Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Stranfasket Hill

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Stranfasket Hill 48 bar Jig for 4 couples Rod Downey The Tuatara Collection
A 48 bar jig for four couples in a longwise set.
Third and fourth couples begin on opposite sides.

1-2 First couple set.
3-6 First couple dance back to back.
7-8 First couple cast to second place, second couple step up.
9-10 Second and first couples take hands and set.
11-16 First couple dances back to back, while the second couple casts off into second place and joins the first couple (2 hands) on bars 13 and 14 as second and first couple dance together back to back. (That is, the second couple will be advancing as the first couple are retiring, second man giving two hands to first woman, and first man two hands with second man.) The second couple finishes the back to back alone as the first couple cast back to original place.
17-24 First and second couples set on 17 and 18, turning to face 1M and 2M, 1W and 2W on sidelines. 1M and 2M and 1W and 2W dance a modified back to back: they pass right shoulders (19-20) making a quarter turn pulling back left shoulder at the end of bar 20, and then retire across the set (21-22) to finish in a line of four with the 2M and 1W back to back in the centre, and 1M facing 2M, 1W facing 2W. One bars 23 and 24 all set.
Fourth couple sets and dances back to back then casts up into third place. Third couple steps down.
25-32 1M,2M,1W,2W dance a reel of four across the set, finishing as they started the reels.
25-26 Third and fourth couples take hands and set.
27-32 Fourth couple dances back to back, while the third couple casts up into third place and joins the fourth couple (2 hands) on bars 29 and 30 as third and fourth couples dance together back to back. (That is, the third couple will be advancing as the fourth couple are retiring, third man giving two hands to fourth woman, and fourth man two hands with third man.) The third couple finishes the back to back alone as the fourth couple cast back to original place.
33-34 All set.
35-36 1M and 2M, 1W and 2W change places LEFT hand and finish facing.
3M and 4M (and similarly 3W and 4W) ¾ of a LEFT hand turn, finishing in a line of four between 3rd and 4th places, 3W and 4M will be back to back, the two women facing and the two men also facing.
37-38 All set.
39-40 1M and 2M change places passing RIGHT shoulder, 1M and 2M both finish facing towards the ladies side, 2M facing (but slightly to the side of) 1W in the center of the line, 1W and 2W changing places RH and finishing facing the Men's side. Similarly 3C and 4C. (Make sure that this last change of place is not a half turn.)
41-44 1C and 2C dance double back to back. That is, each person dances back to back with their partner. The middle people (i.e. 2M and 1W at the top) begin by also passing right shoulder, the middle people avoiding each other when retiring, passing left shoulder, and the second man finishes facing first lady. They will be in a line of 4 the two men facing the ladies' side and the two women facing the men's side. Similarly 3C and 4C.
45-46 All set.
47-48 2C individually dance up to first place, 3C similarly down to fourth place.
First and fourth couples dances RH across half way.
The finishing order is 2,4,1,3 with 1C and 3C on opposite sides.

Repeat 3 more times.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser Rod Downey, Johnsonville SCD Club Tutor)

Dance Instruction Videos

Stranfasket Hill - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

This jig, Stranfasket Hill, was devised 22/11/2011, modified and corrected 26/3/2013, and further corrected for typos 31/1/2019 with corrections from Catherine Livsey.

This was inspired by working through Hugh Foss's fugues in 2011, particularly the fugues in the Glendorrach leaflets. Foss's idea of taking a theme (here clearly back-to-back) and working the whole dance around it was really interesting to our group.

Thanks to the group, especially John Homes and Tom Cole, for suggestions which made the last 4 bars reasonable. Thanks to Catherine Livsey for the diagrams.

This particular dance was inspired by Stroangassel. Stroangassel is a hill in Scotland with a fairy ring. Stranfasket Hill (Alongside Polharrow Burn, West of Knocknalling, Castle Douglas) is very close to Strongassel. Hence the title.

Recommended music is any steady 4 by 48 jig with strong 2 bar phrases. Either RSCDS recording of "Argyle's Fancy" is a reasonable choice.

(Dance information from The Tuatara Collection Of Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey)

Stranfasket Hill
Trig Point On The Summit Of Stranfasket Hill

Published in The Tuatara Collection, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Rod Downey.
Image copyright Bob Peace under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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