Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Merchant City

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE MERCHANT CITY (S3x32) 3C Anne Thorn Glasgow 90 Anniversary

1- 8 1s and 2s dance the Espagnole:
 1- 2 1s+2s cross (Ladies lead across RH passing between Men) with Ladies changing places RH
 3- 4 1s+2s cross back (Men lead across RH between Ladies) with Men changing places RH
 5- 8 2s turn RH as 1s turn LH
9-16 1M with 3s, 1L with 2s dance RH Across, 1s pass by right; 1M with 2s, 1L with 3s dance LH Across. 213
17-24 1s and 3s dance the Rosette:
 17-20 1s and 3s set, turn partner RH ½ way, face partner, drop hands, pull back RSh and cast to opposite sides (partner's place)
 21-24 1s and 3s dance clockwise ½ way round to new positions. 231
25-32 2s, 3s and 1s dance 6H round and back

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Merchant City - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This strathspey, The Merchant City, was devised by Anne Thorn for the 90th anniversary of the RSCDS Glasgow Branch. The continental trade routes in the city of Glasgow, which prospered due to the Glasgow Merchants and Tobacco Lords, are reflected in the figures in the dance.

The Merchant City area of Glasgow was formerly the residential district of the wealthy city merchants in the 18th and early 19th centuries, particularly the Tobacco Lords from whom many of the streets take their name.

As the Industrial Revolution and the wealth it brought to the city resulted in the expansion of Glasgow's central area westward, the original medieval centre was left behind. Glasgow Cross, situated at the junction of High Street, Gallowgate, Trongate and Saltmarket was the original centre of the city, symbolised by its Mercat cross. Glasgow Cross encompasses the Tolbooth Clock Tower; all that remains of the original City Chambers, which was destroyed by fire in 1926.

Moving northward up High Street towards Rottenrow and Townhead lies the 15th century Glasgow Cathedral and the Provand's Lordship. Due to growing industrial pollution levels in the mid-to-late 19th century, the area fell out of favour with residents. From the late 1980s onwards, the Merchant City has been rejuvenated.

The Merchant City
Tolbooth Steeple At Glasgow Cross, Merchant City, Glasgow, Scotland.

Image copyright Postdlf from w [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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