Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Bruce's Men

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

BRUCE'S MEN (S3x32) 3C set Roy Goldring Scotia Suite

1- 8 1s+2s circle 4H round to left, 2s followed by 1s dance down between 3s and cast up (2s to top place and 1s to 2nd place)
9-16 1s dance diagonal R&L (1M down, 1L up) (3)1(2))
17-24 1s dance ½ Figs of 8 (1L up round 3s, 1M down round 2s), all 3 couples set and ½ turn partner RH, remaining in centre facing up ready for...
25-32 3s+1s+2s dance Allemande ending with 1s casting to 3rd place, 3s dancing up to 2nd place. 231

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Bruce's Men - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

It would be easy to assume that Bruce's Men were Robert the Bruce's followers. In fact, as has been pointed out by Professor David MacDonald of Aberdeen University, the dance was devised to recognize the centenary of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition of 1902-1904 which was led by William Speirs Bruce.

Bruce's Men refers to the members of that expedition, some of whom may be seen in this picture outside the stone hut, known as Omond House. It was erected in 1903 on Laurie Island in the South Orkney Islands to house shore-based members of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition.

Note that this dance was first published in "The Scotia Suite of Scottish Country Dances" By RSCDS and RSGS in 2002, followed by...

"Scottish Country Dances In Diagrams" Edition 8 Published by F L Pilling and Successors in 2004
"Graded and Social Dances 3-16" Published by Roy Goldring in 2008 - see below
"Leaflet Dances 1964-1998 And Other Dances" Published by RSCDS in October 2014
"Scottish Country Dances In Diagrams" Edition 9 Published by F L Pilling and Successors in 17th December 2017

Recommended Music: Bruce's Men by Muriel A Johnstone.

Bruce's Men
Some Of Bruce's Men In Scotia Bay, The South Orkney Islands, c. 1902-1904

Note that this exact dance was subsequently republished in "Graded and Social Dances 3-16" Published by the deviser Roy Goldring in 2008 under the name Caerlaverock Castle, however the dance is mostly known by the original name, Bruce's Men.

Caerlaverock Castle (from "caer laverock", "lark castle") is a moated triangular castle (the only triangular castle in the country) first built in the 13th century, located on the southern coast of Scotland, 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) south of Dumfries, on the edge of the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve.

Caerlaverock was a stronghold of the Maxwell family from the 13th century until the 17th century when the castle was abandoned. It was besieged by the English during the Wars of Scottish Independence, and underwent several partial demolitions and reconstructions over the 14th and 15th centuries.

Today, the castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and is a popular tourist attraction, protected as a scheduled monument and as a category A listed building.

Caerlaverock Castle - Information Video


Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Scottish National Antarctic Expedition article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Caerlaverock Castle article on Wikipedia.
Upper image copyright (cropped) Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Image copyright Archie Cochrane under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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