Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

St Bernard's Waltz (Smith)

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE ST BERNARD'S WALTZ (W16) Round The Room dance
Couples in ballroom hold face anticlockwise round room, Ladies on the outside

1- 8 All in waltz hold take 3 steps (Lady right, Man Left) and stamp both feet, 2 steps in opposite direction then 2 steps towards centre (start Lady right foot, Man left foot)
9-16 All take 2 steps back out and Lady turns under Man's right arm, all waltz round room

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


St Bernard's Waltz
Bill Smith
Waltz n x 16 bars 1 Couple Repeat 1 Couple Set Round the Room Set
Start in waltz hold with L facing inwards, M facing outwards, and progress anticlockwise round the room.

  1-3   Chassé (step, close) anticlockwise three steps (M starting with left foot, L with right);

  4-4   stamp both feet (M starting with right foot, L with left);

  5-6   chassé clockwise two steps (M starting with right foot, L with left);

  7-8   take two steps toward the centre of the room (M starting with left foot, L with right);

  9-10 take two steps away from the centre of the room (M starting with right foot, L with left), finishing by L releasing her left hand from M's shoulder and M his right from L's waist;

11-12 L turn under M's left arm, finishing by taking waltz hold again;

13-16 waltz once round to finish as at bar 1 (making some progress anticlockwise in this).

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

St Bernard's Waltz (Smith) - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Also see the dance St Bernard's Waltz (Leggett) by Harry and Emile Leggett.

This dance, St Bernard's Waltz, is a sequence dance which appeared in many different sources in the mid-20th century, at the height of the Old Time Dancing revival in England.

Some say it was arranged in 1913 by Gilbert Daniels and others that it was Composed by Billy Smith. There is little doubt that St Bernard's Waltz remains one of the most popular sequence dances.


Saint Bernard refers primarily to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), a Christian saint, mystic, and reformer of the Cistercian order.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a towering figure in medieval Christianity, is celebrated for his profound spirituality, theological insights, and pivotal role in the Cistercian monastic movement. Born in 1090, Bernard's influence extended far beyond his lifetime, leaving an indelible mark on the spiritual landscape of the Middle Ages.

Known for his eloquent writings and deep contemplation, Saint Bernard was a mystic whose teachings explored the intimate connection between the soul and God. His work, "On Loving God", remains a classic in Christian mysticism, offering profound reflections on the nature of divine love and the soul's journey toward union with God.

As the abbot of Clairvaux Abbey, Bernard played a crucial role in the development of the Cistercian Order. Under his guidance, the order embraced a return to a more austere and contemplative form of monastic life. The impact of the Cistercians, characterized by simplicity and devotion to prayer, spread across Europe, making Bernard a key figure in the monastic revival of the 12th century.

Bernard's theological prowess was not confined to the monastery. He actively engaged in theological debates, notably defending orthodox Christian doctrine against heresies of his time. His influence reached the highest echelons of the Catholic Church, and he played a key role in the recognition of the Knights Templar.

Canonized in 1174, Saint Bernard's legacy endures as a beacon of medieval Christian spirituality. His feast day, celebrated on August 20th, provides an opportunity for believers to reflect on his teachings, which continue to inspire those on a spiritual journey.

St Bernard's Waltz
Old Time Dance At Trocadero, 1937


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Saint Bernard article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright State Library Of New South Wales Collection [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Saint Bernards, Ceilidh Dance.

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