Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Sash Pin Reel

Like the Kilt pin reel, the Sash pin reel is an 8-bar Figure for 3 Scottish Country Dancing Couples, all moving at once and all Finishing where they Started. The Dancing couple, followed 2 bars behind by the main Supporting couple, Travel on a path which is a combination of a Half reel of four and a clockwise Chase halfway around the Corners square; the secondary Supporting couple Set and Turn so that they do not impede the Chasing Dancers before returning to their Starting positions.

There are two distinct forms: in the St Andrew's Cross form, the axis of the Half reel of four is on either the First or the Second corners' Diagonal; in the St George's Cross form, the axis of the Half reel of four is either on the Centre line or Across the set.

The Dancing couple will not necessarily be Partners, especially in the St George's Cross form. The precursor Figure should leave them in the Centre of the Corners square Facing the main Supporting couple.

The St Andrew's Cross form of the Sash Pin Reel

The St Andrew's Cross form occurs four times in succession in Mary MacNiven's Sash Pin with the Dancing couple starting each Sash pin reel Facing their First corners, their Second corners, their Partner's First corners (Third corners) and their Partner's Second corners (Fourth corners), in turn. The first of these, starting on bar 9, follows a Progression which will have left 2nd Couple in 1st Place and 1st Couple in the Centre of the Corners square Facing their First corners (the main Supporting couple); in detail:

Bars 1-2
1st Couple Dance one quarter of a Diagonal reel of four with First corners While Second corners Set Facing each other;

Bars 3-4
1st Couple Chase Across the set to Partner's Second Corner's Position While First corners complete the path of the half Diagonal reel of four (but with no Dancer approaching) While Second corners Advance to take right hands;

Bars 5-6
1st Couple Chase on the Sides to Partner's First corner's Position While First corners Chase Across the set to the Second corners' positions While Second corners Turn by the right halfway to Finish each Facing his/her own Corner position;

Bars 7-8
1st Couple Advance and Turn by the left ¼ to Finish Facing Second corners' positions While First corners Chase on the Sides and Second corners Dance Out to Finish with the Corners all in their Starting positions, Facing Diagonally In.

Note that this particular Finish by the 1st Couple is intended to leave them Facing Second corners' positions ready to repeat the Figure with Second corners as the main Supporting couple and First corners as the secondary Supporting couple.


Sometimes a different way of describing a dance can be helpful. The following is Laurence's alternative description of The St Andrew's Cross form of the Sash pin reel from the Dancer's perspective:
The Dancing couple (1st Couple) Dance ¼ of a Diagonal reel of four with their First corners, then Chase clockwise 2 Places and Turn by the left ¼ in the Centre of The set to Finish Facing their Second corners.
The First corners perform a Half diagonal reel of four on the First corners Diagonal line then Chase clockwise 2 Places to Finish in their Starting Positions.
The Second corners Set to each other, then Turn by the right to Finish in their Starting Positions.

The St George's Cross form of the Sash Pin Reel

The St George's Cross form occurs four times in succession in St George's Cross with the Dancing couple (1st Man and 3rd Lady) starting each Sash pin reel Facing Up and down to their Partners, Across to the 2nd Couple, Up and down to the other's Partner and Across to the 2nd Couple, in turn. The first of these, starting on bar 9, follows Figures which will have left 2nd Couple in 2nd Place on Opposite sides, 1st Man back to back with 3rd Lady in the Centre of the Corners square Facing Up to his Partner, 3rd Lady Facing Down to her Partner (1st Lady and 3rd Man are the main Supporting couple); in detail:

Bars 1-2
1st and 3rd Couples Dance one quarter of a Reel of four on the Centre line While 2nd Couple Set Facing each other;

Bars 3-4
1st Man and 3rd Lady Chase clockwise around the Corners' square to 2nd Place on Opposite sides While 1st Lady and 3rd Man complete the path of the Half reel of four (but with no Dancer approaching) While 2nd Couple Advance to Take Right hands;

Bars 5-6
1st Man and 3rd Lady continue to Chase clockwise around the Corners' square to the Centre line, 3rd Lady at the Top, 1st Man at the bottom, While 3rd Man and 1st Lady Chase clockwise around the Corners' square to 2nd Place on Opposite sides While 2nd Couple Turn by the right halfway to Finish each Facing his/her own Starting Position;

Bars 7-8
3rd Lady and 1st Man Advance and Turn by the left ¼ to Finish on the Centre line, Facing Own sides, While 1st Lady and 3rd Man continue to Chase clockwise around the Corners' square to the Centre line and 2nd Couple Dance Out to Finish with the Supporting couples all in their Starting positions.

Note that this particular Finish by the 1st Man and 3rd Lady is intended to leave them Facing Across the set ready to repeat the Figure with 2nd Couple as the main Supporting couple and 3rd Man and 1st Lady as the secondary Supporting couple.


Sometimes a different way of describing a dance can be helpful. The following is Laurence's alternative description of The St George's Cross form of the Sash pin reel from the Dancer's perspective:
The Dancing couple (1st Man and 3rd Lady) Dance ¼ of a Reel of four on the Centre line with their Partners, then Chase clockwise halfway around the Corners' square and Turn by the left ¼ in the Centre of The set to Finish Facing their Own sides.
The main Supporting couple (1st Lady and 3rd Man) perform a Half reel of four on the Centre line then Chase clockwise 2 Places to Finish in their Starting Positions.
The Second corners Set to each other, then Turn by the right to Finish in their Starting Positions.
In derivative forms of the Sash pin reel, it may be necessary to change the Turn by the right halfway by the secondary Supporting couple to Turn by the left halfway so that they Finish Facing appropriately for the next Figure.

Note that the Kilt pin reel is essentially a reverse form of the Sash pin reel with the Half reel of four replaced by the half Reverse reel of four, clockwise by anticlockwise and left by right.


Links To Pages Related To 'Sash Pin Reel'

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