Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Search This Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

We hope that you have reached this page as a last resort, having exhausted all the other ways in which you might have found what you seek. If not, we strongly recommend that you make use of the navigation bar buttons on the right hand side of every page.

We recommend this because we know that using the buttons on the right will take you where you want to go far more quickly than using either of the Search Boxes below.

Search This Site With Google

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Search This Site With FreeFind

Here are some of the reasons why the navigation bar buttons should be better for you...
  • Dance cribs, crib diagrams, videos and technical terms are indexed from 0-9 and A-Z. This makes it easier to find exactly what you want:
    for example, to get the crib for Mairi's Wedding: simply click on "Dance Instructions A-Z Dance Cribs", then on "Maa - Mam" and select the name in the list;
    if you choose to type "Mairi's" into the Search Box and then select "Search", you will be offered over 60 mixed results and the crib is not the first.

  • Where a dance has an alternative name, both names are indexed:
    for example, Broun's Reel and Clean Pease Strae both lead to Duke of Perth.

  • Where a technical term has an alternative name, both names are indexed in the Comprehensive DICTIONARY Of Dance Terms:
    for example, Dance to Each Corner and Set leads to Courage Reels.

  • Dances which start with a number in the name are indexed under the numeric and the alphabetic form:
    for example, 10 Ladies Dancing leads to Ten Ladies Dancing.

  • Dance names starting with a single letter (often a personal name initial) are indexed twice unless the alternative spelling would be on the same index page:
    for example, S-Locomotion can be found at the beginning of the S's index page and also where you would expect to find Slocomotion.

  • If you are not absolutely certain how a dance is spelt, A-Z crib index pages will get you to the dance crib far more easily:
    for example, to find the dance which you think is called Mrs Stewart Linnell:
    the index page "Mr - Mz" shows that there is no Mrs Stewart Linnell but that, just a few lines away from where it would have been, there is the correctly spelt Mrs Stuart Linnell;
    if you choose to type "Mrs Stewart Linnell" into the FreeFind Search Box and then select "Search", you will be offered a handful of results, all of which are index pages, with Mrs Stuart Linnell appearing only as an afterthought at the end of the last two.

  • Many different dances have the same name; these are indexed with the deviser's name alongside to aid selection:
    for example, Autumn Leaves by Dempsey, Hay, Keppie or Lataille.

  • We also index other useful compilations including the dances in RSCDS Books and those attributable to the more prolific devisers as well as those (in Alternative Dance Selections) which have the rarer Set formats.

If you have exhausted all other avenues, using one of the Search Boxes should find what you seek, provided we actually have it.

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary is designed to work on a very wide variety of devices, screen sizes and browsers. Providers of third party search functions are not quite so diligent. It is quite possible that for your viewing device you may experience unexpected effects, like opening the results in a different page or not even showing the search box. For this reason we provide you with a choice, in the hopes that one will be right for you.

Using Search This Site With FreeFind

Although this is an immensely powerful tool, it must be used carefully and it does not present results in alphabetical order of page name. FreeFind does not try to help you with misspelt words or by offering alternatives with a similar meaning; it's up to you to be accurate. If you search on a common word or phrase, expect to be inundated; if you search on too precise a phrase or a misspelling, you will miss your objective. Judicious use of the options in "advanced search" (on the results page) will enable you to strike a balance; to check that we haven't spelt a word differently from your way, look at "index" (on the results page).

This Search is particularly useful for finding a dance whose name includes a distinctive word but not at the beginning. For example, searching on "Auchterarder" finds the dance crib, the crib diagram and the videos for the dance, "Ian Powrie's Farewell to Auchterarder"; however, it does also find ten other pages, mostly index pages but also some technical terms and advice pages.

It is also good for identifying those dances with a particular, and preferably rare, characteristic; for example, searching on "10 Bar Phrases", as an "exact phrase" and with the "case insensitive" option, shows nine dances in that format and only five other pages. However, if the preparer had used the expression "10 Bar Music" in his/her crib for a dance, you would not have found it when searching on "10 Bar Phrases". Similarly, if you search for "10 Bar Music" as an "exact phrase", the only page you will be offered is this one.

Using Search This Site With Google

This is also an immensely powerful tool but, like FreeFind, does not offer results in alphabetical order of page name. The Sort by Date option is not useful since the date is that of the most recent update to each page, however trivial.

Google Search is particularly helpful over some misspellings but is less clearly under the user's control; for example, we have no knowledge of what use Google makes of the mass of personal information about each of us which it has accumulated from our search history.

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