Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

West's Hornpipe

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

WEST'S HORNPIPE (R4x32) 4C set 5 Traditional SCDs 1965

1- 8 1s cross down and dance reflection reels of 3 on opposite sides
9-16 1s cross down to dance reflection reels of 3 on own sides
17-24 1s lead down the middle and back to top (1s end facing 2s diagonally)
25-32 1s set to 2s and dance down to 4th place, 4s+1s circle 4H round to left

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


West's Hornpipe
Anon   5 Traditional Scottish Country Dances 1965
Hornpipe   4 x 32 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-8   1s cross down into mirror reels of 3 with 2s3s on opposite sides;

  9-16 1s cross down into mirror reels of 3 with 2s3s on own sides;

17-20 1s lead down;

21-24 1s lead up finishing facing down with 2s facing up;

25-26 1s take nearer hands and set to 2s (no hands);

27-28 retaining nearer hands, 1s lead down quickly to the bottom, finishing facing up;

29-32 4s1s four hands round to the left.

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

Dance Notes

  1-     3s must make it easy for the 1s to pass outside them at the start and so should take nearer hands.

  1-16 3s and 2s take nearer hands when meeting at the top and bottom; 1s take nearer hands at the bottom, right hands at the top when crossing down from own sides, left from opposite sides.

    -24 1s finish in original places - it's very easy to move too far up!

27-28 2s3s4s step up.

    -32 4s, now in 3rd place, must be ready to change to nearer hands and dance in and up as 3s for the next repeat.


West's Hornpipe (3 couple version)
Anon   5 Traditional Scottish Country Dances 1965
Hornpipe   3 x 32 bars   3 Couple Repeat   3 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set

  1-8   1s cross down into mirror reels of 3 with 2s3s on opposite sides;

  9-16 1s cross down into mirror reels of 3 with 2s3s on own sides, all finishing in original places;

17-20 1s lead down;

21-24 1s lead up, finishing facing down with 2s facing up;

25-26 1s set to 2s;

27-28 1M2M 1L2L turn halfway (Mn by the right, Ls by the left);

29-32 1M3M 1L3L turn 1½ times (Mn by the left, Ls by the right), finishing 2s3s1s.

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

Dance Notes

If the recorded music is 4 times through, the original 1s will dance as top couple twice and will be in 3rd place at the end of the dance.

  1-     3s must make it easy for the 1s to pass outside them at the start and so should take nearer hands.

  1-16 3s and 2s take nearer hands when meeting at the top and bottom; 1s take nearer hands at the bottom, right hands at the top when crossing down from own sides, left from opposite sides.

    -24 1s finish in original places - it's very easy to move too far up!

27-32 These are the changed movements; they are not fast and furious as in the 4 couple dance.

27-28 1s exchange places with 2s as they dance between them.

29-32 1s turn 3s 1½ times as they dance outside them, finishing with 1s facing in and up in 3rd place, 3s facing up and out in 2nd place, all ready for the reel at the beginning of the repeat.


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

West's Hornpipe - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

'The Ladies Pocket Book' (1797) contained the original dance, to the tune called 'West's Hornpipe'.
However the R.S.C.D.S. prefered another tune for the dance, 'Robertson's Hornpipe' but retained the original title as though it belonged to the figures.

The term hornpipe refers to any of several dance forms played and danced in Britain and elsewhere from the late 17th century until the present day. It is said that hornpipe as a dance began around the 16th century on English sailing vessels. Movements were those familiar to sailors of that time: "looking out to sea" with the right hand to the forehead, then the left, lurching as in heavy weather, and giving the occasional rhythmic tug to their breeches both fore and aft.



Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Hornpipe article on Wikipedia.
Additional search terms: Wests.

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