THE LAIRDS' CHAIN
32 bar Strathspey for two couples
|1-4||First and second couples dance right hands across once around; finish in place, first couple facing down and second couple facing up|
|5-8||First and second women set and turn with right hands, a three-quarter turn, and finish facing each other; first and second men do the same, to make a line of four across the dance|
|9-16||Reel of four across the dance|
|17-20||First and second women, also first and second men, set, and turn with both hands, a three-quarter turn; open out, retaining near hands, and flow into|
|21-24||second and first couples circle, four hands round to the left; finish on the sidelines|
|25-32||Second and first couples dance rights and lefts|
|Repeat, having passed a couple|
Tune: Mountain Mist, by A. M. Laird
Devised by Peter McClure (joptmc [at] cc.umanitoba.ca), Winnipeg, March 2003, for Rena and Adam Laird . This dance can be used to introduce relatively new dancers to the reel of four. It is a variation of "The Lairds' Diamond," the reel of four is central to Scottish country dancing, just as Rena and Adam Laird have been central to the local Scottish cultural community for as long as we have known them.
The dance could also be done as a jig; in that case, we suggest skip-change-of-step for the two hand turns at bars 19-20. That may not be according to current RSCDS convention, but it will make the flow into the circle more pleasant. Finally, it could be done as a medley, 32 bars strathspey followed by 32 bars jig for each couple in a three couple set.