Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Teviot Bridge Reconstructed

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Teviot Bridge Reconstructed
Reuben Freemantle   Minimally adapted from Teviot Bridge, RSCDS Book 5
Jig   8 x 24 bars   2 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Longwise Set

  1-8   1s turn by the right 2½ times, finishing on opposite sides, facing down;

  9-12 1L2M 1M2L turn by the left 1½ times on the sides, finishing Ls facing in, Mn out;

13-14 2s1s dance one quarter of ladies' chain finishing facing partner on the sides, 2M 1L in original places;

15-16 2M turn partner by the left to finish facing her across the dance in 2nd position, 2L with back to the centreline WHILE 1M turn partner by the left to finish facing her across the dance in 1st position, 1M with back to the centreline, and all change to both hands joined with partner;

17-24 1s2s dance borders' poussette with the first step extended to finish in the correct positions.

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


Dance Notes

  1-8   The phrasing is at an intermediate speed; take 3 bars for the full turns and 2 bars for the final half turn and finish facing down.

  9-12 The speed is again intermediate; cover in the turns and Mn finish facing out.

15-24 These are the changed figures.

15-16 This movement is closely similar to that in Teviot Bridge but both couples finish closer to the centreline.

17-24 This is borders' poussette with a minimal modification to the first step, only:

17-17 1s 2s dance a slightly longer step than normal to finish 1s on Mn's side of the centreline, 2s on L's, 1L's and 2M's backs touching the centreline;

18-18 1s 2s turn ½ with both hands so that 1s finish straddling 1st position, 2s straddling 2nd position.

19-19 a slightly longer step than in poussette so that 2s finish straddling 1st position, 1s straddling 2nd position;

20-20 2s 1s turn ½ with both hands so that 2s finish in line across in 1st position, 1s in 2nd position, 2L 1ML with backs to the centreline;

21-21 2s 1s dance inwards to finish straddling the centreline, a shorter step than in poussette;

30-30 2s 1s turn with both hands one quarter only, all finishing on the centreline facing partner and releasing hands;

31-31 all dance a backward, right foot step, pulling right shoulder back, to finish facing in, halfway to the sideline;

32-32 all set retiring to the sideline, as in poussette.


Dance Information

This dance is a derivative of Teviot Bridge which is intended to avoid the gratuitous complication of the modified poussette in bars 17-20 of the original while minimizing the changes. Recognizing that the Teviot Bridge is within 10km of the English border, the local variant, borders' poussette, is preferred for the final 8-bar figure since it requires only minimal modification in the first bar and explicitly avoids any foot changing for the men. The dance retains the 24 bar repeat length of the original and so can be danced to the same music; indeed, a set of like-minded dancers could elect to perform it at an event, probably unnoticed by spectators watching other sets struggle with the original.

The title, The Teviot Bridge Reconstructed, is an allusion to the need, at the beginning of the 19th century, to replace the old Kelso Bridge (which is about 1km downstream of the Teviot Bridge and below the confluence of the River Teviot with the River Tweed) with what has become known, after the designer, as Rennie's Bridge. Unlike the eponymous dance, the Teviot Bridge has not actually needed replacement or major repair since its construction a few years before the failure of the old Kelso Bridge.

See Rennie's Bridge for a more extensive modification of the original dance which is more suitable for the less experienced but has a 32 bar repeat length.

Teviot Bridge
Teviot Bridge Near Kelso
The last bridge over the Teviot before it joins the Tweed, built in 1795 by William Elliot, designed by Alexander Stevens


Image copyright Jim Barton under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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