Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Alec Hay

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Alec Hay 32 bar Reel for 2 Couples Rod Downey The Johnsonville Collection
A 32 bar hornpipe for 2 couples. Alternative version, a 4 x 32 Hornpipe.

1-2 First and second women dance Meeting Set And Shuttle, to wit:
   1-2 Second woman begins on left foot and first woman on the right, set turning inwards (1L facing down, 2L up) to face and take both hands by the end of bar 2. (The phrasing here is "set on one turning in on two.")
   3-4 The two ladies shuttle step towards the men's side of the set (First woman to the right and second to the left), dropping hands, turning towards each other and springing out on the last bar for one bar of pas de Basque. (That is, for the first lady, slip step R, L, R then pivoting on R springing onto L pulling back RS (L foot comes through the middle) for one bar of pas de Basque; for the second lady, L, R, L, pivoting on L and springing round on R pulling back LS for one bar of pas de Basque (R foot comes through the center)). Ladies finish on sidelines facing the men's side.
1-2 First man begins on right foot sets on bar one and sets to face up on bar two, second man begins on left foot, sets on bar one and faces down on bar two. (It is a good idea for the two men to separate to allow space for the ladies, similarly the ladies on bars 5,6.)
3-4 First man and second men shuttle across the set, first man R, L, R, then pivoting on R, springing onto L pulling back right shoulder, the second man the opposite. Men finish on the sidelines facing the ladies' side.
5-8 Repeat [1-4] with roles changed from opposite sides. (Thus the two men will be travelling between the two ladies.)
9-12 First lady and second man change places turning RH 1½ times. (There is a foot change for second man which could possibly be ignored, and he could dance this left footed.)
13-16 First man and second lady repeat.
17-24 First and second couples dance a modified tourbillon. To wit:
   17-18 First couple using skip change turn 2H for one bar, and then release 1M LH and 1L RH to finish on the mens' side with the first man in 1M place, and 1L in 2M place. Second couple dance similarly, finishing with 2L in second ladies place. Couple will finish with nearer hands joined.
   19-20 All set.
   21-24 Repeat [1-4] finishing with 1C at top with nearer hands joined facing down, and 2C in second place with nearer hands joined facing up.
25-28 First and second couples dance 4 hands round, finishing on sidelines in original places.
29-32 First and second couples set and link.

Repeat, having passed a couple.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser Rod Downey, Johnsonville SCD Club Tutor)

Dance Notes

Note that on the third iteration and thereafter each odd iteration, the men dancing in third man's place and the one in second man's place could take two hands at the end of bar 2 similarly the two ladies in these positions at the end of bar 6.

Alternative Version a 4 x 32 Hornpipe

This could be done as a 4 four dance with the same as above and all four couples (i.e. 1C and 2C; 3C and 4C) dancing to begin, and the men dancing in third man's place and the one in second man's place could take two hands at the end of bar 2 similarly the two ladies in these positions at the end of bar 6.
This couple be done on iterations 1 and 3, with only the middle couples dancing on iteration 2 and 4. The 4C method for 2C dances was a favourite of Alec.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Rod Downey)

Dance Information

This dance, Alec Hay, was devised on 26/7/2017, after re-reading Australian Ladies (Hay).

Alec Hay was a truly fine devisor of dances, and I have incorporated modified versions of two of his ideas in the above.

Meeting Set And Shuttle is one of them, and I introduced this formation in The Fyreladdie, the modified tourbillon is similar to one I first used in Tofino Strathspey.

Recommended tune is Davy Nick Nack played ABAB and a good recording is by Don Bartlett in In Triumph.

If the dance is performed as the alternative a 4 x 32 Hornpipe, I would suggest the recording of Angus Fitchet, The Legendary Angus Fitchet, track 10 (Set of Hornpipes), or Bobby Brown Celtic Fire in the Music Set of Reels 5, track 4, CD 2, (The Fiddler's Contest, etc.)

Dance information from The Johnsonville Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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