For Susan Omand’s annual Scottish takeover this year, get ready to swing your sporrans with our answer to Strictly Come Dancing and learn some proper ceilidh dances...
If you’re of a certain age and went to a Scottish primary school, you will remember the trauma of gym class in the run up to the Christmas holidays... learning Scottish Country Dancing! However, they are lessons that have stood us all in good stead at Hogmanay parties, weddings and ceilidhs over the years so, for this week, I want to help everyone get ready for your own Hogmanay ceilidh and not look stupid on the dance floor by practising now with five of the most famous Scottish Country Dances. Today is...
The Dashing White Sergeant.
You're going to need to draft in some extra help for this one as you need 3 people on each team (kinda like 5-a-side football but not). And it's not as difficult as yesterday's one. Honest.
Formation: three facing three around the room, man between two ladies or lady between two men.
Music: The Dashing White Sergeant - 32 bar reels, starting and ending with "The Dashing White Sergeant".
1-8: Join up in a circle of 6 and circle round to the left for 8 steps (4 bars) and back to the right.
9-12: The person in the middle of each team of 3 turns to the person on their right and sets* to them, then, holding hands, they turn round in a circle, ending up back in the middle. The other partner stands still.
13-16: Repeat with the other partner.
17-24: Using elbow grip**, turn 1st partner, then 2nd partner, then 1st partner, then 2nd partner.
25-28: In the lines of three, advance towards each other two skip steps and back two.
29-32: Both lines dance forwards, one line can raise their hands in an arch and the other line dancing underneath, otherwise just pass through the gaps and dance on to meet the next set of three coming in the other direction.
Repeat with new three.
* Setting is also called Pas de basque. Step with the right foot, step on the ball of the left foot beside the right foot, lifting the right foot. Put the right foot down and point the left toe. Repeat to the left.
** Resist the temptation to actually link arms as it's too quick to try and unlink them again and you will go flying, trust me. Instead partners can just hold hands or hold the other's elbow. As a variation you can just skip round each other like in the video.
Instructions - http://www.scottishdance.net/ceilidh/dances.html
Videos - courtesy of Creative Scotland