Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Gay Gordons

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

GAY GORDONS (M16) Round The Room
Round the room dance, Couples facing anticlockwise around room

1- 4 All in Allemande hold walk forward 4 steps, all turn about and walk backwards (same direction) 4 steps
5- 8 Repeat clockwise
9-16 All Men set as Ladies dance under Man's right arm, all polka round the room

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

Gay Gordons
Anon Guide To SCD (ex-Collins Pocket Reference Book)
March n x 16 bars 1 Couple Repeat 1 Couple Set Round the Room Set
This is the ceilidh version, not strict RSCDS.
Start with all couples facing anticlockwise around the room, each L on M's right.

  1-2   Taking allemande hold, march forward for 3 paces and turn on the spot halfway under the raised arms on the 4th pace to face backwards, L on M's left;

  3-4   march backward for 4 paces (still travelling anticlockwise);

  5-6   march forward for 3 paces (travelling clockwise) and turn on the spot halfway under the raised arms on the 4th pace to face anticlockwise, L on M's right;

  7-8   march backward for 4 paces (still travelling clockwise), finishing with M facing L, dropping left hands and retaining hold with right hand above L's head;

  9-12 M set twice (or just stand) WHILE L set twice, turning on the spot under his right hand;

13-16 taking waltz hold, polka once round (making some progress anticlockwise around the room in this) to finish facing as at bar 1.

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Gay Gordons - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This is the ceilidh version, not strict RSCDS.

The Gay Gordons is a popular dance at céilidhs and other kinds of informal and social dance. It is an "old-time" dance, of a type popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which every couple dances the same steps, usually in a circle around the room.

The name also alludes to a Scottish regiment, the Gordon Highlanders, a British Army infantry regiment from 1881 until 1994. The regiment took its name from the Clan Gordon and recruited principally from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland.

Usually danced to a 2/4 or 4/4 march like 'Scotland the Brave' or the tune 'The Gordon Highlanders' composed by James Scott Skinner in 1915 and dedicated to P.M. George S. MacLennan.

The Gordon Highlanders
Gordon Highlanders Royal Guard Posing At Redford Calvary Barracks, 1961

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Gay Gordons article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright tormentor4555 Creative Commons Licence 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Gay Gordons' page