Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Spoke

The Figure The spoke is so-named because it represents the spokes of a wheel in bars 25-32 of Johnnie's Welcome Hame (appropriate to the dedicatee who was a cycle dealer and repairer).

In the original form, The spoke is a succession of Balance in line Figures in a Longwise set, starting on the First corners' Diagonal and moving anticlockwise to the Second corners' Diagonal and to Partner's Diagonals in turn; it takes 2 bars of Pas-de-basque for each Diagonal and so 8 bars in all in the full form.

The Figure is sometimes started from a different Diagonal and sometimes does not involve all four Diagonals. Since the basic Figure is Balance in line, The spoke cannot be danced with the Strathspey setting step and so it is suitable for Quick tempo dances only.

The Figure usually arises after the standard Progression in an Active set of 3 Couples has moved 2nd Couple into 1st Couple's position. 1st Couple, with Left hands joined, must already be in Balance Position with their First corners, as shown in Diagram 50, at the end of the previous Figure.

Then:

Bars 1-2
1st Couple Balance in line with First corners While Second corners Set Facing each other, Finishing with First corners releasing hands with 1st Couple and Facing each other on the Diagonal;

Bar 3
on the right foot step of Pas-de-basque, 1st Couple Turn by the left one quarter and Take hands with Second corners to begin Balance in line with them While First corners Set Facing each other on the Diagonal;

Bar 4
on the left foot step, 1st Couple Balance in line with Second corners While First corners Set Facing each other, Finishing with Second corners releasing hands with 1st Couple and Facing each other on the Diagonal;

Bars 5-6
all repeat bars 3-4 from their new Positions, 1st Couple Balancing in line with Partner's First corners;

Bars 7-8
all repeat bars 3-4 from their new Positions, 1st Couple Balancing in line with Partner's Second corners.

Note that these instructions are slightly at variance with the formal RSCDS teaching (as in the 2005 edition of "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing") where the one quarter Turns by the left by 1st Couple are shown as occurring on the left foot steps (bars 2, 4 and 6) rather than on the more comfortable right foot steps (bars 3, 5 and 7) as described here.


For example, here are some other Scottish Country Dances in which the term, The Spoke, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Dancers' Wedding
Reel Of The Gordon Highlanders
Silver Sands Of Islay

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates The Spoke

The Spoke Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Spoke'

Complex Figures

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