Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Shapeshifting

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

SHAPESHIFTING (R8x40) 3C (4C set) Barry Skelton Celtic Book

1- 8 1s ½ turn RH, lead down (2 bars); lead back up, cross and cast (2s step up 7-8)
9-16 1s dance diagonal R&L (1L up. 1M down). (3)1(2)
17-24 1s cross RH, cast right (1M down, 1L up); 1s dance up/down middle and turn ¾ RH to 2nd place opposite side, Petronella turn to 1M between 3s (at top), 1L between 2s at bottom)
25-32 1s dance diagonal R&L up/down (1s cross RH with person to right)
33-40 1s cross up/down RH and cast (1M up, 1L down) to 2nd place own side (6 bars), Bars 39-40: 2s+1s+3s set. 213

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


Dance Information

Shapeshifting is a concept rooted in folklore and mythology, often depicting the ability of certain beings or creatures to alter their physical form.

This phenomenon is not bound by a specific culture and has appeared in various traditions worldwide. The essence of shapeshifting lies in the transformative ability to assume different appearances, be it animals, humans, or other forms.

Throughout history, stories and legends have woven narratives around beings capable of shapeshifting. These tales frequently portray shapeshifters as possessing supernatural or magical powers, enabling them to adapt to different situations or deceive others. The motives behind shapeshifting can vary, ranging from survival and protection to mischief or malice.

One Scottish example of shapeshifting involves the Kelpie, a water spirit that is often depicted as a horse. The Kelpie is said to have the ability to transform into a human form, luring unsuspecting individuals to ride on its back. Once mounted, the Kelpie would drag its victim into the water, where they would be consumed.

Certain reports mention that, when appearing as a human, the kelpie maintains its hooves, drawing associations with the Christian concept of Satan, as hinted at by Robert Burns in his 1786 poem "Address to the Devil."

The Kelpie Of Loch Coruisk
"The Kelpie" Herbert James Draper (1863-1920), Oil On Canvas, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, c. 1903


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Kelpie article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Herbert James Draper, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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