Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Take It Or Leave It

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

Take It Or Leave It (S1x80) Sq.Set Lewis N Derrick 1976

1-8 All pass partners giving right hands, turn the next person by the left hand, pass partners giving right hands and turn corners by the left hand
9-10 Taking right hands with partners, all advance to the centre of the set and join left hands with corners
11-12 Releasing partners' right hands while retaining corners' left hands, all retire to the sidelines
13-16 Retaining corners' left hands to begin, all dance a half grand chain to opposite sides. On the last right hand with partners the 1st and 3rd couples turn into promenade hold facing anticlockwise while 2nd and 4th couples return to sidelines
17-20 Dancing behind the 4th and 2nd couples respectively, the 1st and 3rd couples promenade anticlockwise halfway round the set (back to their own original places), then the 1st and 3rd couples continue their anticlockwise promenade, this time dancing in front of the 2nd and 4th couples respectively, so that the 1st and 3rd men pass left shoulders in the centre
21-22 While the 1st and 3rd men turn once with left hands, the 1st and 3rd women dance a loop on opposite sidelines through 3rd and 1st women's places and casting by the right into 3rd and 1st men's places respectively
23-24 Giving right hands, the 1st and 3rd couples turn partners half round so that the women are in the centre facing their partners on opposite sidelines
25-32 Passing partners right shoulders to begin, the 1st and 3rd couples dance a reel of four up and down the dance, ending on opposite sidelines
33-48 Taking promenade hold with partners, all dance a 'cloverleaf' figure anticlockwise around the set taking two bars to dance to the next woman's place, all four men passing left shoulders in the middle, and a further two bars to loop round by the right, from the woman's place to the man's place, on the sidelines
49-52 The 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 17-20 (anticlockwise promenade)
53-54 The 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 21-22 (men turn while women loop)
55-56 The 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 23-24 (partner half turn)
57-64 The 2nd and 4th couples repeat bars 25-32 (reel of four across the set)
65-72 All repeat bars 1-8 (pass and turn)
73-80 All repeat bars 9-16 (back to original places) retaining partners' right hand at the end

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


Dance Notes

Bars 33-48 effectively trace the path of Schiehallion Reels in promenade hold.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Lewis N Derrick)


Dance Information

This dance, Take It Or Leave It, was devised for all those who express indifference to new dances!

Suggested tune: Blin' Jamie.

Devised August 1976, revised December 1986; first published 1987; republished electronically 2020.

Copyright 1976, 1986, 1987, 2020 Lewis N. Derrick.

Take It Or Leave It Image
Take It Or Leave It, 1917


Dance information from The McGhie Scottish Country Dance Books, Volume 2, McGhie the Moudie Catcher and Other Scottish Country Dances, reproduced here with the kind permission of the deviser, Lewis N Derrick.
Image copyright Internet Archive Book Images / No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons.

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