Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Virginia Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

VIRGINIA REEL (R4x40) 4C set Collins Pocket Ref Book

1- 8 All Adv+Ret 2 steps twice
9-16 All turn partner RH and turn partner LH
17-24 All turn partner 2H and dance DoSiDo
25-32 1s slip step down the centre and back
33-40 1s followed by 2s+3s+4s cast to bottom and 1s form arch as 2s+3s+4s dance under arch and up to top. 2341

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


Virginia Reel
Anon   Collins Pocket Reference
Reel   4 x 40 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-4   All advance and retire;

  5-8   repeat bars 1-4;

  9-12 all turn partner by the right;

13-16 all turn partner by the left;

17-20 all turn partner both hands;

21-24 all dos-à-dos with partner;

25-32 1s slip down the centre and back;

33-36 1s followed by 2s3s4s cast to 4th place and make an arch;

37-40 2s, followed by 3s4s, lead up under the arch to finish 2s3s4s1s.

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


Virginia Reel (3-couple version)
Anon   Collins Pocket Reference
Reel   3 x 40 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-4   All advance and retire;

  5-8   repeat bars 1-4;

  9-12 all turn partner by the right;

13-16 all turn partner by the left;

17-20 all turn partner both hands;

21-24 all dos-à-dos with partner;

25-32 1s slip down the centre and back;

33-36 1s, followed by 2s3s, cast to 3rd place and make an arch;

37-40 2s followed by 3s lead up under the arch to finish 2s3s1s.

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

Dance Notes

  1-40 This is adapted for 3 couples from the standard 4-couple version.


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Virginia Reel - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The Virginia reel is a folk dance dating from the 17th century. As well as being a Scottish country dance it is generally considered to be an English country dance made popular in America from 1830-1890.

Being a popular dance with slight differences in each area there are a large number of dances called the Virginia reel. All versions have similarities, such as the reel figure, but the most commonly danced Scottish Country Dance is shown above.



Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Virginia reel folk dance article on Wikipedia.

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