Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Marie Curie's Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Marie Curie's Reel (R8x40) 3C (4C set) Lewis N Derrick 1988

1-4 The 1st and 2nd couples advance and retire on the diagonal; all clapping three times on bar 4
5-8 The 1st and 2nd couples dance right hands across halfway, then, giving right hands to partners, cross over to own sides
9-16 The 2nd and 1st couples repeat bars 1-8 back to original places; the 1st couple retaining right hands to end facing in and down while the 2nd couple end facing out and up
17-24 The 1st couple, followed by the 2nd couple who dance up the sides to begin, lead down the middle, cross over below the 3rd couple and cast up round them, taking right hands again they lead up the middle, cross over and cast off on own sides to end with 1st couple in second place and 2nd couple in first place
25-28 The 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples, with hands joined on the sides, advance and retire; all clapping three times on bar 28
29-32 The 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples, giving right hands, turn partners one and a half times to opposite sides
33-40 The 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples repeat bars 25-32 back to own sides

Repeat having passed a couple

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


Dance Notes

This is intended to be a rumbustious ceilidh dance suitable for use at fund-raising events where dancers may be wearing outdoor shoes.

There is no setting involved and either running step or skip change of step can be used throughout, likewise right elbow grip can be used for 'birling' during the pivot turns on bars 29-32 and 37-40.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, Marie Curie's Reel, was devised to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marie Curie Memorial Foundation (1948-1988).

Suggested tune: Timour the Tartar.

Devised 1988; first published 1989; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1988, 1989, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


Marie Curie is a registered charitable organisation in the United Kingdom which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families.

It was established in 1948, the same year as the National Health Service.


Marie Skłodowska Curie, born Maria Salomea Skłodowska (1867 - 1934), was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.

She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

Marie Curie was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements include the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

Marie Curie - Information Video

Marie Curie Image
Marie Curie, c. 1911


Dance information from The Marie Curie Suite Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Marie Curie - Charity article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Marie Curie article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Fotograv. - Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalt Stockholm / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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