Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Cooper's Wife (Mitchell)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE COOPER'S WIFE (J8x40 in 10 Bar Phrases) 3C (4C set) John W Mitchell Whetherly Book 16

1-10 1s cast to 2nd place, dance full Fig of 8 round 2s and end facing 1st corners
11-20 1s ½ turn corners RH, corners turn LH 1½ times in middle as 1s chase clockwise to opposite corner and ½ turn corner RH, 1s turn partner LH to face 2nd corner
21-30 1s repeat with 2nd corners end facing 3rd corners (1st corner person)
31-40 1s dance ½ diagonal reel of 4 with 3rd corners, ½ diagonal reel with 4th corners and 1s turn LH to 2nd place own side. 213

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


The Cooper's Wife (Mitchell)
John W Mitchell   Whetherly Book 16
Jig   8 x 40 bars   3 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set
10 bar phrases.

  1-2   1s cast to 2nd place WHILE 2s step up;

  3-10 1s dance figures of 8 round 2s finishing facing first corners;

11-12 1s turn corners halfway by the right, finishing 1s facing clockwise;

13-16 corners turn by the left 1½ times in the centre WHILE 1s chase clockwise halfway;

17-18 1s turn corners halfway by the right;

19-20 1s turn by the left to face second corners;

21-30 repeat bars 11-20 with second corners, finishing facing first corners in partner's first corner position;

31-34 half diagonal reel of 4 with first corners, finishing facing second corners in partner's second corner position;

35-38 half diagonal reel of 4 with second corners;

39-40 1s turn by the left to finish in second place.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


The Cooper's Wife (Mitchell) (3-couple version)
John W Mitchell (adapted RGF)   Whetherly Book 16
Jig   3 x 40 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set
10 bar phrases.

  1-2   1s cast to 2nd place WHILE 2s step up;

  3-10 1s dance figures of 8 round 2s finishing facing first corners;

11-12 1s turn corners halfway by the right, finishing 1s facing clockwise;

13-16 corners turn by the left 1½ times in the centre WHILE 1s chase clockwise halfway;

17-18 1s turn corners halfway by the right;

19-20 1s turn by the left to face second corners;

21-30 repeat bars 11-20 with second corners, finishing facing first corners in partner's first corner position;

31-34 1s half diagonal reel of 4 with first corners, finishing facing second corners in partner's second corner position;

35-38 half diagonal reel of 4 with second corners, 1s finishing in 2nd place;

39-40 1s take nearer hands and lead down to finish in 3rd place WHILE 3s step up.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

  1-40 The 10-bar phrasing is a little counter-intuitive but it does allow ample time for all movements.

39-40 These are the changed movements to achieve the extra progression.

    -40 Having just stepped up, 3s must be ready, as the new 2s, to step up again on the next two bars.


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

The Cooper's Wife (Mitchell) - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Also see the dance The Cooper's Wife (Will) by George Will.

Traditionally, a cooper is someone who makes wooden barrels.

A Cooper At Work but no wife Image
A Cooper At Work


Image Copyright under this Creative Commons Licence.
Additional search terms: Coopers.

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