Lady Harriet Hope's Reel ~ RSCDS

Lady Harriet Hope's Reel ~ Williams Lady Harriet Hope's Reel ~ RSCDS

Lady Harriet Hope's Reel ~ RSCDS is a Scottish Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Wilson in 1816 and published in A Companion to the Ball Room, London. It was interpreted by RSCDS in 1951 and published in RSCDS Book 16. It is R8×32 3C/4C, a proper Triple Minor dance. R32.

In his A Companion to the Ball Room, 1816, Thomas Wilson published Lady Harriet Hope's Reel:, wherein he writes:

SINGLE FIGURE (1st. strain repeated 2d. played straight thro')
Swing with right hands round 2d. Cu: then with left lead thro the bottom & half poussette with top Cu:

OR THUS Set & hands across quite round with 2d. Cu: set & back again lead down the mid: up again & right & left with top Cu:

DOUBLE FIGURE (Tune played twice thro' as marked)
Set ¿3? hands 6 round & back again whole figure at top lead down the middle up again set to top & whole figure contrary corners

The music consists of a four bar strain and an eight bar strain. The RSCDS has picked the third figure (the one marked "DOUBLE FIGURE") which means the music should be played AABAAB. " " indicates two repetitions of a of the first strain, and " " indicates one repetition of the second (each accounting for 8 bars of music).

Wilson defines most of his figures in his Analysis of Country Dancing, but he does not define what he means by set 3 hands 6 round & back again. It seems unlikely that he would have people do two bars of setting, then three bars circling left and three right; the RSCDS's suggestion of set, circle left half, set, circle right half seems better.

The RSCDS has changed the first figure eight into a reel of four, and made it progressive.

Wilson's lead down the middle up again takes only four bars, not the 6 given to it by the RSCDS and doesn't involve changing sides. Wilson's set should be for four bars, not two (he liked things in four bar chunks).

Wilson's whole figure contrary corners means half figure eight down around the 3s then half figure eight up around the 2s (see his description). The RSCDS has turned this into a finishing reel with a cross by the right.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, circle, lead, hey, hey for four, down the middle and back (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1951 by RSCDS. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2024 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.