Scottish Country Dancing
One highlight of the mid-day ceremony is the Scottish Country Dance demonstration. For the adventurous who are willing to whirl and spin to the strains of the pipes, the dancers offer instruction at the Tea Barn. First introduced in 1969, the country dance demonstration that year was a special dance to music composed for the occasion of our 9th Annual Gathering. The 1969 Delaware Highland Gathering program offered the following description ...
The traditional form of social dancing in Scotland since the Eighteenth century is the Scottish Country dance. Although these dances have never quite been lost, they are now being revived and preserved by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
A team of dancers from the Society will demonstrate several dances this afternoon. The Scottish Country dance emphasizes the teamwork of the dancers (usually eight in number) as they relate to each other to form the figures of the dance, as contrasted to the highly individual solo competitive performance of the Highland dancer.
Both forms of dance are built on the same basic fundamentals of footwork which are so characteristic of Scottish dancing as contrasted with the dances of other nationalities.
The clan system in Scotland and its attendant vertical social organization has also contributed to the universality of the Scottish Country Dance. Thus, unlike many other nationalities which have a “folk” dance tradition separate from that of court, Scotland’s social dance is truly a national dance, loved by chief and crofter alike.
Although Scottish Country Dancing is rooted in its Eighteenth century tradition, it is a living art. New dances, based upon the old forms, are constantly being devised. There are now published about 400 traditional dances from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries and about 500 new dances. It seems fitting, therefore, that the Delaware Highland Gathering should have its own Scottish Country Dance.
This afternoon, this new dance will be performed for the first time. It is set to music composed for the Gathering by Pipe Major John Wilson; the dance was devised by E.H. Handy, Jr. The reel arrangement of the tune was recorded by Dave Fergusson and his band especially for this event.
The Delaware Highland Gathering Reel
1 - 2 First man and second lady, giving right hands in passing change places.
3 - 4 First lady and second man do the same.
5 - 6 First man and third man repeat bars 1 - 2.
7 - 8 First lady and third lady do the same.
9 - 12 All three couples set twice to partner.
13 - 16 Second couple lead down the middle nearer hands joined,
17 - 20 First lady dances half a reel of three with third couple
21 - 24 First lady dances half a reel of three with second and third
25 - 28 First lady dances half a reel of three with third couple beginning
29 - 32 First couple turn each other with right hands, whilst second
Reprinted from The Delaware Scottish Games Program, June 7, 1969
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