Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Cat Among The Pigeons

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Cat Among The Pigeons (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Lewis N Derrick 1986

1-4 The 1st man and 2nd woman, likewise 2nd man and 3rd woman, advance setting and giving both hands change places (setting steps) to end with 1st man and 3rd woman back to back in the centre, facing up and down respectively, with 1st and 2nd women on the sides at the top facing down and 2nd and 3rd men on the sides at the bottom facing up
5-8 The 1st and 2nd women with the 1st man, likewise the 3rd woman with 2nd and 3rd men, form a circle and dance three hands round to the left to end as they began on bar 4
9-16 While the 1st and 2nd women dance rights and lefts with the 2nd and 3rd men beginning by giving right hands on the sides, dancing to the right around their own partner's position to begin the 1st man and 3rd woman dance figures of eight across, the 1st man dancing around the 1st couple's positions while the 3rd woman dances around the 3rd couple's positions.
All end back on the sidelines in the order 1st woman, 3rd woman, 2nd man on the women's side opposite 2nd woman, 1st man, 3rd man on the men's side
17-18 All join hands on the sidelines and set
19-20 The 1st man and 3rd woman turn one another three quarters round by the left hand to end in a diagonal line with the 2nd couple (who are in first corner positions)
21-22 The 1st man and 3rd woman join right hands with the 2nd couple and all balance in line
23-24 The 1st man and 3rd woman drop left hands and turn the 2nd couple into the centre by the right hand. The 2nd couple join left hands, the 3rd woman returns to her own place and the 1st man passes through his own place as he dances into the progression
25-32 The 1st and 2nd couples change places with the Tournée progression

Repeat having passed a couple.

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

Dance Notes

In this dance the Tournée flows from the preceding movement in the following way.

On bar 25 the 1st man dances into the centre of the set pulling back his left shoulder to end facing the men's side of the dance; while he does this, his partner advances to meet him and they take promenade hold facing the men's side of the dance.

At the same time the 2nd couple turn one another half round by the left hand and take promenade hold facing the women's side of the dance.

After this bars 26-32 are exactly as in a normal Tournée progression.

For detailed instructions on the phrasing of this figure as devised by Robert Campbell, Ontario, see RSCDS Book 23, No. 2 [Alltshellach] (or, more conveniently, The Tournée (RF)).

(Dance notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

This dance, The Cat Among The Pigeons, was devised for Kate and Dermot Murphy.

Suggested tune: Don Hornpipe.

Devised November 1986; first published 1987; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1986, 1987, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.

The Cat Among The Pigeons
The Cat Among The Pigeons

Image copyright Guilhem Vellut from Paris, France / CC BY (, via Wikimedia Commons.

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