Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Gay Gordons


Couples form a large circle around the room facing anti-clockwise, ladies on the right

(A) Bars  1-2   Right hands joined over lady’s shoulder(man’s arm behind her back) and left hands joined in front, walk forward for four steps, starting on the right foot.

(B) Bars  3-4   Still moving in the same direction, and without letting go, pivot on the spot (so left hand is behind lady and right hand is in front) and take four steps backwards.

(C)  Bars  5-8    Repeat in the opposite direction.

(D)  Bars  9-12  Drop left hands, raise right hands above lady’s head. Lady pivots on the spot.

(E)  Bars 13-16  Joining hands in ballroom hold, polka round the room.

Strip the Willow


This jig is danced in two lines, men on one side, ladies on the other, facing each other.

First couple turn each other 1½ times, with running steps, to face second couple.

First lady turns the second man with left hand and partner, in the middle, with right hand.

First lady repeats until she has turned all the men and at the last turning of her partner they finish with the man facing the last lady.

First man then turns each lady, in turn, with left hand and partner with right.

At the top of the dance he turns his partner with right hand to end with first lady facing second man and first man facing second lady.

First couple turn the man and lady they are facing, with left hand, meet in the centre and turn each other with right.  Continue to the bottom of the set then turn each other 1½ times to own sides.

The second couple begin to turn as the first couple are doing their last turning.

The set remains in the same place by each couple moving up one place as they are turned in the last part of the dance.

Dashing White Sergeant


This reel is danced in lines of three.  A line must contain 1 man and 2 women or 1 woman and 2 men.  The routine is enacted by 2 lines facing each other.

(A) Circle – 8 Bars

All 6 dancers join hands and circle 4 Pas de Basque to the left and 4 Pas de Basque back again.

(B) Set and Turn, Set and Turn – 4 Bars Each

The centre man or woman sets to and turns one of his or her ‘wings’… then sets to and turns the other.

(C) Figure Eight – 8 Bars

Then the centres do a figure eight with their 2 ‘wings’.

(D) Forward and Back – 4 Bars

The 2 lines join hands, advance towards each other, stamping their feet at the point of closest proximity, and then retreat.

(E) Forward and Through – 8 Bars

Both lines advance again, this time breaking through by one line raising their arms so that the other line can pass underneath.  The lines then meet other lines and repeat the same routine.