strathspey Archive: Glasgow Highlanders - question

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Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34775 · Norah Link · 3 Apr 2003 16:04:00 · Top

I have a question about common practice for the progression of Glasgow Highlanders for the couple that will finish at the top and stand out. According to the little blue book, 1st couple progress down one place on the man's side at the end of the reel across WHILE 2ND COUPLE FINISH ON OWN SIDES AT THE TOP. That means that in this one instance - finishing at the top - the 2nd man has to make a double progression and the 2nd woman no progression in order to finish on own sides. (At the bottom, the normal progression one place anti-clockwise will naturally have the couple finish on their own sides.)

This has always seemed rather silly to me, and in the past I have ignored the "advice" of the blue book - but now I am responsible to get everyone on the same page at our upcoming Ball Rehearsal. So I'm wondering what common practice is among the dancers on this list. Do you instruct your dancers to finish on their own sides at the top, so we never have the unsightly spectacle of the top couple either waiting out or finishing the dance "improper" - or do you instruct dancers to "break the rule" and finish on opposite sides? Or do you avoid the question and let the dancers sort it out for themselves?

thanks

Norah Link (Montreal)

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34781 · Volleyballjerry · 3 Apr 2003 17:53:59 · Top

Norah, thanks for posing this question. Alas, I do not have any definitive
answer myself, but have often found this to be a somewhat "untidy" dance. So
I as well shall look forward to reading responses.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

In a message dated 04/03/2003 6:04:35 AM Pacific Standard Time,
norah.link@sympatico.ca writes:

> Subj:Glasgow Highlanders - question
> Date:04/03/2003 6:04:35 AM Pacific Standard Time
> From:<A HREF="mailto:norah.link@sympatico.ca">norah.link@sympatico.ca</A>
> Reply-to:<A HREF="mailto:strathspey@strathspey.org">strathspey@strathspey.org</A>
> To:<A HREF="mailto:strathspey@strathspey.org">strathspey@strathspey.org</A>
> Sent from the Internet
>
>
>
> I have a question about common practice for the progression of Glasgow
> Highlanders for the couple that will finish at the top and stand out.
> According to the little blue book, 1st couple progress down one place on
> the man's side at the end of the reel across WHILE 2ND COUPLE FINISH ON OWN
> SIDES AT THE TOP. That means that in this one instance - finishing at the
> top - the 2nd man has to make a double progression and the 2nd woman no
> progression in order to finish on own sides. (At the bottom, the normal
> progression one place anti-clockwise will naturally have the couple finish
> on their own sides.)
>
> This has always seemed rather silly to me, and in the past I have ignored
> the "advice" of the blue book - but now I am responsible to get everyone on
> the same page at our upcoming Ball Rehearsal. So I'm wondering what common
> practice is among the dancers on this list. Do you instruct your dancers
> to finish on their own sides at the top, so we never have the unsightly
> spectacle of the top couple either waiting out or finishing the dance
> "improper" - or do you instruct dancers to "break the rule" and finish on
> opposite sides? Or do you avoid the question and let the dancers sort it
> out for themselves?
>
> thanks
>
> Norah Link (Montreal)
>
>

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34827 · Norah Link · 5 Apr 2003 07:18:02 · Top

Hello all -

Our ball rehearsal was tonight, and with the various responses both on-list
and off-list that I have received, I thought I would let you know that I
think it went reasonably well. There are a number of hard-core RSCDS people
in Montreal, and after the sampling of responses on the list I decided it
would be best to stick with RSCDS instructions (which seems to follow
practice in a number of areas). I already had a few doubters from the
beginning because the programme devisor asked for 7 times through on the
music, with the intention that 3rd & 4th couples also start by changing
formation on the double chord and everyone dances to start.

Anyway, we made it through by teaching the dance sequence with a generic
"down the men's side, up the ladies' side" progression to face another
couple, then addressed the bottom end as the logical extension, then the top
end as the not-so-logical-but-very-proper extension, and then what to do at
each end when the middle couples progress. It wasn't perfect, but everyone
had the basic idea, and with a long programme to get through and the
intention to minimize teaching, it went fairly well. Although my logical,
symmetrical brain would still prefer to have the progression flow the same
way at both ends, and it would be less daunting to teach (especially in the
middle of a long evening of dancing), it does work.

regards,
Norah

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Volleyballjerry@aol.com [mailto:Volleyballjerry@aol.com]
> Sent: April 3, 2003 10:54 AM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: Glasgow Highlanders - question
>
>
> Norah, thanks for posing this question. Alas, I do not have any
> definitive
> answer myself, but have often found this to be a somewhat
> "untidy" dance. So
> I as well shall look forward to reading responses.
>
> Robb Quint
> Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34782 · Mike Briggs · 3 Apr 2003 18:00:34 · Top

But the second couple need to be "improper" while they wait out one
repetition at the top so that they flow smoothly on to the men's side,
as a couple, to begin the next repetition.

Picking up on the recent discussion about two chords, I've never
understood why GH doesn't simply begin like a longways quadrille or a
Becket-formation contra(couple facing couple, man on woman's left). I
speculate that it's because early on the SCDS decided that all dances
had to begin in the 4-couple longways model, and so we got stuck with
the GH shuffle.

Does anyone have access to one of the original 19th century sources for
this dance to determine what its original starting form was?

Mike
--
-----------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
-----------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
-----------------------------------------------

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34785 · mlbrown · 3 Apr 2003 18:52:22 · Top

> But the second couple need to be "improper" while they wait out one
> repetition at the top so that they flow smoothly on to the men's side,
> as a couple, to begin the next repetition.

Yes, but the Manual is quite specific that the 2nd couple finish in top
place on their own side, and this is what is shown on the" How Do You Do It"
video.

Malcolm
Malcolm & Helen Brown
York - UK

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34787 · Mike Briggs · 3 Apr 2003 19:03:49 · Top

All right, so that's what the manual says. But it's clumsy. Is there
anyone out there who is familiar with the original sources? And can
anyone confirm that GH was danced in the 19th century as a
reel/strathspey medley?

Mike
--
-----------------------------------------------
Norma Briggs Voice 608 835 0914
Michael J Briggs Fax 608 835 0924
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
1519 Storytown Road Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
-----------------------------------------------
www.briggslawoffice.com
-----------------------------------------------

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34788 · Adam Hughes · 3 Apr 2003 20:03:32 · Top

norah.link@sympatico.ca wrote:
> This has always seemed rather silly to me, and in the past I
> have ignored the "advice" of the blue book - but now I am
> responsible to get everyone on the same page at our upcoming
> Ball Rehearsal.

In a similar position last year, I made sure that everyone knew both
options (as you say they get the easy option naturally at the bottom, so
when we danced it through, we all did it "properly").

Once they had experienced the scramble in and scramble out of first
place, I suggested that at the ball they talk to their partner at the
start of the dance to discover any strong preference, and then apply
their common sense and prepare to be glared at.

Adam
Cambridge, UK.

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34800 · John P. McClure · 3 Apr 2003 23:59:52 · Top

On Thu, 3 Apr 2003, mlbrown wrote:

> Yes, but the Manual is quite specific that the 2nd couple finish in top
> place on their own side, and this is what is shown on the" How Do You Do It"
> video.

It seems to me we've had this discussion on before; anyhow, I think this
is one of those places where those responsible might seriously consider a
change when revising the manual - because it really is more sensible to
start with couple facing couple, and have couples reaching the top do so
on the "opposite" side. The dance is an unusual one (among RSCDS dances),
and very nice when you know it; I wonder whether things such as the "GH
scramble" at the start, and the very awkward move for a person trying to
finish on the mens' side at the top, are reasons why it isn't done more
often.

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34801 · Fran Smith · 4 Apr 2003 00:15:52 · Top

This dance is rarely done in this area. The main reason is probably the
confusion people feel about the progression. Having the standing
couple at the top remain "improper" would help solve the problem for
many, it would. I think, make the teaching easier.
Fran
>
> ------- Original message -------
>
> From John P. McClure <joptmc@cc.UManitoba.CA>
> DateThu, 3 Apr 2003 15:59:56 -0600 (CST)
>
>On Thu, 3 Apr 2003, mlbrown wrote:
>
>> Yes, but the Manual is quite specific that the 2nd couple finish in top
>> place on their own side, and this is what is shown on the" How Do
You Do It"
>> video.
>
>It seems to me we've had this discussion on before; anyhow, I think
this
>is one of those places where those responsible might seriously
consider a
>change when revising the manual - because it really is more sensible to
>start with couple facing couple, and have couples reaching the top do
so
>on the "opposite" side. The dance is an unusual one (among RSCDS
dances),
>and very nice when you know it; I wonder whether things such as
the "GH
>scramble" at the start, and the very awkward move for a person
trying to
>finish on the mens' side at the top, are reasons why it isn't done more
>often.
>
>Peter McClure
>Winnipeg, MB
>
>
>
>

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Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34807 · Norah Link · 4 Apr 2003 06:24:20 · Top

> If I were starting from scratch, I like your idea of ending
> improper, but I've never heard anyone teach that, and I don't
> think I've seen it happen by chance very often. It really
> doesn't matter to anyone except the couple involved, but I don't
> think you'll find many out of towners doing your version, and
> I would be concerned about locals who went to the workshop
> explaining to them that they are doing it wrong. I'd probably
> teach the standard way but say also that it doesn't matter, don't
> sweat it, and do what seems most comfortable.
>
> Kent
>

Thank you Kent. That is exactly why I'm asking the question!

regards,
Norah

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34809 · Helen P. · 4 Apr 2003 06:50:58 · Top

Really what's happening is that the dancers are echoing what was done at the
second bow chord (when 1M stands while 1W-2M-2W move one place
anti-clockwise.

So it seems that what might be expected for consistency's sake is to have:
1. a single bow chord
2. 2 bars of music for that switch around
3. 7x32 bars
4. a final 30 bars, and
5. a bow chord.

That is, the last progression would be omitted. However, that would affect
the timing of the reels across. Also, should the musicians start with the
last two bars of a tune, and finish two bars early? That's tricky at best.
However, starting each 32 bars of the music at the progression would put the
figures 2 bars out of phase with the music.

So it's a pesky but delightful dance, no matter how you look at it.

-- Helen (MD USA)

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34835 · Ian McHaffie · 6 Apr 2003 15:59:31 · Top

Unless I missed the comments, I haven't seen these (my!) views among
those on this topic, so here goes:

1. One of the attractions of SCD is the fact that in a lot of dances
there are unexpected (and sometime unique) twists or idiosyncrasies or
inconsistencies that add to the special feel of the dance. GH is one
of them. (Jessie's Hornpipe is another, where 1W starts by dancing
behind 2W rather than in front, as might be more usual if the dance
were devised today.) (Another thread could explore other dances with
unique features?)

The progression in the GH has just such a feature. I think that, if it
were somehow standardized to be consistent with all or most other
dances, something would be lost. What is particularly unusual is that
the couple about to join the dancing must anticipate that fact during
the 8th bar of the previous phrase. Also, the movement is different
depending on whether the waiting couple is at the top or the bottom of
the dance. This is quite different from, say, The Blooms of Bon Accord,
where each iteration of the dance results with the bottom two couples
"improperly" placed ready to start the figures.

2. Surely there is no sensible alternative to the "waiting couple"
waiting in 1st or 4th place on their own, normal sides, regardless of
how they get there. 2nd & 3rd places are taken by the dancing couples.
Waiting on "improper" sides would have little point as there would
still have to be a move of positions during bar 32 of the ongoing
section of the dance

This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
actually starts (other than the previously aired "2nd chord" issue? If
there are not, does this reflect on how restrictive we have become
about the "right" way to go about things? Or, to put it another way,
would the GH be accepted widely, if the dance were devised today?

3. The answer to the "How to do it?" question is surely "neatly". I
doubt if there ever was a clear description of just where 2W should be
precisely, bar by bar. If a dancer stands or shifts around and looks
lost before ending up in the right place, the move will neither look or
feel right, but if a dancer moves confidently and smoothly into the
right place the feel of the move is much more likely to . . . . . . etc

4. I haven't seen a comment on iterations – Jimmy Shand (in O'er the
Border, I think) plays the GH 9 x 32. The convention presumably in
place at that time was that the 9th repetition was danced only by the
couples in 3rd and 4th places, so all would finish back where they
started. Current convention for 2 couple dances is, of course, 8 x 32,
so the couple that started in 4th place only gets to dance the sequence
twice as dancing couple. I hope GH is always danced in 4 couple sets
and not, as so many 2 couple strathspeys, in 3 couple sets. In a 3
couple set everyone would miss the moments when all dancers are going
down the middle and back together.

5. FInally, the name. Presumably The Glasgow Highlanders refers to the
regiment, raised in 1868 and finally disbanded after many
reorganizations in 1973. Or does it simply refer to highlanders (in
general or in particular) who made it south to Glasgow?

Sorry for the lengthy ramble (if you made it this far!). On
re-reading, it reminds me of the 11 year-old's book review: "This book
tells me more about penguins than I want to know!"

Ian McHaffie
mchaffie@sympatico.ca

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34838 · Chris1Ronald · 6 Apr 2003 18:50:14 · Top

Norah's question - and the interesting responses, including Ian's today - are
very timely as I will also have to teach this dance in the next few weeks.

Here are a few more questions about the dance, organised according to some of
Ian's points:
> The progression in the GH has just such a feature. I think that, if it
> were somehow standardized to be consistent with all or most other
> dances, something would be lost.

I'm inclined to agree. From my experience, one of the main problems occurs at
the end of the reel, when dancers tend to be confused about where to go. I
was just re-reading WYJTD, and what struck me is the comment that the reel
"should be done in six steps". This seems worth emphasising. It allows two
bars (bars 31 and 32) for the dancers to get to the right places. My
question is: Is it generally agreed that the reel should be fully completed
in six bars, with the two remaining bars used to progress to new places?

Ian also writes: I hope GH is always danced in 4 couple sets > and not, as so
> many 2 couple strathspeys, in 3 couple sets. In a 3 couple set everyone
> would miss the moments when all dancers are going down the middle and back
> together.

I've never seen GH done in a three couple set, and I agree that would tend to
spoil the dance. But I have seen it done in sets "as long as you like", as is
done in Contra and English country dancing. I'd be interested to know the
ways GH is danced when it is on a ball programme. That is, how many couples
per set, and how many repetitions are played?

Private as well as public replies would be welcome.

Many thanks,

Chris, New York.

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34840 · simon scott · 6 Apr 2003 19:15:30 · Top

> Ian also writes: I hope GH is always danced in 4 couple sets > and
not, as
> so
> > many 2 couple strathspeys, in 3 couple sets. In a 3 couple set
everyone
> > would miss the moments when all dancers are going down the middle
and
> back
> > together.
>
> I've never seen GH done in a three couple set, and I agree that would
tend
> to
> spoil the dance. But I have seen it done in sets "as long as you
like", as
> is
> done in Contra and English country dancing. I'd be interested to know
the
> ways GH is danced when it is on a ball programme. That is, how many
> couples
> per set, and how many repetitions are played?
>
> Private as well as public replies would be welcome.
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Chris, New York.

I far prefer four couple sets over "as many as will" partly because I
like the constant change at top and bottom and the progression up and
down the sides. It can all be done very well if dancer know where they
are going AND think ahead.
However, more important to me is that if danced "as many as will" some
couples may only ever be "firsts" and some only ever "seconds" and I
think that is a shame.

Simon
Vancouver

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34841 · SMiskoe · 6 Apr 2003 20:11:04 · Top

The first time I ever saw GH was in Boston in the early 1960's. it was
marvelous with everyone going down the middle at once, in one long as many as
will set.
I remember learning the dance as a longways and I understood the progression
at the head and foot easily. Later, I was in a class where it was taught in
a 4 couple set and no one seemed able to comprehend the progression at the
head and foot. It seemed to happen very quickly. One moment you were a 1
and the next moment you were trying to figure out how to be a 2.
To me, one of the nice aspects of the dance is the uniqueness of a longways
set.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34857 · Ian McHaffie · 7 Apr 2003 01:51:09 · Top

A small further thought.

I sent a longish reply to Chris, in response to his invitation (too
long for a post!)

However, one point in that note might be worth mentioning. When
teaching the reel/progression in GH for the first time to a new group,
try teaching it with the dancers in 2nd & 3rd place, with the top and
bottom couples waiting. Then the full progression of the 2nd couple
(i.e. originally in 3rd place) going up the ladies side and the 1st
couple (originally in 2nd place) going down the men's side works fairly
easily, and the logic of the moves by the other dancers becomes clearer
sooner.

Ian McHaffie
mchaffie@sympatico.ca

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34859 · Steve Wyrick · 7 Apr 2003 03:48:03 · Top

simon scott wrote:

> I far prefer four couple sets over "as many as will" partly because I
> like the constant change at top and bottom and the progression up and
> down the sides. It can all be done very well if dancer know where they
> are going AND think ahead.
> However, more important to me is that if danced "as many as will" some
> couples may only ever be "firsts" and some only ever "seconds" and I
> think that is a shame.
>
> Simon
> Vancouver

(I told myself I wasn't going to contribute to this discussion, but...)
Glasgow Highlanders is danced frequently in the San Francisco Branch, and
always, in my experience, for "as many as will." I agree with you about the
disadvantages of this setup; it's that aspect of the dance that keeps it
from being one of my favorites. -Steve
--
Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34861 · simon scott · 7 Apr 2003 08:15:29 · Top

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Wyrick [mailto:sjwyrick@ca.astound.net]
> Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 6:45 PM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start
>
> simon scott wrote:
>
> > I far prefer four couple sets over "as many as will" partly because
I
> > like the constant change at top and bottom and the progression up
and
> > down the sides. It can all be done very well if dancer know where
they
> > are going AND think ahead.
> > However, more important to me is that if danced "as many as will"
some
> > couples may only ever be "firsts" and some only ever "seconds" and I
> > think that is a shame.
> >
> > Simon
> > Vancouver
>
> (I told myself I wasn't going to contribute to this discussion,
but...)
> Glasgow Highlanders is danced frequently in the San Francisco Branch,
and
> always, in my experience, for "as many as will." I agree with you
about
> the
> disadvantages of this setup; it's that aspect of the dance that keeps
it
> from being one of my favorites. -Steve
> --
> Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California
>

That is a shame. It is a favorite of mine.

Simon

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34839 · simon scott · 6 Apr 2003 19:05:42 · Top

Well said Ian.

GH is, and should remain, a most unique dance. The changing of sides in
this dance is not just a starting position but an integral part of the
entire dance and happens every 32 bars. It is very fine don't change
it. I also, personally, consider the second chord NOT for the purpose of
changing position but rather to bow or courtesy a second time to a new
person, with whom you will start the rights and lefts.

The newer, 3rd and 4th couple opposite side start, dances are not at all
the same thing and I am very sorry that, initially, they included the
TOTALLY unnecessary two chords.

Simon
Vancouver

>
> Unless I missed the comments, I haven't seen these (my!) views among
> those on this topic, so here goes:
>
> 1. One of the attractions of SCD is the fact that in a lot of
dances
> there are unexpected (and sometime unique) twists or idiosyncrasies or
> inconsistencies that add to the special feel of the dance. GH is one
> of them. (Jessie's Hornpipe is another, where 1W starts by dancing
> behind 2W rather than in front, as might be more usual if the dance
> were devised today.) (Another thread could explore other dances
with
> unique features?)
>
> The progression in the GH has just such a feature. I think that, if it
> were somehow standardized to be consistent with all or most other
> dances, something would be lost. What is particularly unusual is
that
> the couple about to join the dancing must anticipate that fact during
> the 8th bar of the previous phrase. Also, the movement is different
> depending on whether the waiting couple is at the top or the bottom of
> the dance. This is quite different from, say, The Blooms of Bon
Accord,
> where each iteration of the dance results with the bottom two couples
> "improperly" placed ready to start the figures.
>
> 2. Surely there is no sensible alternative to the "waiting couple"
> waiting in 1st or 4th place on their own, normal sides, regardless of
> how they get there. 2nd & 3rd places are taken by the dancing couples.
> Waiting on "improper" sides would have little point as there would
> still have to be a move of positions during bar 32 of the ongoing
> section of the dance
>
> This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
> dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
> and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
> actually starts (other than the previously aired "2nd chord" issue? If
> there are not, does this reflect on how restrictive we have become
> about the "right" way to go about things? Or, to put it another way,
> would the GH be accepted widely, if the dance were devised today?
>
> 3. The answer to the "How to do it?" question is surely "neatly".
I
> doubt if there ever was a clear description of just where 2W should be
> precisely, bar by bar. If a dancer stands or shifts around and looks
> lost before ending up in the right place, the move will neither look
or
> feel right, but if a dancer moves confidently and smoothly into the
> right place the feel of the move is much more likely to . . . . . .
etc
>
> 4. I haven't seen a comment on iterations - Jimmy Shand (in O'er
the
> Border, I think) plays the GH 9 x 32. The convention presumably in
> place at that time was that the 9th repetition was danced only by the
> couples in 3rd and 4th places, so all would finish back where they
> started. Current convention for 2 couple dances is, of course, 8 x 32,
> so the couple that started in 4th place only gets to dance the
sequence
> twice as dancing couple. I hope GH is always danced in 4 couple sets
> and not, as so many 2 couple strathspeys, in 3 couple sets. In a 3
> couple set everyone would miss the moments when all dancers are going
> down the middle and back together.
>
> 5. FInally, the name. Presumably The Glasgow Highlanders refers to
the
> regiment, raised in 1868 and finally disbanded after many
> reorganizations in 1973. Or does it simply refer to highlanders (in
> general or in particular) who made it south to Glasgow?
>
> Sorry for the lengthy ramble (if you made it this far!). On
> re-reading, it reminds me of the 11 year-old's book review: "This book
> tells me more about penguins than I want to know!"
>
> Ian McHaffie
> mchaffie@sympatico.ca

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34885 · redrose_solutions · 8 Apr 2003 21:18:13 · Top

The same point was made in a discussion at the Management Board meeting
in Edinburgh last weekend - the two chords at the beginning of Glasgow Highlanders
were to honour one's partner and then the dancer opposite (after the move
across which was done between the two chords).

Susi

Susi Mayr
Vienna, Austria
susi@redrose.co.at

>-- Original Message --
>Reply-To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
>To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
>Subject: RE: Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start
>Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 10:06:20 -0700
>
>
>
>Well said Ian.
>
>GH is, and should remain, a most unique dance. The changing of sides in
>this dance is not just a starting position but an integral part of the
>entire dance and happens every 32 bars. It is very fine don't change
>it. I also, personally, consider the second chord NOT for the purpose of
>changing position but rather to bow or courtesy a second time to a new
>person, with whom you will start the rights and lefts.
>
>The newer, 3rd and 4th couple opposite side start, dances are not at all
>the same thing and I am very sorry that, initially, they included the
>TOTALLY unnecessary two chords.
>
>Simon
>Vancouver

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34888 · Iain Boyd · 8 Apr 2003 22:48:19 · Top

> The same point was made in a discussion at the
> Management Board meeting
> in Edinburgh last weekend - the two chords at the
> beginning of Glasgow Highlanders
> were to honour one's partner and then the dancer
> opposite (after the move
> across which was done between the two chords).

Greetings All,

The use of the two chords to acknowledge one's partner
and the dancer opposite is only possible if a decent
gap is left between the two chords to allow dancers to
move into their new positions.

All existing recordings do not provide sufficient time
to move gracefully to new positions.

Therefore, dancers must already be in 'progressed'
positions before the dance starts. This will be the
case for the majority of dancers as few clubs/classes
have access to 'live' music.

Iain Boyd

=====
Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand

http://mobile.yahoo.com.au - Yahoo! Mobile
- Check & compose your email via SMS on your Telstra or Vodafone mobile.

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34899 · simon scott · 9 Apr 2003 04:13:17 · Top

I'm so glad that this point was made, and thank you for posting it.
Chords are for acknowledgement not for crossing sides. In GH there are
two different people to acknowledge. It is a special part of that
particular dance. It is not so in the 3rd and 4th couples on opposite
sides dances. It is such a shame that the second chord has ever been
used to cross. The two have nothing to do with one another at all.

Simon
Vancouver

>
> The same point was made in a discussion at the Management Board
meeting
> in Edinburgh last weekend - the two chords at the beginning of Glasgow
> Highlanders
> were to honour one's partner and then the dancer opposite (after the
move
> across which was done between the two chords).
>
> Susi
>
> Susi Mayr
> Vienna, Austria
> susi@redrose.co.at
>

> >
> >Well said Ian.
> >
> >GH is, and should remain, a most unique dance. The changing of sides
in
> >this dance is not just a starting position but an integral part of
the
> >entire dance and happens every 32 bars. It is very fine don't change
> >it. I also, personally, consider the second chord NOT for the purpose
of
> >changing position but rather to bow or courtesy a second time to a
new
> >person, with whom you will start the rights and lefts.
> >
> >The newer, 3rd and 4th couple opposite side start, dances are not at
all
> >the same thing and I am very sorry that, initially, they included the
> >TOTALLY unnecessary two chords.
> >
> >Simon
> >Vancouver
>

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34915 · Jan E Rudge · 9 Apr 2003 12:51:14 · Top

> From: "Ian McHaffie"
>
> This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
> dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
> and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
> actually starts
> ---------------------------------

...Any dance where the dancing couple finishes the previous figure in the
correct position ready for a poussette or allemande, but the supporting
couple has to move in beside/behind them at the last moment.
More noticeable in quick time as we tend to step in rather than dance in.

Jan

Beaconsfield, UK
RSCDS London Branch

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34929 · simon scott · 10 Apr 2003 05:32:51 · Top

This is not at all the same circumstance.
Making a slight step or movement in order to enter a formation, within a
dance (which happens on many occasions) is totally different than moving
position before the dance actually begins.

Simon
Vancouver

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jan E Rudge [mailto:jrudge@csc.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 3:52 AM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Re: Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start
>
>
> > From: "Ian McHaffie"
> >
> > This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there
other
> > dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their
participation
> > and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
> > actually starts
> > ---------------------------------
>
> ...Any dance where the dancing couple finishes the previous figure in
the
> correct position ready for a poussette or allemande, but the
supporting
> couple has to move in beside/behind them at the last moment.
> More noticeable in quick time as we tend to step in rather than dance
in.
>
> Jan
>
> Beaconsfield, UK
> RSCDS London Branch
>

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34846 · John Sturrock · 6 Apr 2003 21:16:57 · Top

Ian McHaffie's interesting notes on what has been left unsaid, so far, about
this progression, set me thinking about other things still unsaid.

Unless I have missed it, no one has pointed out that the Reel of Four is
danced in 6 bars, not 8. The Manual makes this clear, even if the original
instructions did not. Approached this way, 2 bars remain for the
progression, giving ample time for everyone to reach their designated
positions - including the original 2nd couple finishing on their own sides
of the dance, at the top, after the first 32 bars.

Unfortunately, to complete a Reel of Four in 6 bars requires the
co-operation of all four dancers, and, such is the rareity of 6 bar Reels of
Four, this is not often forthcoming, leading to the scramble observed in
many ballrooms.

Also undiscussed, as far as I remember, is where this Reel should take
place. The optimum must be to give everyone, as far as possible, a similar
distance to travel during the last 2 bars. If this Reel takes place across
1st place - as it very often does - the original 2nd woman will be in
her final place after 6 bars, leaving her to shuffle her feet for the last
2. The very natural tendancy for original 2nd women, aware that they have 8
bars in which to dance an 8 bar Reel of Four, is to do just that, slowing
everyone else up behind them, and making everyone else late !

If, however, the Reel takes place across 2nd place, then, after 6 bars : -

Original 2nd woman dances from 2W place to 1W place, i.e. up 1 place.

Original 1st woman dances from 2M place to 3M place, i.e. down one place.

Original 1st man dances from the middle of the set to 2M place, i.e. across
one place.

All three dancers have thus danced very similar distances during the last 2
bars, and the last remaining problem is : - What to do about original 2nd
man ?

1993 was a fallow year at Summer School in St Andrews, with no new Book or
Leaflets. The Demonstrations in the Younger Hall were therefore of older
dances, one of which was Glasgow Highlanders. The team thus had two
afternoons in which to explore the possibilities for original 2nd men - of
which there are several. The one that 'looked right' was for the
original 2nd man to keep up with the speed of the Reel for 5 bars - to
avoid impeding the other dancers - but to complete only 3/4s of the Reel,
and thereafter to cast up behind the men's side to 1M place. This is
greatly facilitated if the Reel takes place across 2nd place, and results in
a skillful original 2nd man travelling roughly the same distance as his
peers. The result looks beautiful, and that is the way it was danced in the
evening.

I feel that a simple 10-word injunction, by every teacher, and every MC, on
every occasion ;

" SIX bar Reel of Four across SECOND place, then progress "

would smooth out the difficulties of this progression at the top of the set,
at the end of the 1st, 3rd, etc, repetitions, and restore this wonderful
dance to it's rightful place in our programmes. [ As has already been
pointed out, there are fewer difficulties at the foot of the set . ]

John M Sturrock

Cupar UK

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34848 · Norah Link · 6 Apr 2003 22:13:51 · Top

>
> Also undiscussed, as far as I remember, is where this Reel should take
> place. The optimum must be to give everyone, as far as
> possible, a similar distance to travel during the last 2 bars.
> If this Reel takes place across 1st place - as it very often does
> <snip>...
> If, however, the Reel takes place across 2nd place, then,

I agree with your logic, John, but my version of Book 2 (1985) states
"Finish at the top in a line of four across the dance". To me, "the top" is
1st place. Are there earlier descriptions of the dance that either (a) say
to dance the reel in 2nd place or (b) are a little more vague, leaving it up
to us to decide the "best" place for it?

NOTE: Just to add to the ambiguity, in the Manual, the Notes for the dance
state that on bar 16 "2nd man must dance up to finish back to back with 1st
man in a line of four across the dance. 1st woman is now in 2nd man's
original place and 2nd woman is in her own place. This must be done to
ensure that the set does not move gradually up the room". This implies the
reel is in 2nd place and directly contradicts the book. Maybe there are
actually LATER versions of the book that are more explicit?

Norah Link
Montreal

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34858 · hways · 7 Apr 2003 02:44:42 · Top

From: "Ian McHaffie"

This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
actually starts

Kingussie Flower, but only first lady . I thought of Neidpath Castle, but
the instructions do tell second and third couple to dance into place on
bars 24 or 28, so that does not fit, even though many just step into place.

Harry

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34892 · ron.mackey · 9 Apr 2003 00:31:27 · Top

> From: "Ian McHaffie"
>
> This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
> dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
> and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
> actually starts
> ---------------------------------
> Kingussie Flower, but only first lady . I thought of Neidpath Castle, but
> the instructions do tell second and third couple to dance into place on
> bars 24 or 28, so that does not fit, even though many just step into place.
>
> Harry

Surely, any dance where 4th couple has to start in third place on
bar 1??

Happy Dancing
Cheers :)
Ron

Ron Mackey. London Branch (and Croydon)
39, Grove Park Road,
Mottingham
London SE9 4NS

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34898 · hways · 9 Apr 2003 02:28:30 · Top

> Surely, any dance where 4th couple has to start in third place on
> bar 1??

> Ron

I think Ian's question pertained to the people actually dancing a round of
the particular dance, not to another couple waiting to join in the next
round.

Harry

----- Original Message -----
From: <ron.mackey@mail.btinternet.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

>
> > From: "Ian McHaffie"
> >
> > This raises another question (lest the matter die!): Are there other
> > dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their participation
> > and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing bar
> > actually starts
> > ---------------------------------
> > Kingussie Flower, but only first lady . I thought of Neidpath Castle,
but
> > the instructions do tell second and third couple to dance into place
on
> > bars 24 or 28, so that does not fit, even though many just step into
place.
> >
> > Harry
>
> Surely, any dance where 4th couple has to start in third place on
> bar 1??
>
> Happy Dancing
> Cheers :)
> Ron
>
>
> Ron Mackey. London Branch (and Croydon)
> 39, Grove Park Road,
> Mottingham
> London SE9 4NS

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34862 · Helen P. · 7 Apr 2003 11:48:32 · Top

From: "Ian McHaffie" <mchaffie@sympatico.ca>
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 10:01 AM

> Are there other dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their
participation and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing
bar actually starts...?

Seems like there are quite a few. Any time a 3-couple dance (in a 4-couple
set) starts with all setting on the sides or a circle, the bottom couple
must get into 3rd place as the previously active couple drops out.

-- Helen

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34863 · Alan Paterson · 7 Apr 2003 11:56:44 · Top

"Helen P." wrote:
>
> From: "Ian McHaffie" <mchaffie@sympatico.ca>
> Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 10:01 AM
>
> > Are there other dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate their
> participation and get ready into a starting place before their first dancing
> bar actually starts...?
>
> Seems like there are quite a few. Any time a 3-couple dance (in a 4-couple
> set) starts with all setting on the sides or a circle, the bottom couple
> must get into 3rd place as the previously active couple drops out.
>
> -- Helen

I disagree.

Any time where it is possible for the 3rd couple to start from 4th place
(as in the examples Helen gives), there is no need for them to move before
the first dancing step.

I admit, it's something for more advanced dancers, but I like to encourage
my class to finish their 2nd time through neatly and move unobtrusively to
the bottom while the new 3rd couple move elegantly into the first figure
(if required).

Alan

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34864 · Helen P. · 7 Apr 2003 12:49:40 · Top

> > From: "Ian McHaffie" <mchaffie@sympatico.ca>
> > Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 10:01 AM
> > > Are there other dances where a non-dancing couple must anticipate
their
> > participation and get ready into a starting place before their first
dancing
> > bar actually starts...?

> "Helen P." wrote:
> > Seems like there are quite a few. Any time a 3-couple dance (in a
4-couple
> > set) starts with all setting on the sides or a circle, the bottom couple
> > must get into 3rd place as the previously active couple drops out.

From: "Alan Paterson" <alan.paterson@paranor.ch>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 5:56 AM
> I disagree.
>
> Any time where it is possible for the 3rd couple to start from 4th place
> (as in the examples Helen gives), there is no need for them to move before
> the first dancing step.
>
> I admit, it's something for more advanced dancers, but I like to encourage
> my class to finish their 2nd time through neatly and move unobtrusively to
> the bottom while the new 3rd couple move elegantly into the first figure
> (if required).

It *is* impossible for the man in 4th place to take hands with the man in
2nd place to set on the side *at bar 1*, unless the set is improperly narrow
up & down, or one or both have an superordinary arm length. Likewise, it's
impossible for him to step up (to his left) while simultaneously setting to
his right.

4th position man can wait around for 2nd position man to make a huge setting
step to reach him, but then they're not really dancing the figure (just as a
6-bar reel is not the same figure as an 8-bar reel).

Instead, they're dancing something like: 1s-2s set on sides for one bar
while 3s set to each other for one bar, moving up one place THEN 1s-2s-3s
set to on sides left only for one bar. Of course, then every other round
must be written differently: 1s-2s-3s set for two bars.

The circle arguably might be made to work, although again, the first bar is
technically spent dancing up, not circling.

-- Helen

Glasgow Highlanders Progression and Two Chords at Start

Message 34866 · Martin Mulligan · 7 Apr 2003 15:21:49 · Top

To cite someone else, whose post I have already deleted, I wasn't going to
write anything on this topic...

but I want to comment on two things John Sturrock said.

I disagree somewhat with his statement that

>Unless I have missed it, no one has pointed out that the Reel of Four is
>danced in 6 bars, not 8.

and

>" SIX bar Reel of Four across SECOND place, then progress "

This reel of four is never completed by any of the four dancers. I believe
it would be more correct to say that they dance six bars of the reel of
four and then progress and I would modify John's injunction accordingly

Even so, the two men will have to speed up to finish the last two bars of
the reel and execute their progression - and it is important that their
partners keep going and get out of the way for that to happen. The women's
progression being more straightforward, it is easy for them to slow down as
they head towards progressed positions, a delay that has serious
complications for their partners. I believe that the men can, and should,
still pass left shoulder on bars 7/8 but I'm sure I've seen a right
shoulder pass many times to get to the other side the quicket way possible.

As for

>If this Reel takes place across
>1st place - as it very often does - the original 2nd woman will be in
>her final place after 6 bars, leaving her to shuffle her feet for the last
>2.

This will only be true if she is arriving at the top of the set - in the
course of regular progression, she still moves up one place to that of the
second man above her.

Of course, if arriving at the stop of the set, she were to dance across to
the men's side of the dance, the shuffle would be eliminated ..... but I'm
not going to get into that debate.

Finally, unrelated to John's post, I learned Glasgow Highlanders in Boston
where we always danced in long sets down the room. That's still my
preferred version. I wonder whether the preferences on this dance relate
to how it was danced in the place where we first learned it?

Martin

=========================================================================
Dr. Martin E. Mulligan mulligan@morgan.ucs.mun.ca
Department of Biochemistry phone (709) 737-7978
Memorial University of Newfoundland fax (709) 737-2422
St. John's, Newfoundland, CANADA A1B 3X9
=========================================================================

Glasgow Highlanders Progression

Message 34849 · ron.mackey · 6 Apr 2003 22:18:11 · Top

> 4. I haven't seen a comment on iterations - Jimmy Shand (in O'er the
> Border, I think) plays the GH 9 x 32. The convention presumably in
> place at that time was that the 9th repetition was danced only by the
> couples in 3rd and 4th places, so all would finish back where they
> started. Current convention for 2 couple dances is, of course, 8 x 32,
> so the couple that started in 4th place only gets to dance the sequence
> twice as dancing couple. I hope GH is always danced in 4 couple sets
> and not, as so many 2 couple strathspeys, in 3 couple sets. In a 3
> couple set everyone would miss the moments when all dancers are going
> down the middle and back together.

I have, in the distant past, done this many times and in many
formations. I would hazard a guess that it originated when the sets
were from the top to the bottom of the hall for 'as many as will'?
Which, of course, is why the progression is not set in stone.
I do not remember any great problem when it was done in 4, 5, or 6
couple sets depending upon which recording was being used. If you
say that the original Jimmy Shand recording was 9 times through
then that's what we did. Is it essential in such a dance for all
to return to their starting position? I have even done GH as a
round the room dance. It was rather odd but as the MC set us up in
that way we just did it!
I seem to remember that when a couple reached the foot of the dance
the man crossed over to allow plenty of room for those still dancing
(the lady crossing at the top) and their partners joining them during
the the last bar or so of the previous repeat. No great problem
there? I have seen a couple awaiting their next repeat at the foot of
room regaling themselves with - er - lemonade(?). All very social!
:)

Happy Dancing
Cheers :)
Ron

Ron Mackey. London Branch (and Croydon)
39, Grove Park Road,
Mottingham
London SE9 4NS

Glasgow Highlanders Progression

Message 34851 · Fran Smith · 6 Apr 2003 23:16:52 · Top

I like this dance when the chance arises BUT so much depends on where
you dance and with whom.
The last time I remember this being taught in class I heard one couple
comment at the end that they'd only danced in ONE position throughout
and still had no idea what they should have done. If taught with top
standing couple doing so on opposite sides it may have made more
sense in that the progression can more easily be shown as up on the
ladies side then rest and go down the men's side or vice versa.
On the whole I'd rather dance something all could comprehend than
stick rigidly to the "correct" version and have the set collapse after 2
repeats.
Fran
>
> ------- Original message -------
>
> FromSMiskoe@aol.com
> DateSun, 6 Apr 2003 14:11:07 EDT
>
>The first time I ever saw GH was in Boston in the early 1960's. it was
>marvelous with everyone going down the middle at once, in one long
as many as
>will set.
>I remember learning the dance as a longways and I understood the
progression
>at the head and foot easily. Later, I was in a class where it was
taught in
>a 4 couple set and no one seemed able to comprehend the
progression at the
>head and foot. It seemed to happen very quickly. One moment you
were a 1
>and the next moment you were trying to figure out how to be a 2.
>To me, one of the nice aspects of the dance is the uniqueness of a
longways
>set.
>Cheers,
>Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>

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Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34811 · Miriam L. Mueller · 4 Apr 2003 17:42:11 · Top

Here's the most useful concept I have been given for Glasgow Highlanders
progression AND ends swap. The teacher suggested we could think of the
set as a continuous flattened oval. The progression is thus up one side
and down the other, and the ends wrap around. If one thinks of the set
that way, it is easy to handle the ends. I have no trouble doing whatever
seems to work best dance-wise despite "rules" from Scotland (I've always
been a bit subversive of authority). But the official RSCDS line has been
known to change (strathspey pousette starting position, for example),
often with no logical reason that gets passed convincingly to ordinary
dancers. What a waste of a wonderful dance if Glasgow Highlanders gets
left off programs merely because Headquarters instructions are awkward or
unclear!
Miriam Mueller, San Francisco

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34822 · SMiskoe · 4 Apr 2003 23:53:49 · Top

If dancers in the classes also do contra dances you can tell them that it is
a Beckett formation. They will immediately form correctly.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Glasgow Highlanders - question

Message 34786 · simon scott · 3 Apr 2003 19:03:37 · Top

I have always danced that when standing out in Glasgow Highlander,
whether at top or bottom, the couple stand on their own side of the
dance.
Simon

> -----Original Message-----
> From: norah.link@sympatico.ca [mailto:norah.link@sympatico.ca]
> Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 6:04 AM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Glasgow Highlanders - question
>
> I have a question about common practice for the progression of Glasgow
> Highlanders for the couple that will finish at the top and stand out.
> According to the little blue book, 1st couple progress down one place
on
> the man's side at the end of the reel across WHILE 2ND COUPLE FINISH
ON
> OWN SIDES AT THE TOP. That means that in this one instance -
finishing at
> the top - the 2nd man has to make a double progression and the 2nd
woman
> no progression in order to finish on own sides. (At the bottom, the
> normal progression one place anti-clockwise will naturally have the
couple
> finish on their own sides.)
>
> This has always seemed rather silly to me, and in the past I have
ignored
> the "advice" of the blue book - but now I am responsible to get
everyone
> on the same page at our upcoming Ball Rehearsal. So I'm wondering
what
> common practice is among the dancers on this list. Do you instruct
your
> dancers to finish on their own sides at the top, so we never have the
> unsightly spectacle of the top couple either waiting out or finishing
the
> dance "improper" - or do you instruct dancers to "break the rule" and
> finish on opposite sides? Or do you avoid the question and let the
> dancers sort it out for themselves?
>
> thanks
>
> Norah Link (Montreal)

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