Courage ReelsThe RSCDS prefers the name, Dance to each corner and set, for this 6-bar Figure; while this does describe the movements of the Dancing couple for the first 4 bars, it does not cover bars 5-6 in which they Dance back to the Centre, Pass, Giving right shoulder, and Finish Facing the next Corner position anticlockwise. The name, Courage reels could be disapproved on the basis that it is not a Reel in the usual sense of a Figure but it follows the popular practice of naming a new Figure after a dance (ideally the progenitor) in which it occurs as, for example, Schiehallion reels.
The Scottish Country Dancing Courage Reel Figure occurs in Quick tempo dances and Strathspeys, using the Travelling step and Setting step appropriate to the Tempo.
When performed by 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples after a Progression which has Finished with 2nd couple in 1st Place and 1st couple (ideally right shoulder to right shoulder) Facing their First corners, it consists of:
Second corners Set Facing each other on the Second corners' Diagonal While 1st couple Dance Out to their First corner position (Giving right shoulder to the approaching First corner) and Pull right shoulder back to Finish Facing each other along the First corners' Diagonal While the First corners Dance In towards each other, Pass Giving right shoulder and immediately Turn on the spot slightly more than one quarter to Finish Facing the Second corners in their Starting Places;
Courage Reels - Bars 1-2
these movements are repeated from the new Positions, i.e., the 1st couple (in First corners' positions) Set Facing each other on the First corners' Diagonal While the First corners Dance Out to the Second corners' positions (Giving right shoulder to the approaching Second corner) and Finish Facing each other along the Second corners' Diagonal While the Second corners Dance In towards each other, Pass Giving right shoulder and immediately Turn on the spot slightly more than one quarter to Finish Facing the 1st Couple in the First corners' positions;
Courage Reels - Bars 3-4
these movements are again repeated from the new Positions, i.e., the First corners (in Second corners' positions) Set Facing each other on the Second corners' Diagonal While the Second corners Dance Out to the First corners' positions (Giving right shoulder to the approaching 1st couple) and Finish Facing each other along the First corners' Diagonal While the 1st couple Dance In towards each other, Pass Giving right shoulder and immediately Turn on the spot slightly more than one quarter to Finish Facing the First corners in the Second corners' positions.
Courage Reels - Bars 5-6
In summary, the 6-bar Figure starts with the Dancing couple each Facing one of their Corners and Finishes with them each Facing the same Corner (but not the same Corner position) after all the Corners have moved one Place anticlockwise around the 3-couple Longwise set; it is most commonly repeated three more times so that all four Corners Finish in their Starting Places; when repeated only once, each Corner Finishes Diagonally Opposite his/her Starting Place.
Where Courage Reel occurs in many dances (for example, Burnieboozle), the preceding Figure naturally Finishes with the Dancing couple Giving right shoulder as they each Face a Corner ready to Start this 6-bar Figure, i.e., apart from the overall clockwise rotation, they Start this Figure (as shown by the Dancers' symbols in the top diagram) in the same Position as they will Finish it (as shown by the arrow heads in the bottom diagram). However, in the eponymous dance, Courage Reel, and also in the Strathspey, Foxhill Court, the preceding Figure is Espagnole and so to Start they Give left shoulder to each other before Dancing Out to their Corners' Position.
Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Courage reels, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:
Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Courage ReelsCourage Reels Video Clip
Links To Pages Related To 'Courage Reels'Complex Figures
Flirt And Cast
Kilt Pin Reel
Pass And Turn
Peter White Reel
Sash Pin Reel
Set And Link
Set And Rotate
Theme (Of The Celtic Brooch)
Additional search terms: Dance to Each Corner and Set (MiniCrib).