notation of basic Scottish folk dances,ceilidh dance moves and actions,
some SCOTTISH CEILIDH DANCES and how to do them.
This page contains the movements, instructions, actions for the basic Scottish Ceilidh dances as called by Gerry Jones, and the Liverpool Country Dance Band
.
They are offered for a couple of reasons;
1. to help some people who have done these dances at a barn-dance or dance-class, and are trying later to remember "what that dance was".
2. for people who are soon going to a folk-dance or ceilidh,
and would like to have some idea of what they will be doing.
3. for other callers, especially beginners in the trade, who would like some suggestions or variations, of simple dances for beginners.

email Gerry Jones who is a member of the RSCDS.
Back to Gerry Jones HOME page

DANCES INCLUDED BELOW
(click on the name to go straight to it.)

Dashing White Sergeant.   Three face three round the room.
Dashing White Circle   a clever English version, for a simple circle of couples..
Strip the Willow : Orcadian.          one long double line.
Strip the Willow : standard Scottish version., .     five face five.
Highland Scottische,  a couple dance to hornpipe tunes.
Gay Gordons.     a couple dance, to march music
Eightsome Reel,  a square dance, with solo spots.


Here are some "Scottish Dancing" links;

the home page of the RSCDS itself.
RSCDS Wirral Branch
RSCDS South Manchester branch.
Scottish Dance Groups in the UK
Bands for Scottish Dancing
DASHING WHITE SERGEANT:
32 bar reels. 3 face three, in sets of 6 with sets of these sixes, in a huge circle.
A1; All six join hands and CIRCLE LEFT 8, THEN RIGHT 8.
A2; GENT sets R&L & turns RIGHT Lady; same to Left lady with Left hand, (dangle tea-bags)
B1; REEL OF THREE : across the dance, just with own three.i.e. Ladies face gent. Gent faces Right hand lady, first, pass right shoulders, "go between the other two then turn round" until all are back in place.
"DO NOT USE HANDS."
B2; Forward & back, fw'd & through, DO NOT TURN ROUND, & meet next three.

Dashing White Circle.
Circular version of The Dashing White Sergesant.
As many COUPLES as will, join in a large circle.
Essential that Lady is to the RIGHT of her Gent.
Make CERTAIN all know Partner and CORNER.
A1; All Circle Left 8 then right 8 (as usual)
A2; All Set to PARTNER and turn right-hands.
Then Set to CORNER and turn left-hands.
B1; REEL of THREE, each with own Partner AND with Own CORNER.
B2; All 4 steps in and out (= forward & back")
Then GENTS pull back right shoulder,
And cast right, BEHIND CORNER to come in Beyond this Corner, to make her his New Partner.

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GAY GORDONS: march tunes, 2/4 or 6/8 ad lib. couple dance.
Lady has both hands in front; , Gent (on her left) reaches round behind her to hold her right hand, and he must Not lean on her shoulder!

A; Four steps fwd, THEN EACH DANCER turns round to RIGHT,
and the couple take four steps in reverse, leading with HEELS!
Four steps back towards where you started, then
turn RIGHT individually, and the couple take four steps Backwards.
B; Gent walks forward turning lady under Right arm.
Take Ballroom hold and polka for a few turns.
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EIGHTSOME REEL: summary.
square set. number CLOCKwise.reels . 40 bars; 8 x 24 bars; 40 bars.

THE BIG INTRODUCTION
All CIRCLE LEFT then right.
Now all put arm round partner's waist, for COUPLE STARS:
LADIES join RIGHT hands; couples go LEFT. GENTS join LEFT hands; couples go RIGHT.

SET & TURN: face partners;
set TWICE; full 2-hand turn.

Full GRAND CHAIN:
pass partner & go round full circle, giving a hand to all you meet. Continue until back in your home place.

EIGHT SOLO SPOTS.
Ladies 1,2,3,4 then Gents 1.2.3.4.
Soloist into middle;
seven circle round her, to left then to right.
She faces her own Gent, sets once & turns him,
then she does the same with gent behind her.
These three do a full Figure-8 reel.
Soloist back into middle; circle left then right as she dances again.
Then she sets & turns the other two men,
and then does a full Reel of Three with them
ALL EIGHT do this in turn.

Then repeat THE BIG INTRODUCTION as Finale

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GAY GORDONS: march tunes, 2/4 or 6/8 ad lib. couple dance.
Lady has both hands in front; , Gent (on her left) reaches round behind her to hold her right hand, and he must Not lean on her shoulder!

A; Four steps fwd, THEN EACH DANCER turns round to RIGHT,
and the couple take four steps in reverse, leading with HEELS!
Four steps back towards where you started, then
turn RIGHT individually, and the couple take four steps Backwards.
B; Gent walks forward turning lady under Right arm.
Take Ballroom hold and polka for a few turns.
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STRIP THE WILLOW.

FULL SCOTTISH VERSION.


Longways; 5 gents facing their partners.
TOPS (may swing each other first, then)
right-arm-turn each other 1 turns, so that Top Lady faces line of gents.
1. Gent feeds Lady down Line of Gents; alternately, Following her down the middle as She Left-arm-turns each one, & Right-arm partner.
(They may have a short swing at the bottom of the set)
2. Lady feeds Gent UP Line of Ladies.
Alternately; He Left-arm-turns each one, & Right-arms his partner. (Maybe a final bit of a swing at the top, then...)
3. Both feed each other down both lines at once, partner, line, partner, line etc, & stay at the end.
The next couple may start swinging as soon as the working couple are safely on their way down.

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STRIP THE WILLOW : ORCADIAN VERSION.

Longways for as many as will.
All Gents face All Ladies = 2 very long lines.
Most dancers wait in their lines, as Side Couples,
with Left arm to turn on-comers, on the spot,
then stay in their line but shuffle up towards music..

TOP COUPLE wait till previous couple are safely gone.
Then they RIGHT ARM each other, and Left Arm a side dancer, then right -arm each other again,
and so on right down to the bottom,
& Stay down there, becoming a Side person again..

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HIGHLAND SCHOTTISCHE.
A couple dance. hornpipes (or nippy strathspey
e.g. Orange & Blue, Brochan Laomh.
"Open" Ballroom hold; look forward to your HANDS.
Point toe, bring heel to calf, repeat, Step forward, close, step forward. stop.
("Toe-heel,toe,heel,one,two three,stop)
LOOK OVER SHOULDERS, & similar to HOME:
("Toe-heel,toe,heel,one,two three,stop)
Face each other; moving first towards hands;
Side close side, stop. Back, close, side stop.
Dance/Hop,Polka for 8 steps/two bars.

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How to get to
LIVERPOOL CONTRA FOLK DANCE CLUB.
A-Z; p90 A1. St. Stephen's Church, Lance Lane / Woolton Rd, Liverpool,
by the shops & zebra crossing.


Here are some pages linked to this page:
Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs
Some more folk dance clubs in this region.
my daytime Country Dancing Clubs
run by Gerry Jones, in Childwall and Fazakerley
Liverpool Country Dance Band
for barn-dances and ceilidhs.
Lyrics of some Liverpool Songs.
Gerry Jones, the handy musician
Liverpool branch of the RSCDS
IRISH Dancing information.
Back to the Home page

email Gerry Jones for general information.

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Some other web-sites which may be of interest;
The English Folk Dance & Song Society.
"Lancashire Folk": details of folk activities in Lancashire.

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