Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The New Shepherd's Crook

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The New Shepherd's Crook 40 bar strathspey for 3 couples in a 3 couple longwise set. Zsolt Molnar, 2018.

1-8 1st couple set to each other lead down, cross over below 3rd couple and cast up to 2nd place opposite side, 2nd couple step up on bars 7-8.
9-16 1st man with 2nd and 3rd woman, and 1st woman with 2nd and 3rd man dance the "shepherd's crook" as follows: all set on the sidelines, the person on the right of 1st couple dances under the arch made by 1st couple and the person on their left, 1st couple follows under the arch while the left hand person turns under his/her own right arm. Repeat with the dancer on the left of 1st couple leading.
17-20 1st couple dance a half reel of three on the sidelines, giving right shoulder to person on their right to begin.
21-24 3rd couple turn both hands once round, while 1st couple turn both hand one and a half times to finish in a diagonal line.
25-32 3rd and 1st couple dance a half poussette followed by 3rd and 2nd couple dancing a half poussette finishing in order 1, 2, 3.
33-40 All three couples dance six hands right round to the left for 6 bars finishing in order 1,2,3 in the middle facing up. On the last 2 bars 1st couple cast down 2 places, while 2nd and 3rd couple dance up finishing in order 2, 3, 1.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Zsolt Molnar, 2018)


Crib Diagram

The New Shepherd's Crook Diagram
The New Shepherd's Crook - From A Reel Goulash 2

Dance Information

This dance, The New Shepherd's Crook, was devised by Zsolt Molnar for David Hall on the occasion of a "rather special birthday" May 2018.

Dave was the mentor and "shepherd" during Zsolt's SCD teaching certificate.


A shepherd's crook is a long and sturdy stick with a hook at one end, often with the point flared outwards, used by a shepherd to manage and sometimes catch sheep.

In addition, the crook may aid in defending against attack by predators. When traversing rough terrain, a crook is an aid to balance. Shepherds may also use the long implement to part thick undergrowth (for example at the edge of a drovers' road) when searching for lost sheep or potential predators.

New Shepherd's Crooks
New, Carved, Shepherd's Crooks


Published in http://bstk.hu/en.htm
Dance information from A Reel Goulash 2, Budapest Book of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with kind permission.
Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Shepherd's Crook article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright http://bstk.hu/en.htm, reproduced here with kind permission.
Image copyright Philip Halling under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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