strathspey Archive: Reelers?

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Reelers?

Message 15591 · Freeman/Pavey · 24 Jan 1999 16:43:50 · Top

No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".
I've seen them refered to in a number of messages but have no idea of
the dancers or the practice.
Are reelers a UK phenomenon?
Still curious,
Susan, Maberly, Ontario.
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Reelers?

Message 15592 · Ian Price · 24 Jan 1999 19:26:18 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".<

Salmon fishermen.

-2chter

Reelers?

Message 15593 · RuddBaron · 24 Jan 1999 20:27:23 · Top

In a message dated 1/24/99 12:26:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
IanPrice@compuserve.com writes:

<< Salmon fishermen. >>

--- Like the ones that dance against the flow of the dance? :)

s/RBJ

Reelers?

Message 15595 · Val Stannard · 24 Jan 1999 22:10:06 · Top

Hi Susan - I am in the UK and have never come across the term 'reelers' -
interesting to know if anyone does respond

Val

-----Original Message-----
From: Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: 24 January 1999 14:46
Subject: Reelers?

>No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".
>I've seen them refered to in a number of messages but have no idea of
>the dancers or the practice.
>Are reelers a UK phenomenon?
>Still curious,
>Susan, Maberly, Ontario.
>--
>http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
>Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario
>
>--
>Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
>
>

Reelers?

Message 15598 · Ron.Mackey · 24 Jan 1999 23:22:17 · Top

> Hi Susan - I am in the UK and have never come across the term 'reelers' -
> interesting to know if anyone does respond
>
> Val
>
Hi, ladies
I understand that they dance 'informally' (just get through the
dance somehow) and never can be bothered to dance anything as
cissyfied as a strathspey. :)

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Reelers?

Message 15605 · kerstin kuhn · 25 Jan 1999 11:05:33 · Top

I understood Reelers to be a young and exuberant lot who dance Country and
Ceilidh dances, birl and spin a lot and don´t care about correct steps
(wearing boots etc.) If I remember rightly, the new Collins guide had two
extra pages on the Reeler´s dance variations like dancing some dances all
the way down the line.

I would be curious about more precise information, though, but I don´t think
the scene exists in Germany. (Or maybe it´s included?)

Kerstin
_________________________________________________________
Seminarhof Proitzer Mühle, 29465 Schnega, Germany
Tel. +49/ 5842-450, Fax -407
http://home.t-online.de/home/Proitzer.Muehle

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
An: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Datum: Sonntag, 24. Januar 1999 15:44
Betreff: Reelers?

>No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".
>I've seen them refered to in a number of messages but have no idea of
>the dancers or the practice.
>Are reelers a UK phenomenon?
>Still curious,
>Susan, Maberly, Ontario.
>--
>http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
>Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario
>
>--
>Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
>

Reelers?

Message 15606 · Anselm Lingnau · 25 Jan 1999 11:20:37 · Top

diemuehle@t-online.de (Kerstin Kuhn) writes:

> I understood Reelers to be a young and exuberant lot who dance Country =
and
> Ceilidh dances, birl and spin a lot and don=B4t care about correct step=
s
> (wearing boots etc.)

I don't have first-hand experience of reeling but while they are
certainly supposed to be exuberant I don't think they're necessarily
young (in body). No offense intended.

=46rom what I've heard reelers are people that practice a style of
Scottish dancing as exhibited at St. Andrew's Balls etc. all over the
world, where dancing is part of the entertainment. The repertoire
consists of what we would call ceilidh dances as well as a limited set
of country dances, such as the Duke of Perth, often done `longways for
as many as will'. No strathspeys. Hard shoes (not necessarily boots) are
usual. The steps are simpler vis-a-vis RSCDS technique but there are
steps. Judging from Flett & Flett, _Traditional Dancing in Scotland_,
reeling is probably very much what SCD would be like today were it not
for the good offices of certain people in Glasgow 75 years ago.

Jim Healy, where are you when we need you?

Anselm
-- =

Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankf=
urt.de
Computers are supposed to serve man, not vice versa, the experience of th=
e
last 40 years notwithstanding. -- Larr=
y Wall

Reelers?

Message 15609 · Maghi King · 25 Jan 1999 19:23:51 · Top

O.K., I've cracked, but I can't give you a very good answer because they
are very much out of my social class.

Reeling, as I understand it, is SCD done by the upper classes. It has a
limited repertoire of dances, and the style is rather different:
probably danced in formal ball gear and hard shoes. I also remember I
think having read once that sets are usually of five or of seven
couples.

Any more anyone?

Maghi

Val Stannard wrote:
>
> Hi Susan - I am in the UK and have never come across the term 'reelers' -
> interesting to know if anyone does respond
>
> Val
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
> Date: 24 January 1999 14:46
> Subject: Reelers?
>
> >No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".
> >I've seen them refered to in a number of messages but have no idea of
> >the dancers or the practice.
> >Are reelers a UK phenomenon?
> >Still curious,
> >Susan, Maberly, Ontario.
> >--
> >http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
> >Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario
> >
> >--
> >Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
> >
> >

--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

Reelers?

Message 15610 · The_Healys · 25 Jan 1999 20:38:44 · Top

Anselm Lingnau writes:

> Jim Healy, where are you when we need you?
Travelling but there is enough misinformation going on that I need
must attach the portable to the mobile and intervene at what cost
I dread to think. So briefly,

The young exuberant dancers with birling possibly bordering on the
excessive (in whose view, Healy?) are the Ceilidh dancers. Best
definition of which remains that given (quoted?) by Ian Brockbank
a few years ago - <ye canna point your toes in Doc. Martens>

Reelers take their SCD very seriously and when they birl it is
controlled and expected by the other dancers e.g in the Reel of
the 51st it is normal if not proper, after turning first corners,
that the dancing couple will meet left hand with thumb grip, lean
forward on the first setting step, lean back on the second step of
the balance in line and then birl vigorously with left hand to
give right hand to second corners with the music. They have a
limited repertoire of dances but it is important to them that they
are done well by their lights. Ron Mackey's description of
dancing the Duke and Duchess is exactly how the Reelers would do
it although I do find they are less into the eye contact and
<flirting> of RSCDS style dancing. As Ron points out it is also
much less tiring and I have danced Duke of Perth in 5 couple sets
10 times, encored it ten times followed by once and to the bottom.
The Foursome Reel and half Reel of Tulloch (Reeler style) is
routinely followed by two sets instantly merging and straight into
an Eightsome.

Reelers tend to like dress-up functions which can lead to it being
a middle/upper class thing with military officer class overtones
but I have found that if you are dressed appropriately for the
occasion and know the dances well enough not to upset other dancers
you will be made very welcome.

The Reeler tradition is what the RSCDS style grew out of. It was
not the rumbunctious style that caused Mrs Stewart and Miss
Milligan such heartache. It is a tradition that still lives
refusing to adopt or be be supplanted by the more balletic style
of the RSCDS and it is one which has its place.

Hope this helps.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Reelers (longish)

Message 15622 · Graham Hamilton · 26 Jan 1999 13:49:20 · Top

As a band drummer I come across Reelers quite often and a very
interesting counter view of dancing it is.

The connection between reelers and the county scene is fundamental.
Having played for reeling parties from London, UK to Hong Kong and
Taiwan, a certain insight about the make-up of the dancers can be
gleaned from the venues, The Duke of York Barracks, Sloane Square - The
Grovesner Hotel, Park Lane - The Royal Academy of Arts, Picadilly - The
Bath Guildhall - The Grand Formosa Regent Hotel, Taipei are typical of
the luxurious venues chosen. Ticket prices obviously vary, generally
between 30 GBP and 120 GBP, per ticket!

Reeling (known simply as Scottish Dancing) has as many plus and minus
points as Country Dancing.

Everyone at a reeling party will be immaculately turned out, usually
Black Tie. Nobody is too hung up on the finer points of the dance, if
someone goes wrong they are usually helped back into the fray with
little fuss. Everybody seems to be having a wonderful time - no one Tuts
Tuts! if any embellishments (intentional or otherwise) are added to the
dance. If there is an accidental impact on the floor (which happens very
regularly) there are never any recriminations. They are always very
enthusiastic about the music, it is quite the done thing to scream for
encores after every dance, and expect 8 or 10 times dancers to be full
encores. The emphasis is definately on the social, rather than pure
dancing - longer gaps between dances for social intercourse etc. Parties
are usually well balanced with plenty of men to dance with the ladies.
Finally it does attract the younger, well-heeled dancer. 300 to 500
people at a dance is not unusual, with an average age somewhere in the
30s.

On the downside, it can tend toward the disorganised and sometimes
dangerous. Because people tend not to dance week in week out, they are
always liable to do the unexpected and a number of bruises must be
expected each evening. People do tend to dance on their own, usually
oblivious to other people. At one dance I danced at I was rather taken
aback when, in preparing for one dance, the ladies line of the set
behind me was forming up about 2 feet in front of me! The programmes are
always the same. This does have the advantage for the people who only
dance occasionally that they can be recalled for the once or twice a
year that Scottish Dancing appears in the social calander, but would be
rather sameish if danced on a regular basis. A typical programme would
be:

Gay Gordons
Dashing White Sargeant
Eightsome Reel
Hamilton House
Duke of Perth
Speed the Plough
Foursome Reel
Duke & Duchess of Edinburgh
Eightsome Reel (again!)

I think the problems that the RSCDS is suffering at present, with
falling membership and attendance, has certain things it can learn from
reeling. More tolerance of the part-time dancer. More social awareness
at dances. Less emphasis on "pretty dancing" and over-complicated
programmes (elitism thread readers, join here!).

I could go on for ever about reeling. I think it is a fascinating
alternative evolutionary track from country dancing. I wouldn't choose
to pursue it myself, but many of the very best evenings I have had with
many bands has been at a Reelers Ball. After all, if the dancing is not
as appealling as a spectator sport as country dancing, glamerous young,
cocktail dress-clad debutantes are certainly worth keeping half an eye
on!

Graham Hamilton

In message <36AB329E.6723@rideau.net>, Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
writes
>No one answered my question as to what are "Reelers".
>I've seen them refered to in a number of messages but have no idea of
>the dancers or the practice.
>Are reelers a UK phenomenon?
>Still curious,
>Susan, Maberly, Ontario.

--
Graham Hamilton

Reelers (longish)

Message 15636 · RSCDSSD · 26 Jan 1999 19:26:30 · Top

Graham,

Many thanks for an informative and interesting description of the dancing and
atmosphere of the reelers. I am not sure if the term County dancers refers to
the same style and social circle, but they do seem similar.

There are some excellent views of reelers dancing at a ball in Blair Castle in
the BBC Scotland video "The Reel of the 51st." The video itself is a poignant
and well-done history of the circumstances under which the dance was devised
and the way it made its way back to Scotland during World War II. The scenes
of the prisoners dancing in boots (and eerily shot in some of the same
buildings in which the soldiers were housed during the war), and the reelers
at the formal ball show many of the characteristics, e.g., the claps before
the turns, the balance and swing and the men wearing ghillie brogues, as
described by Graham.

I purchased my copy of the TV program from a dancing friend in Northern
California and I am not sure how readily available it is, but it is well-worth
having. Perhaps more accessible views of the reelers style of dancing could
be found in various movies that show "Scottish dancing," e.g., Four Weddings
and a Funeral, Greystoke, and the unforgettable scene of Cary Grant dancing
the Eightsome in Indiscreet.

Marjorie McLaughlin
RSCDSSD@aol.com
San Diego, CA

Reelers (longish)

Message 15656 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 27 Jan 1999 03:22:33 · Top

On Tue, 26 Jan 1999 RSCDSSD@aol.com wrote:

> Perhaps more accessible views of the reelers style of dancing could
> be found in various movies that show "Scottish dancing," e.g., Four Weddings
> and a Funeral, Greystoke, and the unforgettable scene of Cary Grant dancing
> the Eightsome in Indiscreet.

Dare I suggest: the shots of the royal family dancing the eightsome will
also give you the flavor of 'reeling.'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

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