Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Elsie's Dance

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Elsie's Dance (R1x96) Sq.Set Lewis N Derrick 1981

1-4 Giving nearer hands to partners the 1st and 3rd couples advance and retire; clapping three times on bar 2
5-8 The 1st and 3rd couples dance four hands round to the left
9-16 The 1st and 3rd couples dance a ladies' chain
17-20 All four women dance right hands across
21-24 All pivot turn partners with left elbow grip
25-32 All repeat bars 17-24
33-40 All four couples dance Elsie's Arches
41-48 All dance eight hands round and back
49-56 The 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 1-8; clapping three times on bar 50
57-64 The 2nd and 4th couples dance a men's chain (men giving left hands to cross in the centre)
65-68 All four men dance left hands across
69-72 All pivot turn partners with right elbow grip
73-80 All repeat bars 65-72
81-88 All four couples dance Elsie's Arches
89-96 All dance eight hands round and back

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


Dance Notes

Elsie's Arches:
This is a circular formation round the set; the 1st and 3rd couples dancing clockwise and the 2nd and 4th couples dancing anticlockwise.
The 1st and 3rd couples always make the arches first.

1-2 The 1st and 2nd couples, likewise 3rd and 4th couples, change places; the 2nd and 4th couples passing under arches made by the 1st and 3rd couples.
3-4 The 1st and 4th couples, likewise 2nd and 3rd couples, change places; the 1st and 3rd couples passing under arches made by the 2nd and 4th couples. All couples are now on the opposite side of the set.
5-8 All repeat bars 1-4 back to original places.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, Elsie's Dance, was devised for Miss Elsie Ritchie of St Andrews (birling Elsie!).

Devised August 1981, revised December 1986; first published 1987; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1981, 1986, 1987, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


The suggested tune for Elsie's Dance is Elsie Ritchie, 48 bar Strathspey by Dave McGregor, who has generously made available the manuscript sheet music shown below.



Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Books, Volume 2, McGhie the Moudie Catcher and Other Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.

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