Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Otters In Kenick Burn

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Otters In Kenick Burn (R8x32) A 32 bar reel for three couples in a four couple set. Murrough Landon.

1-8 1st woman dances down and out between 2nd and 3rd women, crosses below 3rd couple and casts up around 3rd man to end facing 3rd woman while 1st man dances straight across, casts around 2nd woman, crosses down below 3rd couple and chases 1st woman up around 3rd man to end in tandem behind her facing 3rd woman. The 2s step up on bars 7-8.
9-12 1st couple, with 1st woman leading, dance half an alternating tandem diagonal reel of three with 3rd woman and 2nd man giving right shoulder to 3rd woman. 1st man takes the lead and lengthens steps to catch 3rd woman by the right hand in 1st man's place while 1st woman ends facing 2nd woman on the side.
13-16 1st man sets to 3rd woman with right hands joined then turns her to end facing 3rd man while 1st woman dances half a reel of 3 on the side with 2nd couple giving left shoulder to 2nd woman to end in tandem behind 1st man.
17-20 1st couple, with 1st man leading, dance half an alternating tandem right shoulder diagonal reel of three with 3rd man and 2nd man. 1st woman takes the lead and lengthens steps to catch 3rd man by the right hand in 1st womans place while 1st man ends in the centre in 3rd place facing 2nd woman.
21-24 1st woman sets to 3rd man with right hands joined then turns him while 1st man dances half a reel of 3 across with 2nd couple in 3rd place giving left shoulder to 2nd woman. 1st couple end in tandem with 1st woman leading in 2nd place on the women's side.
25-28 1st couple dance across and cast around 3rd man's place to end side by side in the centre facing up. Meanwhile 2nd and 3rd couples set to partners and cross over (no hands) to end facing up and down on the sidelines. Ideally the women start by casting away from each other and cross outside partners whereas the men cross and then cast away from each other into places. This is supposed to represent counter rotating vortices in the water.
29-32 1st couple dance up to the top (side by side, but no hands) and cast to 2nd place on their own sides while 2nd and 3rd couples set and change places on the sidelines (no hands) with 3rd couple casting away from each other first and passing outside 2nd couple who end by casting into place. The final order is 213.

(Dance Crib compiled by the deviser, Murrough Landon, CC BY-SA Jun 2015)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Otters In Kenick Burn - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This dance, Otters In Kenick Burn, was inspired on 14 May 2015 by seeing a pair of otters darting around in the pools and cascades of Kenick Burn (in the grounds of Laurieston Hall) with first one, then the other catching and eating a fish before swimming off downstream.

I believe alternating tandem reels were first invented for dolphins but they do very nicely for otters as well. Here 1st couple are the otters. The supporting couples are rocks in the pools for bars 1-8, then fish being chased in bars 9-24 (lucky 2nd couple escape but the hapless 3rd couple get caught, metaphorically eaten and their remains neatly discarded in the corner - sorry!) and finally in bars 25-32 they are flotsam eddying with little vortices in the wake of the departing otters.

Recommended Music: Robbie over the Waves (Dewar SR6) or Scotland's Gardens (Dewar SR1).

(Dance Information compiled by the deviser, Murrough Landon, CC BY-SA Jun 2015)

Otters In Kenick Burn Image
Otters In Kenick Burn


Image Copyright Murrough Landon, CC BY-SA Jun 2015.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Otters In Kenick Burn' page