Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Mirror Reels Of Three

The Figure, Mirror reels of three is a common form of a pair of Reels of three, side by side, normally with the axes of the Reels on the Side lines; Mirror reels of three Across The set appear not yet to have been used.

The loops at the adjacent Ends are in opposite directions.

In its simplest form, all Dancers Start from their Original Places and stay on their Own sides, as in bars 9-16 of the Scottish Country Dance Sands of Morar and, from different Places, in bars 9-16 of Helen's Reel.

More commonly, as in bars 1-8 of The Gates of Edinburgh and West's Hornpipe, 1st Couple Cross Down from 1st place to Start the Mirror reels on the Opposite sides; the diagram shows the first 23 of the 3rd bar, by which time the Dancers are all evenly spaced. This 8-bar Figure is often, as in both these examples, followed by Mirror reels of three in which 1st Couple Cross Down from 1st place on Opposite sides to Start the Mirror reels on their Own sides; this combination is sometimes known as Gates of Edinburgh reels or Crossover reels.

Diagram, Mirror Reels Of Three

Mirror Reels Of Three

These Mirror reels of 3 on the Sides show the movements in 1/12 of the full Figure, all having Started from Original Places in the Sidelines. In 8-bar Reels of 3, it is the Dancers' Positions which show the end of the 2nd bar; in 6-bar Reels of 3, it would be the arrow heads.

As with the mirror form of Figures of eight on the sides, the Dancers can, especially in a Strathspey, Take Nearer hands briefly where they meet on the Centre line of The set; in the diagram, 3rd Couple will be Taking Nearer hands, 2nd Couple will be preparing to do so and 1st Couple will just have released Nearer hands (but Right hands if they have just Crossed down from Own sides, Left hands from Opposite sides).

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Mirror Reels Of Three, 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:

Balquidder Strathspey
Crathes Castle
Hamilton Welcome
Jennifer's Reel
Maxwell's Rant
Miss Johnstone Of Ardrossan
Miss Milligan's Strathspey
Reverend John MacFarlane
Silver City

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Mirror Reels Of Three

Mirror Reels Of Three Video Clip

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


Additional search terms: Reflection reels of 3.

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