I agree with what seems to be a developing consensus so far: that the RSCDS
description of "dolphin reels" simply as tandem reels is surprising,
inaccurate, unfortunate, and worthy of change as soon as possible.
Particular dances published by the RSCDS aside, of the dances generally "out
there" and being danced (certainly by RSCDS groups as well), there seem to be
more of them with what we appear to agree that the term SHOULD describe than
with "dolphin reels." Another among them is The Huntsman, on our (San Gabriel
Valley) branch's current annual list. Furthermore it does not strike me that
in this neck of the woods (Southern California) I personally have heard the
term tandem reels used to describe anything other than reels and three with two
dancing as one and without change in the leader-follower circumstance.
In my own class I have on occasion used "overtaking tandem" to describe
"dolphin" reels in terms of what actually occurs, but my dancers would never assume
the "dolphin" aspect if I simply said "tandem." Another difference is that
"dolphin" reels more typically have a "cloverleaf" aspect than do ordinary