Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Feilleadh Beag

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Feilleadh Beag
Maggie and Duncan Keppie   Haliburton School Of Arts SCD Book 4:
Strathspey   4 x 32 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-4   4-COUPLE SET AND LINK: all set, nearer hands joined, then the two at the right Hand end cast two places AS the two at the left hand end dance down the middle two places, i.e. 1st and 2nd women cast to 3rd and 4th women's places respectively AS 3rd and 4th women dance up the middle curling into 1st and 2nd women's places, respectively; AND 3rd and 4th men cast to 1st and 2nd men's places respectively AS 1st and 2nd men dance down the middle curling into 3rd and 4th men's places respectively

  5-8   CHASE HALFWAY CLOCKWISE: all dance clockwise half way around the set;


13-16 CHASE HALFWAY CLOCKWISE: all dance clockwise half way around the set to original places;

17-24 4-COUPLE KNOT: all turn partner halfway by the right hand ending in allemande hold facing down (2 bars), dance up the women's side (4 bars), drop right hands and turn partner once around with left hands ending in the center facing up;

25-28 CAST: 4th couple cast off from the top to the bottom followed by other couples, all ending in original places, 1st couple facing out;

29-32 1ST COUPLE CAST TO BOTTOM: 1st couple cast to 4th place, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th couple step up on 31-32).


(Dance Crib compiled by the devisers, Maggie and Duncan Keppie)

Dance Information

"Féileadh beag" is Gaelic for the "Kilt" in its modern form, as opposed to "Féileadh mòr", the earliest form of this traditional highland garment which developed into "Féileadh bhreacain", made of some 12 yards of narrow tartan wrapped around the waist and belted and with the remainder over the shoulders and pinned. Donning the garment was commonly by placing the whole length on the floor, lying on it and winding oneself up in it, as was demonstrated in a BBC TV programme of the 1980s, The Generation Game, by the late Mike Begley, the Highland Dancing teacher from Marlow, Buckinghamshire. "Féileadh beag" is often anglicized to "Philibeg"; it should be pronounced as "Feel~ bay~k" in English (and "Féileadh mòr" as "Feel~ moer" and "Féileadh bhreacain" as "Feel~ vrekin"), always with stress on the first syllable of each word and with the following conventions:
  "ee" is as in "beet";
  "~" represents the very short, indeterminate, vowel sound;
  "ay" is as in "bay"; and
  "oe" is as in "toe".
See Gaelic Dance Names for more information on Gaelic spelling and pronunciation.

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