Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Birl

The Birl is an informal, two-handed Turn using the Birl hold to make a Quick turn in Quick tempo dances; with the appropriate Hold, it can be used to Turn clockwise or anticlockwise.

When Turning By the right (clockwise), the right hand should be cupped round the other dancer's elbow, as in Elbow grip, with the left hands held securely at chest height Above the right forearms. When Turning By the left, these Hand positions should be reversed.

A modified version of Slip step is used. For the clockwise Turn, the right foot, almost touching partner's, does not close to the left foot but instead moves only minimally so that the Couple rotate, usually much more quickly than in the formal Quick turn. For the anticlockwise Turn, it is the left foot which moves only minimally.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Birl, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Birlin' Awa
Circassian Big Circle
Wavre Adieu A La Saltarelle
White Heather Jig

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Birl

Birl Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Turning'

Figures