Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Trefoil Badge

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Trefoil Badge
Reuben Freemantle
Reel   3 x 40 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Triangular Set
Numbered clockwise, 1s facing down.

  1-4       1s, taking nearer hands, lead down, cast (1L around 3L, 1M around 2M) and meet;

  5-8       1s, taking nearer hands, lead up between 2M 3L and cast up (1L around 3M, 1M around 2L), finishing in original places;

  9-16     all dance interlocking reels of 3 on the side of the set, giving right shoulder to partner to start and finishing in places, Mn facing in, Ls out;

17-20     all dance one third schiehallion reel, finishing 2s3s1s, i.e., all having moved anticlockwise one couple's place:

    17-18 Ls cast clockwise to partner's place, finishing facing in, WHILE Mn dance left hands across halfway to finish in opposite L's place, facing out;

    19-20 Ls follow their partner's path in the previous two bars, finishing facing out, WHILE Mn cast clockwise one dancer's place, finishing facing in.

21-24     repeat bars 17-20 from new places, finishing 3s1s2s, Mn facing in, Ls out;

25-32     all dance interlocking reels of 3 on the side of the set, giving left shoulder to first corner to start and finishing Ls facing out, Mn facing in, right hands joined with partners, left with corners;

33-34     all set in balance position, releasing left hands;

35-36     all turn partners by the right, finishing 3s1s2s, facing partners;

37-38     all set to partners, finishing facing in;

39-40     all take nearer hands in the circle and set.

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

Dance Notes

This dance was inspired by the elegant interlocking reels in bars 9-24 of Tambourine Reel. It is intended to flow seamlessly from one figure to the next as far as possible so that, at the end of every phrase, the dancers are facing in the correct direction for the beginning of the next phrase.
Before the first chord, make the set a neat circle: 1M at 1 o'clock, 2L at 3 o'clock, 2M at 5 o'clock, 3L at 7 o'clock, 3M at 9 o'clock, 1L at 11 o'clock.
If you are dancing as a M, you should take note of the L three dancers away on your partner's side (if the set is correctly spaced, she should be opposite you); you will have to follow her in the One Third Schiehallion Reels.

    -8     1s finish back in places; all face partners.

  9-16     Pass partner by the right, dance all round the next (opposite) by the left and pass partner by the right.

17-20     One Third Schiehallion Reel is an adaptation of Quarter Schiehallion Reel for a triangular set and requires the same precision of timing; it starts with Mn facing in, Ls out; those crossing the set must dance left hands across halfway to the opposite place.

    -24     Avoid facing partners at this point.

25-32     Pass first corner by the left, dance all round the next (opposite) by the right and pass first corner by the left.

33-34     Keep arms as straight as possible.

35-36     While turning, check that the set is still in its correct position, now with 3s at the top.

38-38     On the left foot step, Mn pull left shoulder back, Ls right.

39-40     While setting in the circle, make whatever slight adjustment is necessary to correct the orientation and spacing.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

This dance is so-named in recognition of the critical importance of the Girl Guide movement to Scottish Country Dancing.

But for Mrs Ysobel Stewart's inspired idea that Scottish Girl Guides should learn and be tested in their native dancing rather than English Country Dancing, the activity which so many of us enjoy might simply have withered away.

Trefoil Badge Image
A Traditional, UK Girl Guide's Trefoil Badge, Ready For Sewing Onto The Blouse

Dance Information by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle.
Image Copyright Reuben Freemantle.

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