Unfortunately, the 'Society's' decision to name this sort of reel as 'tandem reels' causes many more problems than it solves.
As usual, the compilers of the 'Manual' have considered only what the Society has published and have not taken into account the wider world of Scottish Country Dancing.
As the only 'tandem reels' published by the Society are of the 'swap over / change over' variety these are what the compilers have described.
This type of reel is merely a subset of a general type of reel which could be described as 'tandem reels' - the reels in "The Saint Nicholas Boat" (which Peter Price describes as 'Shetland reels' and others as 'shadow reels') and those on "The Dancing Master" where only one couple dance 'in tandem'.
Regarding the origins of the reels in "The Dolphin Book", these are derived directly from the reels in "The Flight Of The Falcon" by Barry Priddey.
Barry Skelton was introduced to them by Ian Simmonds (a local Wellington teacher) who taught "The Flight Of The Falcon" at a weekend school in Auckland.
mlamontbrown <email@example.com> wrote:
Peter Price wrote about the use of the word "Tandem" to describe the reels which
occur in such dances as Pelorus Jack and Flight of the Falcon.
While I have a great deal of sympathy with what he says, unfortunately I think we are
too late to influence the discussion.
The latest edition of the RSCDS Manual has a section 6.23.4 on "Reel of three in
tandem" which is pretty clear that this is the term to be used to describe these
The pattern of the reel is the same as that already described with the following
difference: when the dancers in tandem loop round the ends of a reel, the leading
dancer dances slightly wide to allow the dancer behind to take the lead.
This does leave us with the problem of what term to use for reels where the dancers
dance the reel with the couple in tandem (i.e. one behind the other) with the same
person leading for the entire reel (as in "The Dancing Master").