Reel of Three (part 2)

by Duncan MacLeod

Reel of Three after Set and Turn Corners

The pattern described on the floor for this form of the Reel of Three is the same as the Ordinary Reels of Three previously described in Technique Sheet 3.

It requires 6 travelling steps to complete, the phrasing being similar to the Ordinary Reel of Three (6 bars). The two dancers who pass each other to begin this Reel of Three do so by passing left shoulders.

After turning 2nd woman (2nd corner), the 1st man dances between 2nd and 3rd women and down to 3rd woman - his first corner - they pass each other with left shoulders, while 2nd woman dances out to the left to begin (diag. 1). 3rd woman then cuts through the middle of the Reel to pass 2nd woman with the right shoulder. 2nd woman now dances through the middle and passes 1st man with the left shoulder. The Reel then continues with each dancer passing through the middle in turn until all are back where they started, 1st couple being in the middle between corners ready to cross over to their own sides of the dance having progressed one place.

The pattern for the 1st woman is similar to that of the 1st man, but she dances to give her left shoulder to 2nd man - her first corner - to begin the reel (diag. 1).

diagram for Reel of three Start of Reels of Three

NOTES:
1. A common error made by beginners in this formation is the desire to hold on too long with both hands when turning second corner, which forces the leading dancer into starting the Reel of Three by giving right shoulder to second corner. This can be prevented by teaching the leading dancer to drop his/her left hand early - using his/her right hand to guide second corner to place - while he/she looks towards first corner.
2. Another common error is that the leading dancer does not go through between the two corners prior to starting the Reel of Three.
3. First corner must be ready to begin or 2nd corner is liable to pass through the middle of the Reel before first corner.
4. The order of going through the middle of the Reel is, 1st corner; 2nd corner; leading dancer.

FOR CONSIDERATION:

Although it has been stated that the reel starts with the leading dancer giving left shoulder to first corner, it can be seen that, if we consider the Reel of Three as starting when second corner has been turned approximately halfway round by the leading dancer to a position between and in line with first corner and the leading dancer, the pattern is identical with that of the ordinary Reel of Three (8 bars) with only the phrasing being different. See note 1 above.

Dances suitable for teaching this type of reel:
Mrs. Macleod
Ye're Welcome Charly Stuart
Merry Lads of Ayr (bars 25 - 30)

Reel of Three after Turning Corners and Partner

This form of the Reel of Three is the same as Reel of Three after Set and Turn Corners, except that the leading dancers begin from the middle of the set (instead of from between their two corners). It takes 6 travelling steps.

The Reel begins by the leading dancer dancing into first corner's place, while the two corners dance towards each other to pass right shoulders (diag. 2). This means that the first corner passes through the middle of the Reel first. The order through the middle is therefore the same as in Reel of Three after Set and Turn Corners, viz. 1st corner; 2nd corner; leading dancer.

diagram for Reels of three

NOTES:
1. The path of the leading dancer from the centre of the set to first corner's place is the equivalent to the path from between the two corners in the Reel of Three after Set and Turn Corners.
2. It is extremely important that the two corners start immediately, otherwise the leading dancer is liable to dance through the middle of the Reel of Three, instead of dancing into first corner's place. It is for this reason that it is perhaps helpful when teaching this formation to make the corners dance towards each other passing right shoulders, while the leading dancer is told to dance into first corner's place, then follow first corner, but ensuring that the second corner passes through the middle before the leading dancer.
3. The wrong entry to this Reel of Three can also be made if the first couple have a badly phrased left hand turn in the centre. Leading man should direct his partner to her first corner at the end of the left hand turn with his left hand while he faces his first corner.
4. A useful exercise for the less experienced teacher is to compare this Reel of Three with the Ordinary Reel of Three imagining that the leading dancer is standing behind first corner and both are looking towards second corner (diag. 3)

Dances suitable for teaching this type of reel:
Ye'll aye be welcome back again.
Sugar Candie
Miss Mary Douglas (bars 41 - 46)

Copyright by Hugh Foss (Formby), 50 Wicks Crescent, Formby. L37 1PW - now 15/2 West Bryson Road, Edinburgh. EH11 1EH

Technique Sheets for Teachers No.4.