Reelers take their SCD very seriously and when they birl it is controlled and expected by the other dancers e.g in the Reel of the 51st it is normal if not proper, after turning first corners, that the dancing couple will meet left hand with thumb grip, lean forward on the first setting step, lean back on the second step of the balance in line and then birl vigorously with left hand to give right hand to second corners with the music. They have a limited repertoire of dances but it is important to them that they are done well by their lights. Ron Mackey's description of dancing the Duke and Duchess is exactly how the Reelers would do it although I do find they are less into the eye contact and flirting of RSCDS style dancing. As Ron points out it is also much less tiring and I have danced Duke of Perth in 5 couple sets 10 times, encored it ten times followed by once and to the bottom. The Foursome Reel and half Reel of Tulloch (Reeler style) is routinely followed by two sets instantly merging and straight into an Eightsome.
Reelers tend to like dress-up functions which can lead to it being a middle/upper class thing with military officer class overtones but I have found that if you are dressed appropriately for the occasion and know the dances well enough not to upset other dancers you will be made very welcome.
(Description by Jim Healy in a posting to the Strathspey mailing list)
Last updated 7-09-03 .
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