Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Proof O' The Pudding

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Proof O' The Pudding (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Lewis N Derrick 1989

1-4 The 1st man and 2nd woman set advancing and turn three quarters round by the left hand, retaining left hands they give right hands to their own partners on the diagonal
5-6 The 1st and 2nd couples balance in line
7-8 The 1st and 2nd couples half turn partners by the right hand into promenade hold facing clockwise round the set, 1st woman and 2nd man make full polite turns; 1st man has his partner on his right, 2nd man has his partner on his left
9-16 The 1st and 2nd couples dance the promenade progression
17-24 The 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples dance parallel reels of three on own sidelines, the 1st and 2nd couples pass right shoulder to begin the reels
25-28 The 2nd and 1st couples dance right hands across
29-32 The 1st and 3rd couples dance left hands across

Repeat having passed a couple

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick 2020)


Dance Notes

Bars 9-16 The Promenade Progression:
The 1st and 2nd couples promenade clockwise in a circle through first and second places one and a half times to change places, dropping hands on bar eight to end on own sidelines, 2nd couple in top place facing down and 1st couple in second place facing up.

Dance Information

This dance, The Proof O' The Pudding, was devised by Lewis Derrick for Carol and Sandy Sandison.

Suggested tune: Oh, She's Comical.

Devised 1989, first published electronically 2020.

Copyright 1989, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.


The dance name comes from the old proverb: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

What is meant by the proverb, is that you have to try out the food to know whether it is good.

This saying is analogous and commonly applied to situations where it is best to try something out first. For example, it is easy enough to devise a Scottish country dance, but to be sure that the dance flows smoothly and everyone ends in the correct places you have to actually try it out. Then you would know "The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

Hasty Pudding (1883) oil on canvas by Gaetano Chierici from the Widener University Alfred O. Deshong Collection.
"Hasty Pudding" Gaetano Chierici (1838-1920), Oil On Canvas, c. 1883


Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Sheets #31, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Image copyright Gaetano Chierici, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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