Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Quarter Schiehallion Reel

A Quarter schiehallion reel is a 4-bar Figure in a Square set; it starts with each Lady on her Partner's right but Facing Out and each Man Facing In and to the right, towards the back of his Second corner (the Lady three Dancers away on his right). Throughout the Figure, he follows that Lady and each Lady follows her own Partner, all using the appropriate Travelling step (Skip change or the Strathspey travelling step). In detail:

Bars 1-2 (see the upper diagram)
each Lady Cast (Pulling right shoulder back) to Finish in her Partner's Place, Facing In and to the right (exactly as he did at the beginning of the Figure) While each Man Dance to the Place vacated by his Second corner, Finishing Facing Out, exactly as she did at the beginning of the Figure;

Diagram, Schiehallion Reel - Bars 1-2. Scottish Country Dance Dictionary

Schiehallion Reel - Bars 1-2

Bars 1-2 of Schiehallion reel in a Square set; 1st couple's paths shown emboldened, the Ladies' broken; arrow heads show the Positions of the equally spaced Dancers at the end of bar 2.



Bars 3-4 (see the lower diagram)
each Man Cast (Pulling right shoulder back) to Finishing Facing In, one Place anticlockwise from his Starting place, While each Lady Dance to the Place vacated by her Partner, Finishing on his right.

Diagram, Schiehallion Reel - Bars 3-4. Scottish Country Dance Dictionary

Schiehallion Reel - Bars 3-4

Bars 3-4 of Schiehallion reel in a Square set; 1st couple's paths shown emboldened, the Ladies' broken; arrow heads show the Positions of the equally spaced Dancers at the end of bar 4.


The path followed in bars 3-4 is exactly the same as in bars 1-2 (but now by the Dancers who have just arrived in the Starting places) and the Direction Faced at the Finish will also be as at the beginning if the Figure is to be repeated; if some other Figure is to follow, the Direction Faced will be appropriate to that Figure, most probably Facing In.

Timing is critical: it is essential that the Dancers are ready and Facing correctly at the beginning of the Figure since there is no possibility of recovery: each Man must Start quickly on bar 1 so that he is well clear of the Man, next clockwise from himself, whose path he must Cross, taking Precedence; similarly, each Lady must Start quickly on bar 3 so that she is well clear of the Lady, next clockwise from herself, whose path she must Cross; finally, it is most important that the Ladies (on bars 1-2) and the Men (on bars 3-4) take the full two bars to complete the Casting loop since they will otherwise be likely to obstruct the Dancers following two bars behind them.


Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Quarter schiehallion reel, 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:

Beekeeper's Medley
Kiwi Magic
Le Moulin Rouge
Nae Chance


Links To Pages Related To 'Schiehallion Reels'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: ¼ Schiehallion, Schiehallion Reel ¼ way (Both in MiniCrib).

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