Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Arms Of St Andrews

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Arms Of St Andrews (R4x64) 4C set Lewis N Derrick 1975
1-16 The 1st and 2nd couples, likewise 3rd and 4th couples, dance the first figure of Petronella. The 1st and 3rd couples begin while the 2nd and 4th couples step up and all set on bars 3-4; on bars 15-16, while the 1st and 3rd couples are setting in original places, the 2nd and 4th couples petronella turn back to their original places
17-20 All clap. The 1st couple advance for one step then cast off three places; the 2nd, 3rd and 4th couples step up with hands joined on bars 19-20
21-24 All clap. The 1st couple advance for one step then cast up three places; the 2nd, 3rd and 4th couples step down with hands joined on bars 23-24
25-26 All set to partners
27-30 The 1st and 2nd couples, likewise 3rd and 4th couples, set and point on the diagonal
31-32 All set to partners
33-36 The 1st and 2nd couples dance half rights and lefts
37-40 The 1st and 3rd couples dance half rights and lefts
41-44 The 1st and 4th couples dance half rights and lefts
45-46 All, on opposite sides in the order 2341, set to partners
47-48 While the 2nd couple turn by the right into promenade hold facing down, the 3rd and 4th couples cross giving right hands to face out and the 1st couple turn by the right into promenade hold facing up, the 2nd man and 1st woman make a full turn so all are on own sides by bar 48
49-56 Retaining promenade hold the 2nd couple dance a reel of three across with the 3rd couple, while the 1st couple do likewise with the 4th couple, to begin the 2nd couple give left shoulders to the 3rd woman while the 1st couple give left shoulders to 4th man; the 3rd and 4th couples, who are facing out, cast up and down, respectively, into the reels and all end in the order 2341 on own sides
57-64 All four couples dance eight hands round and back

Repeat with a new top couple

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick 2020)


Dance Information

This dance, The Arms Of St Andrews, was devised for Tom Rowe and Anne Carstairs who first floated the idea for this dance.

The figures of this dance are based on the heraldic details of the coat of arms of the University of St Andrews.

Thus bars 1-16 represent the two open diamonds (mascles or), bars 17-24 the crescent, bars 25-32 the saltire shape, bars 33-48 the open book and bars 49-64 a (rather fanciful) lion rampant.

Suggested tune: The East Neuk of Fife.

Devised May 1975; first published 1988; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1975, 1988, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


The University of St Andrews is a public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.

It is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and, following Oxford and Cambridge universities, the third-oldest university in the United Kingdom and English-speaking world. St Andrews was founded in 1413 when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy.

St Andrews is made up of a variety of institutions, comprising three colleges - United College (a union of St Salvator's and St Leonard's Colleges), St Mary's College, and St Leonard's College, the last named being a non-statutory revival of St Leonard's as a post-graduate society. There are 18 academic schools organised into four faculties. The university occupies historic and modern buildings located throughout the town. The academic year is divided into two semesters, Martinmas and Candlemas.

In term time, over one-third of the town's population are either staff members or students of the university. The student body is notably diverse: over 145 nationalities are represented with 45% of its intake from countries outside the UK; about one-eighth of the students are from the rest of the EU and the remaining third are from overseas-15% from North America alone.

University Of St Andrews - Information Video

The Arms Of St Andrews
University Of St Andrews
Shield Of The University Of St Andrews


Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Books, Volume 3, Peggy Mcghie's Reel And Other Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original University Of St Andrews article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright University of St Andrews (2019) licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license, via Wikimedia Commons.

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