Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Miss Gibson's Strathspey

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

MISS GIBSON'S STRATHSPEY (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Derek Haynes RSCDS Leaflet Dances 18

1- 8 1s+2s set, turn partners 2H opening out into 4H round
9-16 1s+2s dance the Knot, 1s turn LH to end facing 1st corners
17-24 1s turn 1st corners RH, partner LH, 2nd corners RH and partner ¾ LH finishing in middle facing opposite sides ready for...
25-32 1s dance RH across, (1M with 3s and 1L with 2s), pass partner RSh and dance LH across with other couple, 1s end in 2nd place. 213

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

Miss Gibson's Strathspey
Derek Haynes Leaflet
Strathspey 8 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 4 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-2   1s2s set;

  3-4   1s 2s turn partners both hands;

  5-8   1s2s 4 hands round to the left, finishing in places;

  9-16 the knot for 2 couples:

  9-10 1s 2s turn partners halfway by the right, finishing facing down in allemande hold;

11-11 2s turn ¼ and dance out to the Ls' side finishing facing out WHILE 1s dance down one place;

12-12 2s turn ¼ and dance up on the Ls' side WHILE 1s turn ¼ and dance out to the Ls' side finishing facing out;

13-13 2s 1s release right hands and 2s lead up and turn ¼ by the left WHILE 1s turn ½ by the left, finishing 2L2M1L1M on the Ls' side line, 2M in 1L's place, 1M in 2L's, all facing in;

14-14 retaining left hand hold, 2s 1s dance in toward the centre line, Mn turning their partners ¼ by the left;

15-16 retaining left hand hold, 2s 1s turn by the left, 2s finishing on own sides in 1st place, 1s facing first corners;

17-24 1s turn first corners by the right, partners by the left, second corners by the right and partners by the left;

25-28 2s1L 1M3s right hands across, 1s pass giving right shoulders;

25-32 2s1M 1L3s left hands across, finishing 2s1s3s.

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

Dance Notes

  9-12 This is not the same movement as bars 1-4 of allemande "upside down".

    -13 At the end of this bar, 2s1s should be in the Ls' side line facing in (cf. the 5th bar of allemande).

13-16 For the first half of this slow turn, the Mn are almost turning on the spot, gracefully wafting their partners to the Mn's side of the centre line. 1s normally finish in 2nd place; the extra turn to face first corners is a modified ending to suit the next figure.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Miss Gibson's Strathspey - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Miss Gibson's Strathspey was written for Lieutenant-Colonel Muriel Gibson (1912-2005), soldier, dancer, scottish nationalist and former secretary and president of the RSCDS.

It seems incongruous that a very lively energetic person would have a slow elegant strathspey written for her?

The music for this dance is The Music of Spey (James Scott Skinner), but a tune written for her (but not for this dance) is "The Colonel is a Lady", to acknowledge a frequent problem with "Dear Sir" correspondence addressed to the female Col Gibson.

Born in Glasgow, Gibson attended the High School for Girls, before working in the Education Department of Glasgow City Council. She joined the National Party of Scotland in 1932, and then the Scottish National Party upon its formation, and was briefly detained at the start of World War II on account of her membership. In later life, she claimed to have been kept under surveillance for several years; however, she went on to serve in the Voluntary Aid Detachment and then the Women's Royal Army Corps in Africa, Germany and Italy. Although she left at the end of the conflict, she soon rejoined and eventually rose to Lieutenant-Colonel: the second-highest rank of any woman in the British Army at the time.

Back in civilian life, Gibson worked for Ferranti and the Red Cross before becoming organising secretary of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. She also served two stints as National Secretary of the SNP, and stood unsuccessfully for the party at the 1970 general election in Edinburgh West.

Miss Gibson
Grave of Lieutenant-Colonel Margaret Muriel Gibson, St Ninian's Churchyard, Stirling, Scotland

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Muriel Gibson article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Stephencdickson, Creative Commons Licence 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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