Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Crescent Reel Of Four

Sometimes Crescent reel of four is called "Banana reel of four".

These are performed by four adjacent Dancers on the Side of a Square or other Circular set. The name recognizes that the line joining their initial Places is an arc of a circle (or, more precisely, three adjacent sides of a polygon) but it is somewhat misleading in a Square set in that it implies that the axis of the Reel is similarly distorted whereas the axis is actually the straight line joining the Starting Places of the Middle two Dancers.

For example, in bars 25-32 of the Scottish Country Dance Strathspey, Sloane Square, 4th man, 1st couple and 2nd lady perform a Reel whose axis is the extended line joining the 1st couple's Places in the Square set While 4th lady, 3rd couple and 2nd man perform a Reel whose axis is the line joining the 3rd couple's Places; 1st couple and 3rd couple Start by Passing Partners By the left.

Diagram, Crescent Reels Of Four In Square Set

Crescent Reels of Four in a Square Set

This shows the paths followed in 2 idealized Crescent reels of four in a Square set after about 2½ bars; the arrow heads show the Positions of the equally-spaced Dancers after another half bar.

The above diagram shows the situation about halfway through bar 27, by which time the Dancers are equally spaced with 2nd lady and 4th man Passing By the left in the Top Reel and 2nd man and 4th lady Passing By the left in the Bottom Reel. The vertices of the shaded octagon are the Starting Places of the Dancers in the 4 couple square set, as in the following diagram.

Diagram, Structure Of Square Set Scottish Country Dancing

Structure Of Square Set

Dancers, Positions and Directions in a 4 couple square set: Corners and Opposites are shown for 1st couple only. The shaded area is defined as the Inside of The set. The arrows are indicators of Direction, only, not paths followed.

In a Triangular set, the term Crescent reel of four is commonly used as a synonym for Interlocking reels on the Sides (see the following diagram); in this case, the axis of each Reel actually is distorted into a crescent shape.

Diagram, Crescent Reels Of Four In Triangular Set

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Crescent reel of four, 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:

Autumn In Pitlochry
John And Ruth's Ruby Wedding
Nova Scotia

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Crescent Reel Of Four

Crescent Reel Of Four Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Reel(s) Of Four'


Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing 'Crescent Reel Of Four' page