The Kingdom of Strathclyde

Strathspey for 4 couples in a square set.

1-4 The men dance right hands across once round and finish in the centre facing out

5-12 "Circular Reel"


The men dance out, passing their partner by the left shoulder while the ladies dance into the centre to give left hands across momentarily.


The men dance into the centre again, passing their corner lady by the right shoulder, and momentarily give right hands across in the centre, while the ladies dance out. All are now approximately a quarter way round, the ladies anticlockwise, the men clockwise.


Continue the sequence of the above two bars, passing successive people alternately right shoulder and left shouldeer, until the men are back in the centre opposite their places and the ladies have just danced out towards their places. The track of the dancers is shown in diag.1.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

13-14 The ladies dance into the centre and the men dance out, passing partner to finish as in Diag.2. !st and 3rd ladies face as if they were giving right hands, whereas 2nd and 4th ladies face as if giving left hands. Men join hands with their partners and face the same way. Ladies do not join hands in the middle.

15-16 All set in couples. Finish by the ladies joining hands in the centre and retaining their partner's hands.

17-24 "Melting Lines"
The line of 1st and 3rd couples rotates anticlockwise while that of 2nd and 4th couples rotates clockwise. The lines pass through each other. 1st and 3rd ladies always retain right hands (with a short grip) and pass through the gap between 2nd and 4th ladies. 2nd and 4th ladies pass between 1st and 3rd couples, while 2nd and 4th men pass round the outside - diag.3. All others drop hands to pass through and join hands again immediately that the lines have passed through each other. Finish with ladies back to back in the centre facing their partner.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

25-32 "Turning Double Reels of Four"
All dance a double reel of four, which rotates. This is danced as a normal double reel except that the dancers passing through the centre do not leave opposite the point that they entered, but leave on the diagonal (Diags. 4 & 5.)

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

At the end of the turning reel all are on the opposite side of the square from their original places, facing their corners.

33-36 Men facing their corner, who stands still, dance a highland schottische step to the right, turning right about a quarter turn to face the next lady (who turns to face him at the end of bar 34)) then dances a highland schottische to the left to regain original positions.

37-40 Ladies dance a setting step to the right into the centre and, turning right about a quarter turn, dance a setting step outwards to the left to face the next man anticlockwise, and cast round him to regain original places.

41-48 "Intersecting Rights and Lefts" (Diag.6.)
The four ladies dance rights and lefts while simultaneously the four men dance rights and lefts. To start 1st and 2nd ladies (and likewise 3rd and 4th ladies) give right hands, and 1st and,4th man (and likewise 2nd and 3rd men) give right hands. 1st and 3rd ladies have precedence over their partners, on bar 49. Finish as diag.7.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

49-50 4th couple, 3rd man and 1st lady dance down the hall while 2nd couple, 1st man and 3rd lady dance up the hall. At the end of bar 50 all turn to face the opposite way (finishing as diag.8.)

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

51-56 The two lines pass through each other, led by 1st and 3rd ladies passing each other right shoulders and pass left shoulders and right shoulders alternately thereafter. At end of bar 56 all ladies turn about to finish as diag.9.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

57-64 All dance half a reel of eight finishing as diag.10.

65-68 4th man dances to his right and back towards 3rd man who joins his right hand to 4th man's left (bar 65). They dance out to 3rd man's left and back towards 2nd lady, who gives her right hand to 3rd man's left (bar 66). They dance out to 2nd ladies left and back towards 3rd lady who gives her right hand to 2nd lady's left (bar 67) They dance off to 3rd lady's left to form right hands across above 2nd man's head. Meanwhile 1st lady, 4th lady and 1st man dance up the line to produce an evenly spaced line, and they along with 2nd man kneel down on bar 68. Diags 11 & 12.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

69-72 3rd couple, 4th man and 2nd lady dance right hand across round 2nd man.

73-80 "Rack and Pinion"
Starting by pivoting on 3rd lady, the wheel rolls down the line and back up the other side (diag.13). The kneeling dancers stand up on bar 80.

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

81-84 "The Sceptre" :
3rd couple, 4th man and 2nd lady dance right hands across .

85-88 2nd man joins nearer hand with 3rd man to join in the hands across, and on successive bars 1st man joins with 4th man, 4th lady with 3rd lady, and 1st lady with 2nd lady to form a double star.

89-92 "The Crown"
All dance round in the double star, finishing by dancing into a circle (diag.14.)

Diagrams for Kingdom of Strathclyde

93-96 "The Orb"
All dance round in the circle, turning right about on bar 96 to face out towards the audience for the bow and curtsey.

Notes for the teacher

1. "Circular Reel' bars 5-12. The dancers must not dance out out very far. Keep the set small.

2. "Melting Lines" bars 17-24.. Make sure that 1st and 3rd ladies keep a short arm grip so that they can easily pass through the gap between 2nd and 4th ladies. It is also important that arms are kept joined until the moment of the lines passing through each other and that they are joined again immediately afterwards—otherwise people flap their arms like seagulls and it is also hard to keep the lines straight. Note that 1st and 3rd ladies must at the end lengthen their grip so that the ladies are symmetrically placed for the start of the turning reel of four.

3. "Turning Double Reel of Four" bars 25-32. Keep the set fairly large to show the shape. As the men or ladies go through the middle,ensure that they keep close together (almost shoulder to shoulder). Covering is very important here so that the reel can be seen to rotate. At the end of the reel the men must pull the set smaller again. Ladies should slip (not turn) into place to face their corners.

4. "Intersecting Rights and Lefts" bars 41-48. Here the dancers should be in a square at the end of each two bars. Ladies should always be aiming for the ladies' places in the square and the men likewise aiming for the men's places. Precedence is as follows:- (using 1st and 4th men as examples)
4th man crosses in front of 2nd lady, allows partner to cross in front of him, crosses in front of 2nd lady, allows partner to cross in front of him.
Similarly, 1st man allows partner to cross in front of him, crosses in front of 3rd lady, allows partner to cross in front of him etc.

5. Bars 51-56. Dancers not yet passing people in the opposite line should dance straight up the line, and similarly dancers emerging from the line should again dance in a straight line until the end of the phrase.

6. "The Reel of Eight" bars 57-64. Here the lines should cover as the reel is danced so that two separate lines are seen every two bars.

7. "The Rack and Pinion" bars 73-80. The dancers making up the stationary line (the rack) should be fairly close so that as the wheel (the pinion) rolls down it, each person fits naturally into the next gap. The dancers move up as follows: 1st lady dances up one place on bar 65, 1st and 4th ladies dance up another place on bar 66. 1st lady 4th lady and 1st man dance up another place on bar 67. 1st man will probably feel that he cannot move at the beginning of bar 67 because 4th man is still in front of him, but there is no danger of collision as 1st man is starting from rest while 4th man is moving rapidly.
The dancers in the pinion have to dance at a variable pace. As a dancer goes into a gap, he comes to rest and allows the rest of the wheel to pivot on him; dancers on the outside of the wheel have to dance correspondingly faster. This figure is actually very easy to dance despite its formidable description.

8. Don't try and dance "The Crown" too slowly,— let the dancers move.

Devised by Robert Donald