Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Snake Pass

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE SNAKE PASS (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Norman Churnside Life begins at 40

1- 8 1s+2s dance ½ R&L; 1s+3s dance ½ R&L
9-16 1s cross RH, cast up to 2nd place and dance ½ Figs of 8 round 3s to end facing 1st corner positions
17-24 1s dance ½ diagonal reel with 1st corners, pass LSh and dance ½ diagonal reel with 2nd corners ending with quick LH turn, 1L facing 3s at top, 1M facing 2s in 3rd place
25-32 1s dance the Snake:
 1s dance RH across (1L with 3s and 1M with 2s), 1L followed by 3s also 1M followed by 2s pass LSh diagonally across through 2nd place to change ends and loop round to left to end in 2nd place. 213

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

The Snake Pass
Norman Churnside Life begins at 40
Jig 8 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 4 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-4   1s2s half rights and lefts;

  5-8   1s3s half rights and lefts;

  9-12 1s cross by the right and cast up to 2nd place;

13-16 1s cross down into half figures of eight, finishing facing first corner positions (M to M, L to L);

17-20 1s half diagonal reel of 4 with first corner positions;

21-24 1s half diagonal reel of 4 with second corner positions, followed by a quick turn halfway by the left to finish on the centre line, L above M;

25-28 1L3s (at top) 1M2s (at bottom) right hands across, 1s finishing left shoulder to left shoulder, facing second corner positions;

29-32 the snake:
giving left shoulder to the approaching dancers, 1L, followed by 3L3M, chase through 3M's place and 3L's place to 2L's place WHILE 1M, followed by 2M2L, chase through 1L's place and 1M's place to 2M's place, finishing 2s1s3s.

(MAXICRIB. Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

20-21 1s give left shoulders.

    -28 If you were with 1L in the hands across, prepare to follow her into the snake and similarly for those with 1M.

29-32 This figure is often called "The smoke" (after Whistlin' in the Kitchen where it also appears). It is important to phrase this correctly without cutting corners:
1L must take 1 bar to reach 3M's place, 1 bar to the centre line, 1 bar to 3L's place and 1 bar to 2L's place;
1M must take 1 bar to reach 1L's place, 1 bar to the centre line, 1 bar to 1M's place and 1 bar to 2M's place;
the corners must take 2 bars to cross the set when going across and when going diagonally.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

The Snake Pass - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The Snake Pass is the name given to the higher reaches of the A57 road where it crosses the Peak District between Manchester and Sheffield in the north of England.

More specifically, the name usually refers to the section between the town of Glossop and the Ladybower reservoir, where the road passes over the high ground between the moorland plateaux of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow (the highest point is 512 metres (1,680 ft) above sea level).

The road was first built as a toll road in 1820 as the most direct route between the two cities. In the 20th century the more northerly route of the Woodhead Pass, which is less steep and at a lower altitude, became the primary road link between Manchester and Sheffield.

The name of the road does match its winding route, but actually derives from the emblem of the Snake Inn, one of the few buildings on the high stretch of road. In turn, the pub's name and sign was derived from the serpent on the Cavendish arms of the Duke of Devonshire. In recent times, the Snake Inn was renamed the "Snake Pass Inn", so the Inn is now named after the road, and not the other way round, as was originally the case.

The Snake Pass - Information Video

Snake Pass Inn
Snake Pass Inn

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Snake Pass article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Gary Barber under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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