Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Lost In Edinburgh

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

LOST IN EDINBURGH (J4x32) 4C set C Comings Sunday Brunch

1- 8 1s lead down middle for 3 bars, back to top and cast to 2nd place
9-16 1s+3s dance RH across once round, 3L followed by 1L dance down behind 4L and up between 4s while 1M followed by 3M dances up behind 2M and down between 2s, 1M+3L pass RSh and turn singly to face each other (up/down) as 1L and 3M turn right about to face ends (BtoB with partner)
17-24 1L+4s, 3M+2s (as double triangles) and 1M+3L (facing each other) set, all set and 1s+3s (BtoB with partner) set rotating ½ way round to right to change positions, 1M+4s, 3L+2s and 1L+3M set, 1s and 3s dance petronella turn to own sides while 2s and 4s continue setting turn to face partners. 2314
25-32 1s dance ½ Fig of 8 round 3s and cast to 4th place, 1s advance, change places and retire. 2341

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


Lost in Edinburgh
Carolyn Comings   Sunday Brunch
Jig   4 x 32 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-6   1s lead down and back;

  7-8   1s cast;

  9-12 1s3s right hands across, finishing 1M3M facing up and out, 1L3L down and out;

13-14 1M followed by 3M cast up round 2M WHILE 3L followed by 1L cast round 4L, finishing on the centre line, 1M3M facing down between 2s, 3L1L facing up between 4s;

15-16 1M3L turn by the right halfway WHILE 3M dance down and turn halfway on the spot WHILE 1L dance up and turn halfway on the spot, finishing on the centre line, back to back with partners;

17-18 2M3M2L 4M1L4L balance WHILE 3L set facing 1M;

19-20 2s 4s set WHILE 3s 1s dance clockwise back to back to exchange places with partners (pas-de-basque);

21-22 2M3L2L 4M1M4L balance WHILE 3M set facing 1L;

23-24 2s 4s set WHILE 3s 1s petronella turn, finishing 2s3s1s4s on own sides;

25-28 1s cross up into half figures round 3s, finishing in 4th place on opposite sides;

29-30 1s advance and, on the left foot step but without taking hands, dance around each other halfway, finishing with backs to own sides;

31-32 1s retire, finishing 2s3s4s1s.

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


Dance Notes

  1-6   Lead down in 3 bars and back in 3 bars (nearer hands).

19-20 For 3s and 1s, this is the same movement as in bars 3-4 of double triangles.

23-24 This petronella turn requires a diagonally backward movement to reach the correct place in the sidelines.

30-32 The deviser likens this to bars 6-8 of allemande with hands already released. Or, perhaps, to bars 6-8 of poussette, also with hands already released, and using skip change instead of pas-de-basque (RF).


Dance Instruction Videos

Lost In Edinburgh - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The dance name originated from the deviser's experience of a visit.
"My memory is a bit hazy, but back in 1978, on my first visit to Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, my traveling companion and I took a wrong turn, or missed a turn, tried to go "around the block" to get back to where we were supposed to be, and found ourselves in a surrealistic rabbit-warren of streets and old buildings that looked like something straight out of Oliver Twist. Not only were we lost in Edinburgh, but it felt like we were lost in time as well.
"That experience doesn't really relate to the dance itself, but it seemed somehow appropriate at the time, and I remember thinking that if you miss a step in the dance, you'll be quite lost, although hopefully not lost in that surreal other-worldly neighborhood somewhere south of Princes Street.... Anyway. That isn't exactly a coherent explanation of how the title relates to the dance, but it's the only one I've got."

The deviser has also supplied what she calls "the history and some trivia about this particular dance".
"I had only been dancing for 4 or 5 months when I was invited to participate in "Sunday Brunch," an informal group that met in San Francisco the morning after the Saturday night monthly parties, to eat breakfast and road-test dances that members were devising. I was invited by default because the people I rode with to the parties were part of this group. I thought, why not, and thought up a dance. Talk about beginner's luck... it was a huge hit with the group, got the most votes by far when the selections for the eventual book were being made, it was performed publicly for the first time at the 1991 summer concert series at the Forest Theater in Carmel, and when Sara Gratiot taught it to a large group for the first time at the Sunday morning combined class at the October 1991 Asilomar workshop, it was greeted with demands for an encore, and I was told by several incredulous people that they had NEVER, ever, seen ANY dance encored at the Sunday morning class."

Edinburgh Image
Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat


Dance Information by the deviser, Carolyn Comings.
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Image Copyright Ron Hann under this Creative Commons Licence.

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