Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Virginia Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

VIRGINIA REEL (R4x40) 4C set Guide To SCD (ex-Collins)

1- 8 All Adv&Ret 2 steps twice
9-16 All turn partner RH and turn partner LH
17-24 All turn partner 2H and dance DoSiDo
25-32 1s slip step down the centre and back
33-40 1s followed by 2s+3s+4s cast to bottom and 1s form arch as 2s+3s+4s dance under arch and up to top. 2341

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


Virginia Reel
Anon   Guide To SCD (ex-Collins Pocket Reference Book)
Reel   4 x 40 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Longwise Set

  1-4   All advance and retire;

  5-8   repeat bars 1-4;

  9-12 all turn partner by the right;

13-16 all turn partner by the left;

17-20 all turn partner both hands;

21-24 all dos-à-dos with partner;

25-32 1s slip down the centre and back;

33-36 1s followed by 2s3s4s cast to 4th place and make an arch;

37-40 2s, followed by 3s4s, lead up under the arch to finish 2s3s4s1s.

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


Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams


Dance Instruction Videos

Virginia Reel - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The Virginia reel is a folk dance dating from the 17th century. As well as being a Scottish country dance it is generally considered to be an English country dance made popular in America from 1830-1890.

Being a popular dance with slight differences in each area there are a large number of dances called the Virginia reel. All versions have similarities but the most commonly danced Scottish Country Dance is shown above.


This dance predates the ride, Virginia Reel, an older style of spinning roller coaster characterized by spinning circular "tubs" that zig-zagged down a flat-bottomed track.

The Virginia Reel was designed by Henry Elmer Riehl, who named the ride after his daughter, Luna Virginia Riehl.

The first Virginia Reel was built in 1908 at Coney Island's Luna Park, New York, where Henry Riehl was superintendent. The last full-sized Virginia Reel was located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England until it closed in 1982.

Original fairground ride, Virginia Reel
Virginia Reel, Charlotte, New York, c. 1910


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Virginia reel folk dance article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

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