I enjoy devising new Scottish country dances - here are some of my favourites!
A Trip to Applecross
This dance was inspired by a trip to the Applecross peninsula on the west coast of Scotland. It has been published by RSCDS and is available in Book 50.
I devised 'The Haka' especially for a Burns Night Supper and Ceilidh at Essington Rugby Club in 2015, inspired by the pre-match ritual performed by the New Zealand All Blacks.
I have included the crib below:
The Haka (32 reel for couple facing couple around the room)
1-8: Circle left and back.
9-12: Face opposite. Clap three times on own thighs, clap hands three times, clap hands with opposite three times and then shout 'roar'!
13-16: Repeat with partner.
17-24: All take two hands with partners and gallop around the room and back to place.
25-32: Forward and back with this couple. Couple facing clockwise makes arch as others dive through to meet a new couple.
This dance was inspired by the classic Charlie Chaplin film, 'City Lights'!
I have included the crib below. The dance has been published by the RSCDS Book 52 in 2018.
City Lights (8x32 jig for 3 couples in a 4 couple set)
1-8: 1s turn RH, cast 1 place (2s step up on 3+4) and turn LH to finish to facing 1st corners.
9-12: 1s dance RSh round 1st corner positions WHILE 1st corners dance, giving RH, lady turns under mans arm and faces back to her own position. He retires while she dances back to place and stays facing out.
13-16: All 4 corners chase halfway clockwise while 1s turn LH one and a half in the middle to finish facing 2nd corner positions.
17-20: Repeat bars 9-12 with second corners.
21-24: All 4 corners chase halfway clockwise WHILE 1s turn LH one and a half to finish in the middle Lsh to Lsh, ready for RH across, 1L with the 2s, 1M with the 3s.
25-28: 1L with the 2s, 1M with the 3s dance RH across.
29-32: All 3 couples turn right hands once round (or birl).
I was inspired to write this dance having taught Peter Hasting's dance, Aarhus Festival, at a dance weekend in Dawlish - I like the snowball chase figure which he attributes to Mel Briscoe. I hope you enjoy my effort!
I have included the crib below:
Dawlish Weekend (32 reel for three couples)
1-8: 1s dance a long cast into 2nd place. All three couples dance up to top place and 'cast to invert the set'. Finish in the order 3 1 2.
9-16: Ladies dance the Snowball Chase. 2nd lady (in bottom place) passes her partner right shoulder, dances up behind the men and back down the ladies side back to place. 1st lady (in middle place) begins on bar 11 by passing her partner right shoulder and following 2nd lady. 3rd lady (in top place) begins on bar 13.
17-24: Men dance the Snowball Chase. 3rd man (in top place) begins by passing his partner right shoulder, dancing down behind the ladies and back up the men's side to place. 1st man and 2nd man begin on bars 19 and 21 respectively.
25-32: All three couples do-si-do with partner. Right hand turn partner (or swing).
It's Nicola's Round!
I have devised this easy starter dance for the RSCDS Birmingham Summer Social 2019.
It's Nicola's Round - a round-the-room dance (32 bar jigs) - couples facing clockwise are 1st couples
1-8: 1s and 2s circle and back
9-16: 1s dance half figure of eight through 2s. On the diagonal, 1s and 2s advance and retire (optional hand clap with opposite!).
17-24: 2s dance half figure of eight through 1s. On the diagonal, 1s and 2s advance and retire.
25-32: With nearer hands joined with partner, set to opposites. Turn about (towards partner) to face couple who were behind and set to them. With new opposites, dance half rights and lefts (men finish with a polite turn).
Scottish Country Dancing teaching videos
I have started to produce videos to help newcomers to Scottish Country Dancing to learn the steps.