Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Dancers' Companions

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

DANCERS' COMPANIONS (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Gaye Collin, 2020

1- 8 1s nearer hands joined dance down, cast up round 3s to 2nd place own side (2s step up); 2s+1s+3s dance ½ mirror reel of 3 on sides (1s in/up, 2s out/down, 3s out/up). 1s end facing 2nd corners
9-16 1s turn 2nd corner RH, partner LH, 1st corner RH, partner LH. 1s end in centre, 1M facing up, 1L facing down
17-24 1M+3s (at top) and 1L+2s (3rd place) dance RH across (2 bars), 3M followed by 1M+3L also 2L followed by 1L+2M chase clockwise round to end (Bar: 23) with 2s in 1st place, 3s in 3rd place and Bar24: 1L dances behind 2L, 1M behind 3M to 2nd place own side
25-32 2s+1s+3s Advance (1 step), pull back RSh and curve out to place (Men face up, Ladies down); All turn partners RH. 2 1 3

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


Dancers' Companions 32 bar Jig for 3Cs in a 4C set Gaye Collin

1- 4 1C with nearer hands joined dance down the middle and cast up round 3C, (2C step up on 3-4, and turn outwards ready for...
5- 8 1C dance inwards to join a half reel of 3 on the sides. 2C start by dancing out and down, 3C dance out and up. 1C finish the reel facing 2nd Corners. Supporting couples' curve into place.
9-16 1C turn 2nd corners RH (2 bars), then give LH to each other curving around each other to face 1st corner. Turn 1st corner RH, and again using LH curve round each other to finish, 1W facing down, 1M facing up in the middle of the set.
17-24 1C dance RHs across, 1W with 2C in 3rd place, 1M with 3C in 2nd place for 2 bars, then drop hands and 2W+3M lead the chase round the set. 2C finish in top place on bar 22 and 3C in 3rd place at the same time. 1C carry on dancing 1W round 2W, 1M round 3M to finish in 2nd place own side, on bar 24.
25-32 2+1+3Cs take hands on the side advance 1 step, dropping hands to finish facing to the right 1 step, (i.e. men down women up) cast back to own side-lines (independently of one another), then turn partner RH for 4 bars.

Repeat from second place.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Gaye Collin, 2020)


Dance Notes

I have often danced in sets with the formation corner partner corner partner, where the whole movement has fallen apart just because, (my own thinking) it is a long way to travel, for the average dancer.
If for example the corners are not responsive in time, or the formation gets off to a slow start, sadly, it becomes very messy.

Bars 9-16 When starting with turning your second corner first, it changes the dynamics all together. The turn in the centre with your partner then becomes more of a curving movement giving us all a little more time to complete the move.

(Dance notes compiled by the deviser, Gaye Collin, 2020)


Dance Instruction Videos

Dancers' Companions - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Recommended tune: The Sunday Class CD by Jim Lindsay track 2 The Globe Inn.
When Gaye Collin offered to dedicate this dance to David Haynes, the leader of the MiniCrib team, and to me, we both felt honoured but a little embarrassed to have been singled out; credit is also due to our teams and to many others.

David Haynes and his colleagues at the MiniCrib Team are continuing the project, started by the late Charles Upton in the early 1990s, to compile abbreviated dance descriptions as an aide mémoire for dancers. There are now over 5,500 cribs in the MiniCrib database which continues to be updated about 9 or 10 times per year. The MiniCrib template for Microsoft Word (free download from the Minicrib website) allows users to produce their own "cribsheets" and search for dances with specific criteria (e.g. reel, jig, strathspey or medley, number of couples, particular figures, etc.) In addition, the complete MiniCrib database can be downloaded as a searchable "book", suitable for almost any device. (DH)

Although mine is the public face of this site, it is very much a team effort. The site would not exist at all without Laurence, the webmaster, who not only designed and maintains it but also carries much of the day-to-day workload. Only a relatively small amount of the material on the site (mainly the definitions of dance terms and my few MaxiCribs) is original to us. We do claim credit for organizing others' material in an accessible way but without their material there would be nothing to organize. While MiniCribs are the major part, we must also recognize Keith Rose for his wealth of crib diagrams (he, in turn, acknowledging F.L. Pilling as the originator of the format). The creators (too many to name but, notably, including the deviser's own local group) of videos to which we link also deserve recognition. Finally, there are the helpful correspondents who enable us to improve the site by alerting us to inaccuracies.

Our, and MiniCrib's, objective is to provide helpful information for Scottish Country Dancers, much as early pocketbooks did but in a modern way. Sometimes the term, Companion, was used for those handy aides-mémoires, as in Thomas Wilson's "Ballroom Companion" of 1816. The deviser was readily persuaded to use "Dancers' Companions" for the dance title with that association and also with the plural form alluding to all who contribute to MiniCrib and to our site.

The screen image below shows our page for the dance, Charles Upton's Obsession, a tribute to the creator of the MiniCrib compilation of dance cribs.

Screenshot of Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary Charles Uptons Obsession page.
Charles Upton's Obsession, SCDD Page


Dance music information by the deviser, 2020.
Dance information by David Haynes, 2020.
Dance information by Reuben Freemantle, 2020.
Image copyright R.F., L.A., Public domain.

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