August 15, 2013

Agnes Blackadder Fire Alarm 8x32 R+S Medley


16-bar reel + 16-bar Strathspey medley for 2 couples in a 4-couple longwise set

Everyone starts on the first repetition (not just the first 2 couples).

1-8    1st and 2nd couple lead down the middle and up.
9-16    Poussette (no hands).

17-24    Diamond poussette.
25-32    Rights and lefts.

Devised by Truus de Ceuster ( tbestellingen [at] ) after a 2am fire alarm at St. Andrews Summer School in August 2013.
The first 8 bars show how all guests rapidly leave the building. The poussette without hands in reeltime represents that people are excited, and agitatedly talk to each other. Then everything slows down, and one wonders when will anything happen. Finally, the Rights and Lefts suggest people are returning to their bedrooms. We presented it with a bunch of dancers, partly in pyjamas, at Summer School's Friday night Ceilidh.

Posted by ldfs at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2011

The City of Christchurch 2x32 S + 2x32 R

32 bar medley for 4 couples in a 4-couple set (2x32S, 2x32R)

3rd and 4th couples start on opposite sides
One chord only

1-4    1st and 4th couples dance petronella turns into the centre and set to partners up and down the dance. 2nd and 3rd couples step up or down on bars 3-4.

5-8    1st couple passing each other left shoulder, dance right shoulder round 2nd couple (1st woman round 2nd man and 1st man round 2nd woman) to finish back in the centre, in the same positions, facing each other up and down the dance.

4th couple dance likewise round 3rd couple (4th man round 3rd woman and 4th woman round 3rd man).

9-12    1st and 4th couples dance half a right shoulder reel of four up and down the centre.

13-16    4th and 2nd couples and likewise 1st and 3rd couples dance petronella turns one place on to the right and set. 2nd and 3rd couples finish in a line of four in the centre facing their partners up and down the dance, 4th couple in 1st place on opposite sides and 1st couple in 4th place on own sides.

17-18    2nd and 3rd couples turn partners once round with right hands.

19-20    2nd woman dance right shoulder round 4th man into 2nd place on the women's side.

3rd woman dance likewise round 1st man into 3rd place on the men's side.

Meanwhile 2nd and 3rd men turn about half way round with left hands and dance out to the sidelines to face out - 3rd man in 2nd place on the men's side and 2nd man in 3rd place on the women's side.

21-24    2nd and 3rd couples dance half a ladies chain. The order is now 4,3,2,1 with 4th and 2nd couples on opposite sides and 3rd and 1st couples on own sides.

25-30    4th and 1st couples cross over giving right hands, cast down or up one place and dance right hands across half way round. 3rd and 2nd couples step up or down on bars 27-28.

31-32    3rd, 1st, 4th and 2nd couples set.

Repeat from new positions.

Devised by Wouter Joubert (wouterj2305 [at], March 2011, as a tribute to the people of Christchurch, New Zealand who are rebuilding their lives and their city after two devastating earthquakes.

Recommended tunes:"The City of Christchurch" (strathspey) and "Hope" (reel)
Suitable recording: Demonstration Medley #3 om the CD Kardinia Capers by David South and his SDB

UPDATE 26 April 2011: Corrections made to bars 13-16 and 21-24
UPDATE 4 May 2011: Corrections/clarifications made to bars 5-8
UPDATE 27 May 2011: Clarification made to bars 19-20

Posted by ldfs at 9:43 AM | Comments (2)

October 2, 2007

Shoplifting Seagulls 16S + 16R

16 bar strathspey, 16 bar reel medley for three couples


1-8     (Casing the store) : First couple set and cast into second place, 2C step up on bars 3 & 4. 1L dance half figure of eight up around 2M to finish in second place on opposite side while 1M dance half figure of eight around 3L to finish in second place on opposite side.

9-16     (Sneaking up on the chips): Second, first and third couples set, advance, retire and set (hands joined on the side)


17-24     (Snatching the chips and running away): 1C turn 3/4 with right hands in two bars (the snatch), then dance six bar reels of three across the set (the getaway), 1M with 2C (begins with 1M passing 2L right shoulder) and 1L with 3C (begins with 1L passing 3M right shoulder). 1C finish in second place on own sides.

25-32     (Seagulls rip open the bag and all devour the chips): Second, first and third couples dance the "Grand Slam" as in Kelso Races (2C, 1C, 3C, with hands joined on the side, advance, with 2C and 3C advancing on the diagonal so the couples collapse into a circle, then retire to place, then all three couples turn partner once round with the right hand)

Inspired by Sam, the Shoplifting Seagull of Aberdeen, seen in this (and other) videos:

Visualize the bag of Doritos in second place in the center of the set.

Devised by Lee Fuell (flyingghillies [at], Flying Ghillies Scottish Country Dancers, Dayton, OH, USA.

Posted by ldfs at 11:50 AM | Comments (2)

August 3, 2005

Ladies of Schiehallion 4x64 M (32 S + 32 R)


64 Bar Medley for 4 couples
(32 bars of strathspey then 32 bars of reel time - 4 times through)

2 chords: 1st chord - Bow and Curtsey
2nd chord - 3rd & 4th couples change sides

Bars 1-8    1C and 2C Set and Rotate:
Take hands on sides and set. All pull back RS to cast, rotating one position to right (clockwise). Change places RH with partner up and down set. All chase one position to clockwise around the mini-square.

Bars 9-16    2C, 1C, 3C, 4C Bubble Up Figure:
(Remember: Every 2 bars all are on sides facing in)
2C cast to 4th place while all other couples Turn RH halfway moving up one place.
1C cast to 4th place while all other couples Turn RH halfway moving up one place.
3C cast to 4th place while all other couples Turn RH halfway moving up one place.
4C cast to 4th place while all other couples Turn RH halfway moving up one place.
(Keep turns tight and really long steps when casting)
End in the order 2C 1C 3C 4C (2W and 1W will be on partner’s side), with 2C facing 1C and 3C facing 4C.

Bars 17-24    Reels of 4 on sides. End top with 2 couples and bottom 2 couples facing in diagonally in their square of 4 people.

Bars 25-28    Set and Track Figure:
All set (2 bars). All move as follows to form a square set ( 2 bars):
2M, followed by 2W dance to left to 2nd place in the square;
4M followed by 4W dance to left to 4th place in the square;
1C dance to left, 1M cutting in front so 1W finishes on 1M’s right side facing DOWN in 1st place in the square;
3C dance to left, 3M cutting in front so 3W finishes on 3M’s right side facing UP in 3rd place in the square set.

Bars 29-32    All 4 couples Turn RH with partner and end men facing IN and women facing OUT

REEL (In square set) OR PARTY TIME:
Bars 1 -16   ALL CLAP and dance Schiehallion reels:
Men dance in diagonally to take the place of the woman on their right.
Ladies dance out and around to take their partner’s place. Men dance
out and around to follow the same woman, while the ladies dance in
and across to follow their partner. Repeat for 12 more bars until you
return to original place. (Remember: every 2 bars on line of square).

End all facing RIGHT (Widdershins) around square set.

Bars 17-24   Chase around the square as follows to finish back to longwise set, in the order 2C 3C 4C 1C, all finishing on partner’s side:
2C travel 1 place to right and STOP at top of set (2 bars)
3C travel 2 places to right (below 2c) and STOP (4 bars)
4C travel 3 places to right (below 3c) and STOP (6 bars)
1c travel 4 places to right (below 4c) and STOP (8 bars)
Remember: 2 bars per each side of square. Men take small steps to finish on ladies’ side.

Bars 25-32    2C and 3C Cross RH in 2 bars then rest for 6 bars (there are no other rest periods in entire dance)
4C and 1C dance the Slip Knot (non-progressive Knot, devised by Mel Briscoe) upside-down:
Bars 1-6 are danced as for a normal Knot. On bars 7-8, the two couples dance LH across halfway to finish where they started the formation.
Remember: Dancers start and finish on partner's side, so the formation ends up being danced upside down (i.e. the dancers face UP not down the set on bar 2 of the figure, and turn to face DOWN not up on bar 3).

End with new top couple in 1st place (2c 3c 4c 1c) – with bottom two couples on opposite sides again ……….READY TO OPEN ANOTHER BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE

Devised by Holly V. Sherman (hollyvalentine530 [at]

Notes from Holly:
"Thank you" to Howard Lasnik and Dale Birdsall for their suggestions in the segues between some of the figures.

The Ladies of Schiehallion are:
Chris Gallagher
Betty Allen
Holly Sherman
This dance was devised to commemorate their 10th anniversary as roommates at Pinewoods.

The dance had to be a medley to fit their different personalities –
It had to have Schiehallion reels in it because the name of their cabin is Schiehallion, and it had to have something “bubbly” in it because they like to party and they host a champagne mimosa party at camp every year.

The dance tells a story:
Part one of the story is in strathspey because the party hasn’t gotten going yet and it denotes the personality of one of the roommates. The Set and Rotate figure represents the opening of a champagne bottle – so only the top 2 couples dance – representing the cork. After the cork pops, the champagne bubbles up and spills out and down the sides of the bottle. This bubble up figure was devised by Michael Bentley. The constant flowing movement in the reel of four represents the pouring of the champagne and in the last figure of strathspey - the people are setting in little groups talking - but decide to circulate to see who else is at the party – then the couples decide to split up and get the party going.

Part two of the story is in quick time to represent the personality of the other roommate – and because the party is now in full swing. Dancing the Schiehallion reels is always fun and lively - just like a party. Then it’s time to settle down – take a breather – look for a place to rest for awhile. While the top 2 couples rest (and think about opening another bottle of champagne in strathspey time) – the bottom 2 couples have found a little champagne left in the old bottle and decide to finish it off - with the Slip Knot – danced up as the bottle empties. Don’t worry – the Schiehallion ladies would never have just one bottle of champagne – in fact they have four – so all 4 couples have a chance to open a bottle, dance, and have a “Reel” good time.

Figure 1. 1c & 2c Set & Rotate (8 Bars)
Figure 2. All 4c Bubble Up (8 Bars)
Figure 3. All 4c Reel of 4 on sides (8 Bars)
Figure 4. All 4c Set & Chase to left to form square (4 Bars)
All 4c Set and Turn RH (4 Bars)

Reel (Clap)
Figures 1 & 2. All 4c Schiehallion reels (16 Bars)
Figure 3. All 4c Chase to right to form lines again (8 Bars)
Figure 4. All 4c Cross (RH) 2c & 3c rest for 6 Bars while
4c & 1c continue with Slip Knot danced UP (8 Bars)

Posted by ldfs at 4:29 PM | Comments (0)