Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


Scottish Country Dance Instruction

KERFUFFLE (R3x40) 3C Triangular set Ruary Laidlaw, 2018

1- 8 1s lead down, cross and cast (1M behind 3s, 1L behind 2s) back to place (bar 6) and turn RH to bring 1M into centre ready for...
9-16 Men dance LH across and RH across back to place while Ladies chase clockwise round back to place
17-24 Ladies dance RH across and LH across back to place while Men chase clockwise round back to place
25-32 All couples set, rotate and dance in tandem to next place to left (Men lead); all couples turn RH to face in
33-40 All join hands in circle, dance in 2 steps, raise arms and "Hooch" and retire; all turn partner RH (4 bars). 312

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

Kerfuffle A 3 x 40 bar reel or jig for three couples in a triangular set.

Skoosh (Figure 1)
Bars 1 - 8 The first couple lead with the right hand through between the second and third couples for two steps, cross over and dance back to place on bar 6.
They then turn with the left hand to finish:
 Man ready to dance a right hand wheel with the other two men.
 Lady ready to dance a chase with the other two ladies anticlockwise.

Shoogle (Figure 2)
Bars 9 - 16 The three men dance a right hand wheel once round and back with the left hand to place, while the three ladies chase round the outside of the set to their right - anticlockwise - back to place. The ladies have to dance this in a leisurely fashion so that they don't arrive back to place too soon.

Bars 17 - 24 The three ladies then dance a left hand wheel round back with the right hand to place, while the three men chase round the outside of the set to their left - Clockwise, back to place.
(Note: on bar 17 the ladies dance behind their partner to enter their wheel.)

Shuffle - (Set and Rotate - Progression) (Figure 3)
Bars 25 - 32 All three couples join inside hands with their partners only and set once facing into the centre.
All six dancers then drop hands and rotate and dance on for two bars in tandem to the next place on their left in the set, men leading.
On bars 5 - 8 each couple then turn each other once round with the right hand for four bars to finish facing into the centre. Men begin the turn by pulling their right shoulder back and dancing in.
All three couples have now progressed one place round to their left.

Bars 33 - 40 All three couples hold hands in a circle and dance two steps into the middle of the set, raise their arms and "Hooch" and retire for two steps.
They then turn their partner for four steps with the right hand to finish ready to start again. The new first couple retain right hands ready to start again.

Repeat the dance again with a new couple in top place.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Ruary Laidlaw, October 2018)

Dance Instruction Videos

Kerfuffle - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

At the Lochiel Club earlier this year (2018) Helen Smythe, our principal teacher, had just finished putting us through Hugh Foss's Fugal Fergus and made the comment that it was a bit of a kerfuffle - in other words some of us had stuffed it up! She followed this up with, "Oh, that would be a good name for a dance!"

So here it is - after several metamorphoses!

Recommended Music: Salute To Bath by Jim Muir and his Band.

(Dance information by the deviser, Ruary Laidlaw)

Kerfuffle is a word used to describe a disturbance, fuss or commotion, especially one caused by a dispute or conflicting views.

Skoosh (or scoosh) is an onomatopoeic word used to describe the sound made by a squirt or splash (of liquid), or the swish of something passing at speed (especially after rain).

Shoogle means to sway, shake, or rock backwards and forwards. Shoogly is used to describe an object that is shaky, rickety or unsteady.

Shuffle means to reorganize, rearrange, or restructure something. For example, to change the order of a pack of cards.

Hooch is a noise made as an exclamation of exhilaration or excitement, often heard uttered by the male dancers during a Scottish Highland reel.


Here is the original crib (with all the figures) for Kerfuffle by Ruary Laidlaw, also available as a .pdf Kerfuffle (Portable Document Format).
Image copyright Ruary Laidlaw, 2023.

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