Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Weasel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Weasel
Barry Skelton  Kiwi Book 1990
Reel 8 x 24 bars 3 Couple Repeat 4 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-2   1s 3s set advancing and take hands to finish 1M1L3M3L in balance position on the centreline;

  3-4   1M1L3M3L balance-in-line, releasing hands to finish 1M 3M 2L facing down, 1L 3L 2M up;

  5-12 all dance the weasel reel, finishing in their positions as at bar 3;

13-14 1M1L3M3L balance-in-line, 1L3M releasing left hands to finish;

15-16 1s 3s turn by the right, 3s finishing in places, 1s facing up in allemande hold on the centreline;

17-24 1s2s allemande, finishing 2s1s3s.

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

Dance Notes

  5-12 In the weasel reel, the Mn follow a path made up of a half reel of 4, travelling up on the centreline, and a clockwise chase halfway around the Mn's side of the corners' square WHILE the Ls follow a path made up of a half reel of 4, travelling down on the centreline, and a clockwise chase halfway around the Ls' side of the corners' square. The half reels of 4 overlap to give the semblance of a full reel of 4, albeit with changing dancers.

16-16 Using a left foot step, 2s advance and take allemande hold to finish facing up on the centreline, ready for the allemande.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

The weasel reel figure was devised by Barry Skelton for this dance. He says that the dance name originated from "I've got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and Call It A Weasel!", one of the multitude of quotable lines from the BBC TV series Blackadder.

As suitable music, he recommends that for Calver Lodge, originally on the LP by Jim MacLeod and his Band for RSCDS Book 8.

(Dance information by the deviser, Barry Skelton)

A weasel is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae. The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets and mink.

Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs. The family Mustelidae (which also includes badgers, otters, and wolverines) is often referred to as the "weasel family". In the UK, the term "weasel" usually refers to the smallest species, the least weasel (M. Nivalis).

Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in), females being smaller than the males, and usually have red or brown upper coats and white bellies; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 34 to 52 mm (1.3 to 2.0 in) long.

Weasels feed on small mammals and have from time to time been considered vermin because some species took poultry from farms or rabbits from commercial warrens. They do, on the other hand, eat large numbers of rodents.

They can be found all across the world except for Australia, Antarctica, and the neighbouring islands.

Weasel - Information Video

Least Weasel - Mustela Nivalis

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Weasel article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Keven Law / CC BY-SA (, via Wikimedia Commons.

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