Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Fairy Ring

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE FAIRY RING (J32) Circle Iain Boyd Happy to Meet
Circle around the room with partner on Man's right

1- 8 All circle round to left and back
9-16 Ladies dance Figs of 8 (in front and round partner, in front of next Man and round back to place)
17-24 Men dance Figs of 8 (in front and round partner to start)
25-32 All dance Grand Chain
Repeat with new partner

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

The Fairy Ring
Iain Boyd   Happy to Meet
Jig   n x 32 bars   n Couple Repeat   n Couple Set   Progressive Large Circular Set
Start with all couples (L on partner's right) in one large circle, facing in.

  1-8   All hands round to the left and back;

  9-16 each L figure of 8 (dance in front of and all round partner and then in front of and all round M on her right);

17-24 each M figure of 8 (dance in front of and all round partner and then in front of and all round L on his left), finishing facing partner;

25-32 all grand chain around the circle four places, only, to finish beside new partner.

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

Dance Notes

If necessary, make concentric circles to accommodate all those wishing to dance.

25-32 Although the music appears to make it more intuitive, passing one dancer per bar in the grand chain is difficult to achieve; it is much safer, especially with Beginners and at a ceilidh, to take 2 bars per dancer, i.e., pass by the right and by the left only twice (as in bars 25-32 of The Eightsome Reel chorus).

    -32 As an aide-mémoire, you meet your new partner after passing by the left for the second time in the grand chain.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Fairy Ring - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

A fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms.

The rings may grow over ten meters in diameter and become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground. Found mainly in forested areas, but also appearing in grasslands fairy rings also occupy a prominent place in European folklore as the location of gateways into elfin kingdoms, or places where elves gather to dance.

A Fairy Ring Image
A Fairy Ring

Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Fairy Ring article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright C.J.Moss.

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