Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Gavin's Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

GAVIN'S REEL (R5x32) 5C Sq.Set Bob Donald Green Lochan
5s in centre, 5M facing 2M, 5L facing 4M

1- 4 5M+2s and 5L+4s dance ½ RH across (2 bars). 5s end on sides (2nd/4th place) as 2s+4s meet in centre and dance ½ LH across (2 bars)
5- 8 5M+4s and 5L+2s dance ½ RH across (2 bars) and 5s turn ¾ LH in centre to end 5M facing 3M and 5L facing 1M
9-16 5s turn corner, partner, corner, partner with 1st and 3rd couples (turning 1M/3M first)
17-20 5M dances ½ reel of 3 with Men in 4th+1st place as 5L dances ½ reel with Men in 2nd+3rd place (pass LSh to Men in 2nd and 4th place)
21-24 5M dances ½ reel of 3 with Ladies in 1st+4th place as 5L dances ½ reel with Ladies in 3rd+2nd place end facing partner in centre
25-32 5s set and ½ turn 2H to face 4th place (original 1st couple), 5s+1s dance ½ R&L to change places

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

Gavin's Reel
Bob Donald Green Lochan
Reel 5 x 32 bars 5 Couple Repeat 5 Couple Set Square Set - 5s inside

  1-2   5L with 4s, 5M with 2s right hands across halfway;

  3-4   4s2s left hands across halfway;

  5-6   5L with 2s, 5M with 4s rights hands across halfway;

  7-8   5s turn ¾ by the left to face 5L up, 5M down;

  9-14 5L1M 5M3M turn by the right, 5s turn by the left, 5L1L 5M3L turn by the right;

15-16 5s turn 58 by the left;

17-20 5L4M3M (5L left shoulder to 4M (in 2nd place)) and 5M2M1M (5M left shoulder to 2M (in 4th place)) half reels of 3;

21-24 5L3L4L (5L right shoulder to 3L) and 5M1L2L (5M right shoulder to 1L) half reels of 3;

25-28 5s set and turn both hands halfway;

29-32 5s1s (1s in 4th place) half rights and lefts.

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

Dance Notes

  1-6   No great rush; all hands across only halfway.

  9-14 This "corner, partner, corner" figure is very quick; use elbow grip.

15-16 This turn is a slow, long arm turn, little more than halfway; elbow grip is a disaster.

17-32 All quite sedate.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Gavin's Reel - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The Gavin of this dance was the youngest son of the deviser, Robert (Bob) Donald. This is an early, if not the earliest, 5 couple square set dance.

Robert Donald co-founded Scottish Dance Archives which published and collected dances from 1972 to 1982 and otherwise supported Scottish country dancing.

The other deviser of this collection, "Green Lochan and Eleven Other Scottish Dances: Dances for 1 to 12 Dancers", was Roy Clowes. The collection was published in May 1971.

Gavin's Reel Crib
Gavin's Reel Crib - Before Minicrib

Image copyright Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary.

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