners RH to Balance-in-Line again with 1st corners
17-24 1s dance reel of 3 on sides (LSh to 2nd corner) and end diagonally between 2nd corners
25-32 1s+2nd corners Balance-in-Line and turn corners RH, Balance-in-Line again with 2nd corners
33-40 1s dance reels of 3 across (LSh to 3rd corners) and cross RH to 2nd places

PELORUS JACK (J8x32) 3C (4C set) B Skelton RSCDS Bk 41
1- 8 1s cross RH and cast 1 place, dance RH across with 3s and 1s end with Man facing his 1st corner with his partner behind him
9-16 1s dance Alternating Tandem ½ reel of 3 with 1st corners, 1s dance Alternating Tandem ½ reel with 2nd corners
17-24 1s dance Alternating Tandem ½ reels of 3 with Ladies 1st corner (pstn), 1s dance Alternating Tandem ½ reel with Ladies 2nd corner (pstn)
25-32 1M followed by partner dance into LH across with 2s, 1s retain LH and ½ turn to own sides and 2s+1s+3s set

POSTIE'S JIG (J4x32) 4C set R Clowes Ormskirk 5
1- 8 1s and 4s set and cast in 1 place, 1s and 4s dance ½ Figs of 8 round new end couples
9-12 1M+4M and 1L+4L cross (men making an arch) and turn corners with free hand to face up/down
13-16 1s+4s dance down/up (couple dancing up make the arch) and turn corners
17-24 Repeat bars 9-16 from new pstns
25-32 1s+4s dance ½ R&L, turn partner RH. 2413

THE BYRON STRATHSPEY (S3x32) 3C set J Drewry Deeside Bk 2
1- 8 All petronella turn into the centre and set to partner, turn 2H 1¼ times back to places
9-16 1s+2L and 3s+2M dance RH across, 2s pass RSh and dance LH across with other couple
17-24 2s in prom hold dance reel of 3 with 1s passing 1L RSh, end 2s in centre at top
25-32 2s+1s+3s dance Allemande

MACDONALD OF THE ISLES (S3x32) 3C Set D Haynes Carnforth Coll 2
1- 8 2s dance full diagonal Reels of 4 with 1st corners, passing by the LSh to face 2nd corners
9-16 2s dance full diagonal Reel of 4 with 2nd corners to end in original places
17-24 All dance 3 couple Snowball Grand Chain to end 3(2)1 :-
' 1s cross RH and change places LH on side with 2s
' 1s change places RH with 3s while 2s cross over RH
' 1s cross LH while 2s and 3s change places LH. 3(2)1
25-32 3s+2s dance ½ R&L, 3s dance ½ Fig of 8 round end couples (3M up and 3L down) to end in 2nd places. 231

THE MORAY RANT (S3x48) 3C set J Drewry Silver City Bk
1- 8 1s dance Inveran Reels with 2s+3s and 1s cross RH to opposite sides
9-16 1s set advancing and turn 2H, dance down and out between 2s and 3s then cast down behind 3s to turn in to face 3s
17-24 1s set and turn 3s (1s dancing out between 2s and 3s), dance up between 3s and out between 2s+3s then cast up behind 2s to turn in to face 2s
25-32 1s set and turn 2s (1s dancing out between 2s and 3s) into 1st place opp sides, 1s dance ½ Fig of 8 round 2s back to 1st place own sides
33-40 1s+2s circle 4H once round to Left, 1s facing 2s set and 1s cast to 2nd place as 2s lead up to 1st place
41-48 1s+3s circle 4H once round to Left, 1s facing 3s set and 1s cast to 3rd place as 3s lead up to 2nd place

ST COLUMBA'S STRATHSPEY (S5x32) 5C set V Sproule and S Gillan
1- 8 2s+4s dance RH across, 2s dance up while 4s dance down, 2s and 4s casting round ends on own sides to face 1st corners
9-16 2s+4s Pass+Turn with 1st corners, pass partner LSh and Pass+Turn with 2nd corners and into centre facing partner (L facing down M up)
17-24 2s+4s dance reel of 4 ending in original places on sides
25-32 2s and 4s set and cast down 1 place while 3s and 5s set and dance up 1 place, 1s and 2s turn RH and cast down 1 place. 31524


THE WIND ON LOCH FYNE (S3x32) 3C Triangular set J Dickson Dunedin 1
1- 8 1s cross over (Man between 3s, Lady between 2s) and dance Fig of 8 and end turning RH ½ way to face partner in original places
9-16 All dance interlocking RSh reels of 4 and end by turning RH to bring Men into centre
17-24 Men dance LH across in centre 2 places while Ladies dance clockwise 1 place, turn partner RH and repeat ending in triangular set order 231
25-32 All set and circle 6H round for 2 steps, turn partner 2H and continue to circle 6H round to pstns. 231

More 'Core Dances' can be found on the Silver Cross Group website and detailed instructions for all dance moves and most dance sequences can be found on the Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary website, where there are also videos of many of the dances.

Scottish Country Dances are presented in diagrammatic form in 'Scottish Country Dances in Diagrams' by the late F.L Pilling. A typical dance instruction is presented below.