Copyright; "Canadian Corn Riggs & Australian Ladies

Priscilla M. Burrage

Message 3707 · 25 Feb 1996 19:52:50 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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On Fri, 23 Feb 1996, Kent Smith wrote:

> >Just to test with a recently devised Dance:
> >
> >CANADIAN CORN RIGGS (2 couple dance)
> >1-8: 1C & 2C: Cast behind lines and back (1C lead)
> >9-16: Double figure of 8
> >17-24: 1C & 2C: Down the middle and up (1C lead)
> >25-32: Poussette
> >
> >How many misunderstandings are you able to construct here, Anselm?
> >
> >xxxxxx@XXX.XX
> >
> I don't have my notes at the office, but I believe this is not a recently
> devised dance. While it is a rather obvious variation probably done
> spontaneously many times by many bored 2nd couples, I believe it was first
> published by Robert Campbell as "Riggs of Corn [or Rigs of Corn--can't
> remember which], perhaps in his Glasgow Assembly book. I've never tried to
> confirm but have always assumed that the name was a pun on Bobby Rigs, whose
> challenge to Billy Jean King (do I have my tennis history correct?) was in
> the news about the time Bob published the dance. At least it would make a
> nice story.
> On the other hand, there are enough details missing that this may not be
> Rigs of Corn after all. What does the 2nd couple do after the lead down,
> for instance?
> This example illustrates another problem of people learning and passing on
> dances from crib sheets or notes copied at a class: the original authors
> and sources are lost and dances tend to become either "tradition"--the
> complaint of Jimmy Shand about his music--or "new".
> As to problems of interpretation, I would also wonder which way to turn at
> the end of bar 4: outwards as is usually done, or inwards as is the style
> for Corn Riggs?
> Kent Smith <>

I have in front of me as I type a copy of Glasgow Assembly, parts I & II
and other SCDs, published in 1976 long after Glasgow Assembly "I" was
originally published (it was out of print in the 1960s and early '70s).
danced.) Part II contains a dance called Riggs of Corn.

Re: Riggs I don't know if Bob Cambell was a tennis fan or not, but he
probably devised the dance long before the Riggs-King fiasco.

Here's how he describes the dance Riggs of Corn (and answers Kent's
questions after he read the abbreviated version):
  bars 1-8 First couple, followed by the second couple who curve round
through top place to begin, cast off and dance down behind own lines;
then, turning inward, dance up behind own lines to place with second
couple leading. On the way up second couple dance to the top then curve
round into own place to face out. (Fig. not reproduced here.)
  bars 9-16 First and second couples dance a double figure of eight.
Second couple again finish facing out. (Fig. not reproduced here.)
  bars 17-24 First couple, with nearer hands joined and followed by
second couple who curve up through top place to begin, dance down the
middle and up again with first couple still in the lead. (Second couple
divide to let first couple through then rejoin hands and follow them up.)
  bars 25-32 First and second couples Poussette.
Tune: Corn Rigs

I have reproduced his instructions for two reason: 1) It's a great dance
and I hate to realize that so many versions of it might be floating
around. If you haven't tried it, make a point of doing so. 2) This
exchange of notes one simple (!) dance is the best way I know of to
illustrate why people should make their own crib notes, teachers should
read the original before teaching a dance, and, yes, teachers should try
to keep up to date and know the latest version of the "original" dance.
(Is there a teacher out there who hasn't been burned? My downfall was
that the switch from the "three-point" poussette starting position to the
"parallel" starting position occurred just when I had moved to Vermont,
stopped dancing because of bursitis, children and job, and then
started teaching again after only four years away from good sources.)

Glasgow Assembly II also contains Australian Ladies, which Bob credits to
William Fergusson, who devised it. Program notes often say it is a Bob
Campbell dance. The other little booklet that causes authorship
(devisorship?) problems is James Cosh's 22 + 2. He did NOT devise all
the dances in that book and carefully states who did.

Having said watch your source listing, I would now like thank those who
do list source books in their program annoucements. I really appreciate it!

happy dancing and try Riggs of Corn,
Priscilla Burrage (
Vermont USA (

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