Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Reels Of Three On The Sides

In Reels of three on the sides, unless specified as Mirror reels of three or Parallel reels of three, the symmetry involves two reflections, one parallel to, and one at right angles to, the axes, which are aligned Up and down.

The primary distinguishing feature is that, at any time, the Middle dancer is proceeding Up in one of the Reels and Down in the other; in Mirror reels of three and Parallel reels of three, both Middle dancers proceed in the same direction. The exact form of the Figure is defined by how it is to be started, usually with the Dancing man and the Dancing lady each Giving right or left shoulder to one of the Corners.

A typical example is in bars 25-30 of many Scottish Country Dances, including The Montgomeries' Rant, General Stuart's Reel and Roaring Jelly, where it is started by the 1st Lady and the 1st Man Giving right shoulder to their 2nd Corners; Diagram 49 shows the Positions in these examples at the end of bar 27, i.e., halfway through the 6-bar Reel by which time the even spacing is well established. Diagonal covering is appropriate for this form, not Mirror covering.


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