Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Jumping Joan

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Jumping Joan (What You Will) (J3x32) 3D Triangular set Lewis N Derrick 1990
This is a dance in triangular formation for three dancers in any gender combination

1-8 All dance three hands round and back
9-12 All set then the 1st dancer dances down the set under an arch formed by the 2nd and 3rd dancers who dance up *
13-16 All set then the 2nd dancer dances right across the set under an arch formed by the 3rd and 1st dancers who dance left
17-20 All set then the 1st dancer dances up the set under an arch formed by the 2nd and 3rd dancers who dance down
21-24 All set then the 2nd dancer dances left across the set under an arch formed by the 1st and 3rd dancers who dance right
25-32 All set, dance right hands across one and a third times round and set again, having progressed one place clockwise

Repeat twice more from new positions each time

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


Dance Notes

1st person at the top, then count around the set clockwise for 2nd, 3rd.

* The person dancing under the arch always casts to the right to help form the next arch while the arch makers always cast away from one another.
On any repetition only the 1st and 2nd dancers dance under arches - the 1st dancer down and up the set, the 2nd dancer across the set each time.
After skip-change casting the setting is used to position the dancers in the triangle ready for the next arch.
Note that the arches in bars 9-24 are successively aligned up/down, across, up/down and across the dance; each is rotated 90° clockwise from the position of the preceding arch, not 120° as the triangular set format might suggest.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, Jumping Joan, was devised to commemorate the playwright W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911), who used this title for an entertainment given by Jack Point and Elsie Maynard in The Yeomen of the Guard.

Suggested tune: Mr Morrison of Bognie.

Devised 1990, first published electronically 2020.

Copyright © 1990, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


In the 1980s I was asked by Rowena Kelley to devise some dances for odd numbers of people so that she would still be able to start her Maidenhead class on those occasions in the winter when not enough folk had turned up to make full four-couple sets.

I produced several dances for three and five single dancers that contained 'proper' figures, not just exercise routines, in either triangular or 'W' formation sets.
The progressions were clockwise round the triangle or zig-zag up the longwise 'W' set.

How many of these oddball creations ever saw the light of day in Berkshire I don't know and I never saw fit to enquire!

The Triangular Suite Of Scottish Country Dances leaflet contains the three triangular dances;
Jumping Joan (Jig)
Kelley's Aye (Reel)
Sir David Lindsay Of The Mount's Strathspey (Strathspey)

The reel was originally published in print in the fifth McGhie Booklet in 1992. The jig and Strathspey are published here for the first time.

Jumping Joan Image
The Yeomen Of The Guard Poster By Dudley Hardy, c. 1897


Dance information from The Triangular Suite Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Image Copyright (cropped) Dudley Hardy (1867-1922) / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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