Scottish Take-over - The Gay Gordons

For Susan Omand’s annual Scottish take-over this year, get ready to swing your sporrans with our answer to Strictly Come Dancing and learn some proper ceilidh dances...

If you’re of a certain age and went to a Scottish primary school, you will remember the trauma of gym class in the run up to the Christmas holidays... learning Scottish Country Dancing! However, they are lessons that have stood us all in good stead at Hogmanay parties, weddings and ceilidhs over the years so, for this week, I want to help everyone get ready for your own Hogmanay ceilidh and not look stupid on the dance floor by practising now with five of the most famous Scottish Country Dances. Today is...

The Gay Gordons.

Don't worry, you will get your hand hold in a fankle (tech term) for a while until you get used to who turns which way.

Formation: couples around the room facing anti-clockwise, ladies on the right.

Music: 2/4 or 4/4 march. E.g. "Scotland the Brave", "The Gay Gordons".

Bars: Description

1-2: Allemande hold* - Right hands joined over lady's shoulder (man's arm behind her back) and left hands joined in front, walk forward for four steps, starting on the right foot.

3-4: Still moving in the same direction, and without letting go, pivot on the spot (so left hand is behind lady and right hand is in front) and take four steps backwards.

5-8: Repeat in the opposite direction.

9-12: Drop left hands, raise right hands above lady's head. Lady pivots on the spot. (The man may set**).

13-16: Joining hands in ballroom hold***, polka**** round the room.

Watch the video to get some help.

* Allemande hold looks like this. Practice pivoting without letting go hands.

** Setting is also called Pas de basque. Step with the right foot, step on the ball of the left foot beside the right foot, lifting the right foot. Put the right foot down and point the left toe. Repeat to the left. To be honest, most blokes just stand.

***Ballroom hold – this one. 

**** Polka isn't as difficult as it sounds. Step to the right with the right foot. Bring the left foot to the right foot. Step to the right with the right foot again. Hop on the right foot. Then do it all to the left, step, together, step, hop on the left foot. 

Instructions -

Videos - courtesy of Creative Scotland

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