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The Swinging Sporran: Light-hearted Guide to the Basic Steps of Scottish Reels and Country Dances [Paperback]

Andrew Campbell , Roderick Martine
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Oct 1990
This edition of a guide to the basic steps of 17 Scottish reels and country dances has been updated to include the latest variations. The book explains each dance simply and clearly with diagrams, and gives additional background information on dress, history and basic technique such as setting, turns and pas de basque. The dances listed include The Duke of Perth, Hamilton House, The Reel of the 51st, Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Inverness Country Dance, Foursome, Eightsome and Sixteensome Reels and The Dashing White Sergeant. Roddy Martine is the ex-editor of the "Scottish Field" and author of the "New Shell Guide to the Lowlands and Borders of Scotland".

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Oct 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140119957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140119954
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,645,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Roddy Martine has written a large number of books on Scottish life, encompassing Scotch whisky, clans and tartans, interiors and biographies. In addition he contributes to a wide range of newspapers, and is associate editor of Caledonia Magazine. Andrew Campbell was born and brought up in Muir of Ord, Ross-shire. He is director of Ashridge Stategic Management Centre, visiting professor at City University Business Sxhool and author of 10 books on business stategy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reely quite good 7 Feb 2009
To be honest, there's a limit to what a book about dancing can actually teach you: if you're a complete Scottish country dancing beginner, not even step-by-step diagrams are going to convey the intricacies of the moves and spins, even if, like this manual, tries its best with arrows and diagrams. You really need to see dancers in action, and hear the music, to get how the individual sections all fit together.

However, having said that, of all the guides I've read in a vain attempt to learn in a hurry, The Swinging Sporran is the most useful. It breaks down all the classic dances you would need to know for a formal Scottish reeling night into basic steps - Hamilton House, the Eightsome Reel, Reel of the 51st Division, Dashing White Sergeant, etc - and offers some tongue-in-cheek advice straight from 1973 about what to wear, and what to expect. Not much has changed; after all, a kilt is a kilt is a kilt. This is definitely an introductory guide to the traditional world of Scottish Country Dancing, however; you'll need a different book if you're heading for a more informal folk dance ceilidh, where Strip the Willow, the Gay Gordons, etc, are more usual.

But with a CD of appropriate tunes to put to the steps, this is a handy little book to keep in your sporran for reference, and a good starting place for anyone with an interest in Scottish country dance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freshen up before the Ball! 30 Nov 2009
Highland Balls can be a bit daunting - unless you have boned up beforehand with this slim little confidence booster. Most scottish country dance manuals contain incomprehensible diagrams and arcane instructions which only the most knowledgable and experienced dancers can decipher. Enter "The Swinging Sporran". Light hearted and amusing it may be, but it has most of the dances commonly used at Highland Balls in a form that will refresh your memory with grace and ease. Just what is required in fact by people like me with dodgy memories who don't wish to spoil the fun by getting in a muddle at the crucial moment. You might even learn some new dances but its more likely that you will have tried most of these before unless you are a complete novice, in which case you should probably seek some basic instruction. Not for the keen expert, but you will know yourself if you belong in that hallowed group.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for learning how to CrossCountry dance! 12 Oct 2009
Brushed up my dancing skills before a ball with this! At least I had an idea which direction to go in during the dances!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Calms the nerves!! 10 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was heading off to Skye Balls - and it had been a while since I had been reeling, so this was perfect to get back in to the swing of things. its not for the advanced reeler, but great for the amateur looking for a guiding hand. Very good and definitely recommended.
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