Rakish Highlandman ~ RSCDS

Rakish Highlandman ~ Williams Rakish Highlandman ~ RSCDS

Rakish Highlandman ~ 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 1957 and published in RSCDS Book 19. It is J8×40 3C/4C, a proper Triple Minor dance. J40.

Wilson, on page 96, writes:

SINGLE FIGURE Tune played straight thro
Cross over 1 Cu: half figure round the 3d Cu: & lead outsides
OR THUSCast off 2 Cu: & back again & whole poussette
DOUBLE FIGURE Each strain repeated
Hey on your own sides lead down the middle up again allemande turn corners & the double triangle

This is an interpretation of the DOUBLE FIGURE. The music is two 8 bar strains (jigs) both repeated.

Wilson defines most of his figures in his An Analysis of Country Dancing.
Hey on your own sides is only defined as part of "Hey Contrary Sides, and Hey of your own Sides" on page 83 and he shows a mirror/reflection hey.
lead down the middle up again may be found on pages 10-11 and means: "lead down two couples, turn, lead up to the place of the couple who were below (who move up)" Wilson does not specify a hand hold for the lead, nor whether the 2s take hands.
allemande may be found on page 7 and appears to mean going about your partner in a circle. In a later edition of Analysis Wilson adds the phrase "back to back". Wilson does not define a "back to back" figure. His allemande is a bit rounder than a normal back to back but perhaps that is the closest equivalent.
This is an unusual meaning for "allemande", but, as best as I can understand, that is what Wilson describes.
turn corners may be found on pages 28-32 and appears to mean: the 1s pass partner right shoulder to turn first corners with both hands, then pass each other right shoulder to turn second corners (presumably again with both hands, though Wilson does not specify), finally passing each other left to return to places.
the double triangle does not appear until the 3rd edition of the Analysis on page 113 and means: the middle couple loop first corner right shoulder pass outside partner's place, then loop 2nd corner right shoulder and return to place.
This is completely different from the RSCDS version of double triangles.

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), lead, hey, parallel hey, allemande round, promenade round, down the middle and back, double triangle (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 © 1957 by RSCDS. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 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.