Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Dashing White Sergeant

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE DASHING WHITE SERGEANT (R32) Round The Room RSCDS Book 3
Round the room dance, 3 facing 3

1- 8 All circle 6H round and back
9-16 Centre dancer sets and turns 2H person on right, sets and turns 2H person on left (popular variation - turn person on right RH, turn person on left LH)
17-24 All dance reels of 3 with centre dancer passing LSh with person on right (popular variation - RSh to person on right)
25-32 All Adv&Ret, advance to meet next group of 3 dancers (1 group of 3 passing under arches made by opposite group)

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


The Dashing White Sergeant
Anon   RSCDS Book 3
Reel   n x 32 bars   2 Threesome Repeat   2 Threesome Set   Progressive Round the Room Set
This is the informal version. 1M 1LR (on his right) and 1LL (on his left) face 2L 2MR (on her right) and 2ML (on her left), 1s going clockwise, 2s anticlockwise, around the room.

  1-8   1s2s 6 hands round and back;

  9-12 1M1LR set and turn by the right WHILE 2L2MR set and turn by the right;

13-16 1M1LL set and turn by the left WHILE 2L2ML set and turn by the left;

17-24 1s 2s reels of 3 across (1M1LR 2L2MR giving right shoulder to start);

25-28 1s 2s advance and retire;

29-32 1s pass under arches made by 2s (giving right shoulder) to meet the next threesome.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


Dance Notes

29-32 Arches made by 2s who are going anticlockwise.

This is the most common informal version. Local variations are often encountered at ceilidhs in Scotland with, for example, the reels replaced by chains.

If there is only room for a line of dancers, the threesomes reaching the end turn about and wait once through for the next threesome to approach.

In the RSCDS version, all turns are with both hands and the reels start with the left shoulder, i.e., as in the RSCDS version of The Eightsome Reel, and there are no arches.


The Dashing White Sergeant - RSCDS version
Anon   RSCDS Book 3
Reel   n x 32 bars   2 Threesome  Repeat   2 Threesome  Set   Progressive Round the Room Set
1M 1LR (on his right) and 1LL (on his left) face 2L 2MR (on her right) and 2ML (on her left), 1s going clockwise, 2s anticlockwise, around the room.

  1-8   1s2s 6 hands round and back;

  9-12 1M1LR set and turn both hands WHILE 2L2MR set and turn both hands;

13-16 1M1LL set and turn both hands WHILE 2L2ML set and turn both hands;

17-24 1s 2s reels of 3 (1M1LR 2L2MR giving left shoulder to start);

25-28 1s 2s advance and retire;

29-32 1s 2s pass each other (giving right shoulder) to meet the next threesome.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

The Dashing White Sergeant - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The origins of this tune and dance are not Scottish at all. The tune was composed by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (who also composed "Home Sweet Home"); and the words are by General John Burgoyne. It was first published in 1826 and is influenced not only by the Scottish reel but also by Swedish country dances. This popular easy dance is nevertheless found boring by some, hence its unofficial titles of The Dashing White Sturgeon, and The Revolving White Detergent!... More seriously, in Britain it is the regimental march of the Royal Berkshire Regiment; and in the USA, West Point graduates march to the tune at their passing out parade. Often performed at Ceilidhs.
(Dance information by Sir Christopher MacRae, KCMG.)

The title of this dance, The Dashing White Sergeant, comes from The Dashing White Sergeant - Song traditionally attributed to the 18th century General, John Burgoyne, set to music by the English composer, Sir Henry Rowley Bishop in 1826.

Chorus
A dashing white sergeant I'd march away, march away, march away, march away.
March away, march away, march away, march away, march away, march away.

Better known lyrics, were written by the Scottish Composer, Sir Hugh S. Roberton (writer of Mairi's Wedding), who founded the Glasgow Orpheus Choir.

The Dashing White Sergeant Song - Information Video

Dashing White Sergeant Image
The Crew Of "Battlin' Bitch", A Consolidated Liberator B Mark VI Of No. 159 Squadron RAF Study Maps By The Nose Of Their Aircraft, 1941-1945
They are, (front row, left to right): Sergeant J F Barnett, Sergeant G W H Moth, Sergeant D C Donovan
(back row): Sergeant J D L Willshire, Sergeant K R Baverstock, Sergeant F Holroyd, Pilot Officer N F Robinson, Sergeant R A Croft


Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Dashing White Sergeant article on Wikipedia.
Image Copyright Royal Air Force official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

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