Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Winsome Reel

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Winsome Reel
Reuben Freemantle
Medley   (S32 + R32) bars   1 Dancer Repeat   1 Dancer Set   Square Set
The solitary dancer starts at the midpoint of first place in a square set; ghosts are similarly in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places. The set size should be such that, with the ghosts replaced by dancers, all could just take hands in a circle without moving inwards.


  1-16 all dance full petronella, finishing in original places, facing in;

17-32 all dance the full onesome reel:

17-18 1D dance to 3G's place WHILE 3G dance to 1D's place WHILE 2G4G exchange places similarly, all passing by the left in the centre and all finishing facing out;

19-20 all cast clockwise one place;

21-32 repeat bars 17-20 three times from new places, all finishing in original places.


33-64 As bars 1-32 of the strathspey.

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

Dance Notes

When performed by a single dancer, it may be helpful to place markers (which must not interfere with dancing) in the ghosts' starting places.
The dance can also be performed with 2, 3 or 4 dancers, replacing the ghosts in the order 3 2 4.

17-18 Do not take hands in the centre.
When dancing with 3 ghosts, follow a path which would not impede them; an obstacle which does interfere with dancing (such as a standard lamp with small base, no shade and the cord wound around the pole or a fairly small pot plant or a peg driven into grass) at the centre point of the set may provide a useful discipline.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

This dance was devised to provide some variety for the solitary dancer during the Covid-19 lockdown in UK; it is so-named because it is intended to meet the same need as the Onesome Reel.

Dance information by the deviser, Reuben Freemantle, 2020.

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