Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


Scottish Country Dance Instruction

PORTNACRAIG (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Linda Gaul RSCDS Book 36

1- 8 1s set and ½ turn 2H to face 2s, set and ½ turn 2s (1M+2L turn RH, 1L+2M turn LH) to end in 2nd place on opposite sides. 2(1)3
9-16 2s+1s+3s Adv&Ret 2 steps and circle 6H round ½ way to left. (3)1(2)
17-24 1s pass LSh, dance ½ RSh reels of 4 with 1st corners; pass LSh, dance ½ RSh reel of 4 with 2nd corners, end in 2nd place opposite sides. 2(1)3
25-32 1s dance ½ Fig of 8 round 3s and 2s+1s+3s turn RH

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Portnacraig - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Here's an intriguing name! Is it geographical or historical? Portnacraig is a 32-bar reel devised by Perthshire's Linda Gaul and published in Book 36.

The lady herself needs no introduction. Linda was Chair of the RSCDS organization at Edinburgh around the turn of the century, and would be very clearly identified in any "Who's Who" of celebrities at RSCDS' Coates Crescent, Edinburgh HQ. Currently (2011), she manages the advertising in your Scottish Country Dancer magazine.

Back to Portnacraig! Should you ever have the opportunity of checking out the sights around the delightful town of Pitlochry, which is just off the A9 north of Perth, take a stroll down by the River Tummel and you may come upon the Port Na Craig Inn (Note: three words!) Established in 1650, it is at the site of an old ferry which goes way back to the 13th century when local monks operated the crossing service for the price of a coin dropped into a nearby wishing well. The ferry is long gone, having been replaced by a suspension bridge in 1913.

Does this mean that Linda Gaul may be quite familiar with Pitlochry and environs? Well, it so happens that around every late February/early March, RSCDS holds its Winter School at Pitlochry's Atholl Palace Hotel. What's the betting that Linda has long been a regular attendée?

As for me, I just missed the opportunity to see the Port Na Craig Inn. Kathryn and I actually stopped at Pitlochry in mid-October on the way back from having visited family just up the A9 in Kingussie. With regret, I did not know of the dance or the ferry location at that time, but did you notice how I started this piece a few lines back?... geographical or historical? The answer, as you can see, is both!

The Barry Pipes Canon 045- December, 2011.

Dance information from Set&Link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name?
The Barry Pipes Canon 2005 - 2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved.

Port-Na-Craig is a locality alongside the river Tummel in Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland.

Port-Na-Craig - Information Video

The River Tummel, Looking Towards The Dam At Portnacraig, Pitlochry

Image copyright David Dixon under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.
Additional search terms: Port na Craig.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Portnacraig' page