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SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCES

INTRODUCTION

As a child I won some prizes for Highland Dancing. In 1995 I began Scottish Country Dancing. The following dances were devised by me with some help from Cathy McLeod the teacher for the Graceville Scottish Country Dancers.

The Saint John's dance fairly clearly reflects the St John emblem.

The snow crystals dance reflects the symmetry and movement of snow crystals, some explanation of the symmetry is given as a prelude.

The happy huskies reflects the dogs working and playing.


SAINT JOHN OF JERUSALEM

2004


A square set reel for 4 couples, lady on man's right, 40 bars, 4 rounds

PART 1     CROSS FORMATION     8 bars

1st & 3rd men change places crossing over with right hands     bars 1&2
1st & 3rd ladies change places crossing over with right hands    bars 3&4
2nd & 4th men change places crossing over with right hands     bars 5&6
2nd & 4th ladies change places crossing over with right hands     bars 7&8

PART 2     TRIANGLE FORMATION    16 bars

Man in 1st position dances pas de basque to face 2ndcouple     bars 1& 2
while man in 3rd position similarly dances to face 4th couple     bars 1&2
balance in double triangles across the set with 1st man holding hands with 2nd couple, 3rd with 4th     bars 3&4
1st man and 3rd man go to opposite places by pas de basque with 1/4 turn (right shoulder back) but facing out (facing new partner)    bars 5&6
then another pas de basque with 1/2 turn to opposite place (1st in 3rd)    bars 7&8

2nd man goes to face couple in 3rd place     bars 9&10
while 4th man goes to face couple in 1st place     bars 9&10
balance in double triangles across the set     bars 11&12
2nd man and 4th man go to opposite places by pas de basque with 1/4 turn (right shoulder back) but facing out (facing new partner)    bars 13&14
then another pas de basque with 1/2 turn to opposite place    bars 15&16

PART 3     UNICORN & LION FORMATION     8 bars

All ladies go forward with a petronella turn (go forward and twist right around pulling right shoulder back and continue on) dancing to the centre and turning so that their backs almost touch and they face outward on the diagonal, having moved in and to the left facing the man she was next to. (Lady in first place goes twirling in and faces man in 1st couple's positions, lady in 2nd place goes in and faces man in 2nd couple’s place, lady in 3rd couples place goes in and faces man in 3rdcouple’s place, lady in 4th couple's place goes in and faces man in 4th couple’s place), while men set    bars 1&2
Men petronella turn to the right and face the lady who was on their right, so that everyone is now on diagonals.    bars 3&4
Everyone petronella turns, in tandem, to the right, finishing in preceding couple's place with their original partners (to give backward progression)     bars 5&6
All couples set.    bars 7&8

PART 4     CIRCLE FORMATION    8 bars

All turn and promenade one full circle     bars 1-8
Repeat all of the above but change as follows

Part 1     ladies begin with
1st & 3rd ladies change places crossing over with right hands.     bars 1&2
followed by 1st and 3rd men, 2nd and 4th ladies and 2nd and 4th men

Part 2     Ladies make the triangles starting with
lady in 1st place goes to face 4th couple
lady in 3rd place faces 2nd couple     bars 1& 2
( then all go back to original partners) etc.

Part 3     no change, same as above. Ladies dance in while men set then men dance in while ladies set, then all petronella to new place.
Part 4     At end of 4th round repeat finishing with ladies in the centre for courtesies.

SNOWCRYSTALS

April 2005

SNOWFLAKE CRYSTALLOGRAPHY

The c axis of the snowflake is the centre of a hexagon looking down. And all the variations of snow flake crystallography have the same following crystal elements

1     A centre of symmetry. Hexagons and squares have this but triangles do not. If a centre is present a face on one side of the centre will be reflected across to the opposite side.

2    A six fold axis of symmetry. This goes through the centre of symmetry in this case. This means that about the axis a face is repeated 6 times on rotation of a full circle to give a full hexagon

3    Three orthogonal planes of symmetry cutting across the sides of the hexagon. These are like 3 mirrors

4    Three diagonal planes of symmetry cutting through the corners of the hexagon. These also are like 3 mirrors

5    One plane of symmetry perpendicular or normal to the c axis.

DANCE FORMAT

This is a reel for 3 couples arranged in a hexagon. Top couple people are numbered 1(lady) &2(man), the next couple on their left are numbered 3 (lady) &4 (man), and the couple on the right are numbered 5 (lady) &6 (man)

FIRST 8 BARS

This acknowledges the centre of symmetry.

1&2     All couples set
3&4    People 1 and 4 change places touching hands. That is, first lady crosses with right hand with diagonally opposite (2nd) man
5&6    People 2 and 6 change places touching hands. That is, second lady crosses with right hand with diagonally opposite (3rd) man
7&8    People 3 and 6 change places touching hands. That is, third lady crosses with right hand with diagonally opposite (1st) man

SECOND 8 BARS

This rotational movement acknowledges the six-fold axis of symmetry

8 bars. Six hands-across wheel, right hand in and go clockwise. Finish in original positions. (requires one and a half circles)

THIRD 8 BARS

This acknowledges 3 planes of diagonal symmetry.

1&2    Join hands around the ring. First couple and second man and third lady (people in 4 and 5 positions opposite the first couple) advance and retire.

3&4    Keeping hands joined second couple and opposite people in 1 and 6 positions retire and advance to form another line representing another plane of symmetry.

5&6    Keeping hands joined third couple and people in opposite positions 2 and 3 advance and retire to form another line representing another plane of symmetry.

7&8    all turn partners (or set if there is too much turning)

FOURTH 8 BARS

This also acknowledges the centre of symmetry and provides some swirling action as the snow flake falls through the air. The last part also acknowledges the axis of symmetry

1&2    All set
3&4    All petronella turn in to the centre
5&6    All set
7&8    Swirl and progress to next place. That is turn by the right shoulder and skip to the next place so that the first couple moves to the second couple’s original place, the second couple moves to the third couple’s original place, and the third couple moves to the first couple’s original place.

THE HAPPY HUSKIE

 April 2005

DANCE FORMAT

This is a jig for 4 couples in a normal 2 line set. It represents a story of the dogs playing, being rounded up, working pulling the sled, and then being released again to talk to each other before dinner.     40 bars

SCENE 1:    8 bars Dogs at play:

Ones cast behind the 2s, in front of the 3s and behind the 4s and dance up the middle to place.

SCENE 2:     8 bars Dogs get rounded up for work:

8 hands circle round and back

SCENE 3:     4 bars Dogs get harnessed

bars 1&2:     First man dances (skip change of step) to between 2nd & 3rd men inside the set, while 4th man casts to between 2nd & 3rd men outside the set, and while first lady dances down and 4th lady dances up. (That is, firsts cast in and down, 4s out and up.)

bars 3&4:     wheel (half circle) 4 hands across round clockwise for men and anticlockwise for women, half way for 2 bars.

SCENE 4:     4 bars Dogs run with sled starting with 4th couple holding hands

4 bars:     Fourth couple lead down the hall followed by 3rd, 1st, & 2nd couples.

SCENE 5:    4 bars Dogs return

4 bars:    Turn and return. Second couple lead followed by 1st, 3rd &4th couples

And cast into half wheel (ready for the next 4 bars)

SCENE 6: 4 bars Dogs unharnessing

4 bars :     Unwinding back to place [circle 4 hands across] (4 at top followed by 3, 1 & 2), wheels with 4 hands across so that 4th person is at top position followed by 3rd, 1st, &2nd . Ones and 4s continue in direction of wheel to finish 1234 (1s in 1st position, 2s in 2nd position, 3s in 3rd position, 4s in 4th position.)

SCENE 7:     8 bars Dogs are released and sniff each other at the end of the day before dinner.

8 bars:     Ones and twos half rights and lefts Ones and threes half rights and lefts Ones and 4s half rights and lefts All cross for 2 bars

(Dance is then repeated 3 times)

To be added - Penelope the Mermaid, and The Four Wheel Drive