Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Interlocking Reels Of Four

Two separate forms of Interlocking reels of four occur in Scottish dance, depending on whether the interlocking takes place in the centre of two Reels (with axes at right angles to each other in a Square set and approximately so in a 4 Couple, Longwise set) or at the Ends.

In the former, the Reels merely overlap and there is no element of sharing of dancers; those who would normally pass By the left in the Middle instead Dance Left hands across halfway with the Middle two dancers in the other Reel as, for example, in bars 17-24 of Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord where one Reel has its axis Up and down and the other Across the Square set. 8 bars are adequate in a Strathspey but the deviser of the Reel, Angus MacLeod, wisely allocated 12 bars (21-32) for the Interlocking reels of four on the Diagonals in the Longwise set, with 4 bars for the loops at the Ends.

Interlocking at the Ends always involves sharing dancers and is almost certainly exclusive to Crescent reels of four.

It is particularly effective in bars 9-16 of the 3 Couple, Triangular set Strathspey, The Wind on Loch Fyne, where 6 Scottish Country Dancers manage to perform three separate Reels of four, each Man appearing to Reel with the three Ladies and each Lady with the three Men; at the start, each dancer passes Partner By the right, passes the next (actually the 2nd Corner) By the left, Dances all round the next (actually the 1st Corner) By the right, passes the next (2nd Corner again) By the left and passes Partner By the right again back to Places. In Diagram 43, the dancers are shown in their Original Places in the 3-Couple Triangular set at the vertices of the shaded hexagon and Facing in the appropriate direction ready to start.

Diagram, Interlocking Reels Of Four

The arrow heads show the situation after 2 bars, at which time 1st Man is passing 3rd Lady By the left (their path shown emboldened) as are 2nd Man and 1st Lady (their path shown emboldened and broken) and 3rd Man and 2nd Lady.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Interlocking reels of four, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:

Angus MacLeod
Argyll Square
Ayers Rock
Glasgow Jubilee
Leslie's Strathspey (Drewry)
Square Cut Diamond

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Interlocking Reels Of Four

Interlocking Reels Of Four Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Reel(s) Of Four'


Additional search terms: Interlocking reels of 4.

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