Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Toast To The Mousies

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

TOAST TO THE MOUSIES (R8X32) 3C (4C set) Sara Gratiot

1- 8 1s dance in and cast 1 place (2s step up), dance down between 3s and cast up to 2nd place
9-16 2s+1L also 1M+3s dance RH across and 1s pass RSh to dance LH across with other couple, 1s end back to back in the middle (1M facing up, 1L down) facing 2s/3s (2s facing down, 3s up nearer hands joined)
17-20 All set, 2s and 3s make arches, dance down/up to meet as 1s dance under arches. Finish 1M in 1st place, 1L in 3rd place (facing down/up) and 2s and 3s back to back in middle nearer hands joined (2s facing up, 3s down).
21-24 All set, 2s and 3s making arches dance to ends and cast into reel while 1s dance under arch passing LSh and finish between end couple facing 1st corner
25-32 2s+1L also 1M+3s dance LSh reels across (2s+3s make loops into the reel) to end 213. All set
Note: after 2nd time through 1s may repeat bars 1-4 to get to 4th place

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


Toast To The Mousies
Sara Gratiot   RSCDS San Francisco Branch, September 2016
Reel   8 x 32 bars   3 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Longwise Set

  1-8   1st couple dance in and slightly up, taking nearer hands briefly, then cast off one place on own sides.
2nd couple step up on bars 3-4.
1st couple, taking nearer hands, dance down between 3rd couple and cast up to second place on own sides.

  9-16 1st woman with 2nd couple, and 1st man with 3rd couple, dance right hands across once round, dancing toward second place on own sides at the end. Then 1st man with 2nd couple and 1st woman with 3rd couple dance left hands across just over once round, to finish with 1st couple back to back in the middle, 1st woman facing down and 1st man facing up.
2nd couple finish in first place in the middle, with nearer hands joined, facing down.
3rd couple finish in third place in the middle, with nearer hands joined, facing up.

17-20 All set, then with skip change of step, invert the positions, 1st man passing under an arch made by 2nd couple, and 1st woman passing under an arch made by 3rd couple.
1st man and woman pull right shoulder back to end in the middle in first and third positions respectively,
1st man facing down and 1st woman facing up.
After making the arch, 2nd and 3rd couples curve toward each other to finish in the middle, with nearer hands joined, 2nd couple facing up and 3rd couple facing down.
2nd and 3rd men are back-to-back, as are 2nd and 3rd women.

21-24 All set, then with skip change of step, 1st couple again pass under arches, and continue dancing forward, passing each other by the left shoulder to finish with 1st woman in the middle between 2nd couple, facing 2nd man, and 1st man in the middle between 3rd couple, facing 3rd woman.
After making the arch, 2nd couple cast away from each other into first place, facing in and down, while 3rd couple cast away from each other into third place, facing in and up.

25-30 1st woman with 2nd couple and 1st man with 3rd couple, dance six-bar reels of three across the set, 1st couple passing their first corners by the left shoulder to begin. 2nd and 3rd couples curve the long way into places to finish in the order 2, 1, 3, on own sidelines.

31-32 Taking hands on the sides, 2nd, 1st and 3rd couples all set.

(Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by the deviser, Sara Gratiot)


Dance Notes

  1-4   On the 3rd, 5th and 7th repeats, the former 1st couple may dance in and slightly up, taking nearer hands briefly, then cast off one place on own sides while 4th couple step up, i.e., repeating bars 1-4 as a neat way of dropping to the bottom.

(Dance Notes by the deviser, Sara Gratiot)


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Toast To The Mousies - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The dance was inspired by the tune "Toast to the Mousies" composed by Keith Smith in 2008. When asked what prompted the tune, Keith responded:
"There have been a number of mice incidents over the years but one in particular was trying to humanely catch and eject small cute field-mice that were making rather loud munching noises in my house while a pal and I were trying to record Scottish music..."

About the dance, Sara shares:
"I first heard Keith's tune "Toast to the Mousies" in a set by the same name on the CD, Highland Shortbread, with Keith Smith and Muriel Johnstone, released by Scotscores in 2009. The tune just makes me happy, and I thought it needed a light, fun, whisker-wiggling, tail-twitching dance. The dance was finally devised for the Sunday morning combined class at the San Francisco Branch's Annual Asilomar Weekend Workshop in 2016.

Bars 9-16 honor our kept creatures that get their exercise on a wheel. Bars 17-24 depict the skittering into and out of mouseholes and hidey-holes."

Mousies Togetherness Image
Mousies


Dance Information by the deviser, Sara Gratiot.
Image Copyright H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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