Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Apprentice

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Apprentice 40 bar Strathspey for 4 couples Rod Downey The Tuatara Collection
A four couple, 40 bar Strathspey.

1-2 All set taking hands on the sides.
3-4 First and fourth couples cross giving right hands to opposite sides.
5-6 All set taking hands on sides.
7-8 First man and second lady, first lady and second man, third man and fourth lady and third lady and fourth man link.
9-16 Reels of four on the sides finish with 2 facing 1 and 4 facing 3 on the sides.
17-18 All set on the sides, 2's facing 1's and 4's facing 3's.
19-20 Giving hands all set on sides.
21-24 First and fourth couples circle left once round in the middle, pulling back right shoulder on bar 24 to face their "corners" meaning that first man faces second woman, first woman faces second man, fourth man faces third woman and fourth woman third man.
25-28 First man dances out around first lady's place (essentially giving right shoulder to second woman who currently occupies the position) and dances one place around the outside clockwise (thus finishing in fourth lady's original place), and first lady and the fourth couple dance likewise.
The second and third couples dance in passing the others right shoulder, and circle left once round in the middle (as in 21-24 for the other couples) pull back the right shoulder and finish facing the place they came from. (Thus, for instance the second woman will be facing first woman's original place.)
29-32 Repeat 25-28 with the roles reversed and from the progressed positions. That is, the second and third couples will dance out and clockwise one position, while the first and fourth couples dance in and circle to the left once round pulling back the right shoulder on bar 32 and finish more or less facing the place they came from modified as below. The only change is that on bar 32 the first and fourth men and first and fourth ladies should take nearer hands, and this time face out the ends of the set, so that the two men are facing down and the two ladies up.
33-38 First lady and fourth lady dance out of the top between the (standing) third and second men (who are in first place but the second man is on opposite side), and similarly the first and fourth men out the bottom of the set, then cast first couple on the ladies' side and fourth couple on the men's side, give right hand to partner in passing and continue in this direction so that then first man dances around the second man (at the top in first lady's position), first lady down around fourth lady's position (occupied currently by second lady) and similarly the fourth couple on the mens' side, and all begin to dance in across the set, first and fourth men above the first couple's place, and the first and fourth women at the bottom below that fourth couple's place. First and fourth ladies half turn with two hands and similarly fourth and first men half turn with two hands to finish in two lines across. The order across the set will be (beginning on the woman's side) 2,4,1,3 with the men across in first place and the ladies across in fourth place.
39-40 All the men take hands and all the ladies take hands and set in lines across the set.

The dance now begins from the new positions, with the orientation rotated 90 degrees, with the old second couple the new top couple, with the old ladies' side the head of the set. (That is the head of the set is rotated 90 degrees clockwise.)

After 4 times through all will be in original places.

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

Dance Instruction Videos

The Apprentice - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This strathspey, The Apprentice, is a simplified version of The Wizard Of Binghamton and was suggested by Charlotte Williams.

The two versions have the same last 32 bars with only the first 8 bars differing.

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

Published in The Tuatara Collection, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.

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