Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Turning The Key

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Turning The Key A 32 bar Reel for 3 couples in a 4 couple longwise set.

1 - 8 First and second couples dance chain progression - 1st and 2nd couples turn right hand ¾, 1st man and 2nd lady turn left hand 1½ while partners dance clockwise half way round, 2nd couple turn ¾ right hand to progressed places while 1st couple finish facing second corners.
9 - 12 First man dance half reel of three with 2nd couple while first lady dance half reel of three with 3rd couple, first couple give right shoulder to 2nd corners to start and finish in second place on opposite sides.
13 - 16 First man gives left shoulder to 3rd man and dances a half reel of three with the two men on the ladies' side while first lady does the same with the two ladies on the men's side.
17 - 20 All set and link for 3.
21 - 24 All set and link for 3.
25 - 32 Six hands round and back.
Repeat having passed a couple.

(Dance Crib compiled by the deviser, Brian Charlton, 2000)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Information

Music: A suitable recording is The Caretaker from The Barmkin and other Leeds Branch Dances

I (Brian Charlton) have often used the recording of 'The Caretaker' by Muriel Johnstone for 8x32 bar reels without suggested music. I wanted a dance to fit the music, so devised this dance.

Why the name 'Turning The Key'? A Caretaker could be a Porter. In my past, I played the part of the Porter in Macbeth and one line says 'if a man were a Porter at Hell Gate, he would have old turning the key'. The suggested music is, therefore, 'The Caretaker' by Muriel Johnstone.

Hells Gate Image
Hells Gate


Dance Information by the deviser, Brian Charlton.
Image Copyright Tormod Sandtorv

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