Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Strip The Willow

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

STRIP THE WILLOW (Drops Of Brandy) (J4x40) 4C set RSCDS Book 1
Running step

1- 8 1s turn RH 2½ times (4 bars), 1L turns 2M LH then turns partner RH
9-16 1L turns 3M LH, turns partner RH, 1L turns 4M LH and turns partner RH
17-24 1M turns 4L LH, turns partner RH, 1M turns 3L LH and turns partner RH
25-32 1M turns 2L LH, turns partner RH, 1L turns 2M LH as 1M turns 2L LH, 1s turn RH in centre
33-40 1s similarly turn 3s LH, turn partners RH, turn 4s LH and turn partners RH to 4th place own sides (last turn uses the next first 2 bars of music)

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


Strip The Willow
Anon   RSCDS Book 1
Jig   4 x 40 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

Running step is used throughout.

  1-4   1s turn 2½ times by the right, moving down to finish between 2s, 1M behind 1L, both facing Mn's side;

  5-6   1L turn 2M by the left WHILE 1M continue the running step on the spot;

  7-8   1s turn by the right, moving down one place to finish between 3s;

  9-12 repeat bars 5-8 with 3M;

13-14 repeat bars 5-6 with 4M;

15-16 1s turn by the right, finishing between 4s;

17-18 1M turn 4L by the left WHILE 1L continue the running step on the spot;

19-20 1s turn by the right, moving up one place to finish between 3s;

21-24 repeat bars 17-20 with 3L;

25-26 repeat bars 17-18 with 2L;

27-28 1s turn by the right, finishing between 2s;

29-30 1L turn 2M by the left WHILE 1M turn 2L by the left, 2s finishing in 1st place;

31-32 1s turn by the right, moving down one place to finish between 3s;

33-36 repeat bars 29-32 with 3s;

37-38 repeat bars 29-30 with 4s;

39-40 1s turn by the right, finishing in 4th place.

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


Dance Notes

When 9/8 jig tunes are used, there are three running steps to each bar; with 6/8 jigs, there are two steps to each bar.

It is safest to use elbow grip. At a Ceilidh, linked arms may appear to be less demanding but there is a strong temptation for inexperienced dancers to retain that hold for too long.

Although each repeat requires 40 bars, the music usually involves 32 bar tunes; to accommodate this, second couple start on bar 33. For a formal display, 3x32+40 bars are needed so that the last dancing couple can complete their repeat. However, in the more common Ceilidh situation, phrasing is most unlikely to be accurate; the Band usually plays enough music so that every set completes at least one repeat per couple and, ideally, finishes when at least one of the more competent sets is at the end of a repeat.

As with all Ceilidh Dances, one must expect local deviations from these instructions: these may include gratuitous turns by the dancing couple and turning the side dancers on a diagonal (eg., 2M1L and 1M4L in bars 29-30) rather than straight across the set. The new top couple are unlikely to be able to start on bar 33 and timekeeping degenerates into waiting for the beginning of the next 8 bar phrase before starting.

  1-12 While turning each other, 1s move down the set one place to finish between the next couple down.

  5-14 1M must continue the running step on the spot while 1L turns each supporting M in turn.

15-16 1s remain between the 4s during this turn.

17-26 1L must continue the running step on the spot while 1M turns each supporting L in turn.

19-24 While turning each other, 1s move up the set one place to finish between the next couple up.

27-28 1s remain between the 2s during this turn.

29-38 After being turned by the 1s, each supporting couple must finish one place up the set.

31-36 While turning each other, 1s move down the set one place to finish between the next couple down.

39-40 1s make a normal turn, finishing in 4th place.


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Strip The Willow - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Strip the Willow is an old Hebridean weaving dance.

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