Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Minister On The Loch

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE MINISTER ON THE LOCH (S3x32) 3C set Roy Goldring 24 G and S Dances

1- 8 1s+2s dance Diamond Poussette
9-16 1s dance down for 2 steps, turn 2H, dance up to top and turn 2H remaining in centre facing up
17-24 1s+3s dance double Fig of 8 round 2s with 1s casting to start
25-32 1M+2M turn LH 1½ times while 1L+2L turn RH 1½ times, 1M+3M turn RH 1½ times while 1L+3L turn LH 1½ times

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

The Minister on the Loch
Roy Goldring 24 Graded and Social Dances
Strathspey 3 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 3 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-8   1s2s Strathspey Poussette:

  1-1   1L 2M advance, giving left shoulder, to finish back-to-back on a diagonal line at right angles to the line joining their original places WHILE 1M 2L (starting with the left foot) advance to face partners;

  2-2   taking both hands, 1s 2s set to 1M's 2L's right, turning 16 on the third beat (1M 2L turning on the spot in their own side lines);

  3-3   1s 2s set to 1M's 2L's left, finishing on the centre line;

  4-4   2s 1s turn 56, finishing having almost exchanged places (from the end of bar 1);

  5-6   repeat bars 2-3, 2s dancing as 1s, 1s as 2s;

  7-7   1s 2s turn 23, finishing on the centre line between original places;

  8-8   releasing hands, 1s 2s set retiring to places;

  9-12 1s lead down (nearer hands) and turn both hands;

13-16 1s lead up (nearer hands) and turn both hands, finishing facing out;

17-24 1s3s double figures of 8 around 2s, 3s crossing up to start;

25-28 1M2M turn by the left 1½ times WHILE 1L2L turn by the right 1½ times;

29-32 1M3M turn by the right 1½ times WHILE 1L3L turn by the left 1½ times.

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Minister On The Loch - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Also see the dance Duddingston Loch by E McIntyre.

This is one of the most popular Scottish country dances. It has been in the top ten most frequent dances appearing on dance programmes, for decades.

The Minister On The Loch dance is named after the oil painting, by Sir Henry Raeburn, of the Reverend Robert Walker (born in 1755 at Monkton, Ayrshire, Scotland) skating on Duddingston Loch, on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, better known by its shorter title The Skating Minister, is an oil painting attributed to Henry Raeburn in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. It was practically unknown until about 1949, but has since become one of Scotland's best-known paintings. It is considered an icon of Scottish culture, painted during one of the most remarkable periods in the country's history, the Scottish Enlightenment.

The minister portrayed in this painting is Robert Walker, a Church of Scotland minister who was born on 30 April 1755 in Monkton, Ayrshire. When Walker was a child, his father had been minister of the Scots Kirk in Rotterdam, so the young Robert almost certainly learnt to skate on the frozen canals of the Netherlands. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1770 at the age of fifteen. He married Jean Fraser in 1778 and had five children. He became a member of the Royal Company of Archers in 1779 and their chaplain in 1798.

He was minister of the Canongate Kirk as well as being a member of the Edinburgh Skating Club, the first figure skating club formed anywhere in the world. The club met on Duddingston Loch as shown in the painting, or on Lochend loch to its northeast between Edinburgh and Leith, when these lochs were suitably frozen.

Duddingston Loch - Information Video

The Minister On The Loch
The Minister On The Loch - The Reverend Robert Walker Skating On Duddingston Loch
"The Skating Minister" Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), Oil On Canvas, c. 1790

Duddingston Loch With Church In Center
Duddingston Village And Church Viewed Across Duddingston Loch - Around 2006

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original The Skating Minister article on Wikipedia.
Upper image copyright Henry Raeburn [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Lower image copyright Pinkyogamuffin.

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