Andrew Buxton is quite correct that, although the "overtaking" in Pelorus
Jack is the result, it is not, if phrased well, the action taken. I have
told dancers that if they simply think of the dancing couple as dancing
partial concentric circles around the corner position, the "overtaking" will
We have also done Pelorus as a 3X strathspey in a three-couple set, altering
the last 4 bars such that the dancing-couple man leads the woman curving
around the woman's side to 3rd place while 3rd couple spirals up to 2nd
place. When doing this for demonstration, I have told the viewers about the
dolphin Pelorus Jack, who led ships to safety, and thus to view the male
dancer as the (presumably male) dolphin and the woman as the ship (commonly
referred to as "she") and to watch for the alternation as the dolphin leads
the ship and the ship then goes astray with the dolphin attempting to
reëstablish its lead, and that, in the aforementioned version, the dolphin
ultimately leads the ship to safe harbor, yes, A TOTAL FABRICATION on my
part! (It's amazing to me what we're all able to squeeze out of this one
Dick Goss, who also lives here in Southern California, has expressed the
notion that "overtaking" as passing is a Britishism (someone recently stated
"Briticism"--I think I like that better), while for an American it is merely
coming up even. Not for this American: as long as I have driven (good
grief, four decades now!), to overtake is to fully pass.
For Ben Stein, though I have certainly witnessed the curved leaping of
dolphins, I believe that I have yet to see any two leaping simultaneously in
partial concentric circles.
Yes, most cloverleaves are of the three-leaf variety, but I suppose SCD-ers
must view themselves (ourselves) as "lucky," since a "cloverleaf reel" has
always, at least from what I've experienced, carried the implication of
"four." Anything truncated from that, as in Polharrow Burn, "I've always
heard as "3/4 of...".
I truly had to laugh out loud at Dick Goss's "pousette" pun (small cat),
particularly having experienced the Dutch common term (and often given name)
for a cat as "poes," which carries the same pronunciation as "pous(ette),"
i.e., rhyming with juice or loose. The "small cat" notion had never occurred
Still no answer to my inquiry about the name origin of Saint Nicholas Boat,
only Anselm's self-admitted speculation. The author of the dance must have
had something in mind. I suppose I could stop being lazy and go digging for
original instructions, but with all of the accumulated knowledge out there,
somebody must just KNOW.