Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Unsullied Saltire

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Unsullied Saltire
Reuben Freemantle
Strathspey 3 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 3 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-2   1s cast;

  3-4   1s turn by the left to finish 1s left shoulder to left shoulder facing first corner positions, first corners facing across the set, second corners facing each other;

  5-16 all dance the full saltire:

  5-6   1s dance out to first corner positions and finish facing across the set WHILE first corners cross the set and finish facing each other on the second corners' diagonal WHILE second corners advance and turn ¾ by the left to finish facing out towards the next clockwise corner position;

  7-8   all repeat bars 5-6 from new positions;

  9-10 all repeat bars 5-6 from new positions;

11-16 all repeat bars 5-10 from new positions, finishing as at bar 5;

17-20 1s dance half diagonal reel of 4 with first corners, finishing by passing left shoulders;

21-24 1s dance half diagonal reel of 4 with second corners, finishing 3s1s2s, all on opposite sides;

25-28 3s1s set and link for 2;

29-32 1s3s2s chase half way clockwise around the set, finishing 2s3s1s.

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

Dance Notes

  1-2   2s step up.

  5-6   This is the basic, 2-bar element of the saltire.

  5-16 This is the full, 12-bar version of the saltire, six repetitions of bars 5-6, finishing with all six dancers in their starting positions. Throughout, the original first corners dance as a "couple" as do the original second corners and the 1s. Each dancer follows the dancer s/he was facing at the beginning of the figure, repeating that dancer's movement 2 bars later.

    -10 At this point, 1s have exchanged their positions as have the first corners and also the second corners.

    -20 In keeping with the style of the saltire, 1s finish by passing left shoulders.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

This strathspey, The Unsullied Saltire, is so-named because it emphasizes the essential character of the saltire; it uses only the basic 2-bar element of the figure, repeated six times, starting and finishing with the dancers in the "textbook" positions.

A saltire, Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex (X). Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on just such a cross. The word Saltire is based on the Latin "saltare" meaning to dance.

The Flag of Scotland, also known as the Saint Andrew's Cross or more commonly The Saltire (because it has the form of a saltire), is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag, the Saltire differs from the Royal Standard of Scotland in that it is the Saltire which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality. It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.

The Saltire National Flag Of Scotland
The Saltire - National Flag Of Scotland

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Saint Andrew's Cross Saltire article on Wikipedia.

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