Dance The Fairbridge Reel 2039

Reel · 48 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 3   (Progression: 312)

Devised by
John Brenchley (1989)
484 808 484 484 808 888 = 72% (1 turn), 72% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change, Slip-Step
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra info
The official description in book ...

The official description in book 45 tells 1c to finish the turn on bars [35-36] in second place; that makes it very hard to finish bars [37-40] correctly.

The deviser, John Brenchley, responded as follows in the Strathspey List message 68984 of 27 June 2017.

“As Brian Charlton correctly states, The Fairbridge Reel was originally published in The Swan River Selection in 1992. It was subsequently submitted by the Western Australia Branch and accepted for publication in Book 45.

My original wording in the Swan River Selection for bars 33 - 36 stated:

"1st and 3rd couples set to partners, then turn three quarters with the right hand. 1st couple finish facing up with right hand joined. 3rd couple finish in third place on the wrong side. 2nd couple step up to top place on bars 35 - 36."

Prior to the setting, 1st couple will be in the same place as they were after the petronella turn at the start of the dance, i.e. 1st woman slightly above first place and 1st man slightly below first place. It seems logical to me that their right hand turn will therefore be in first place, not second place. Although not stated in the instructions, 1st couple finish the turn on opposite sides and I expect 1st man to dance a polite turn in order to face up at the end of bar 36.

In the demonstration being performed by the team at St Andrews in 2008, John Wilkinson and his partner as 1st couple clearly follow the above description.

If I recall correctly, book 45 was issued prior to the current approach of sending the recommended wording to the dance devisor for review. I was never consulted about the RSCDS version of the instructions so am not sure why they felt it necessary to include the words "at second place". My only thought is that perhaps it was felt that there was too much time during bars 37 - 40 for the lead up and cast off, hence the suggestion that the turn should move slightly down the dance and give a greater distance to be covered in the next 4 bars. I note that in TAC notes, they suggest that 1st lady should dance down into the turn which is presumably to help the turn move to second place. There is also a display on You Tube danced by a team from Canberra Branch and this is exactly what both sets do, the women can be seen dancing down and the turn finishes nearer to second place than first place. The dancers do not appear to have any great difficulty in doing this and still have enough time to lead up and cast during the next 4 bars so I do not think the RSCDS version is "impossible" of "not even doable", just an unnecessary complication in my view

I believe that by having 2nd couple step up during bars 35 - 36, 1st couple are forced to lead up slightly above first place before casting and this seems to fit the amount of time available during bars 37 - 40 without the need for steps to be either too short or too long. I think after the setting, the next 6 bars should be danced as a flowing movement - it is not necessary to be regimented in keeping the turn to exactly 2 bars.

In summary, my preference would be for the turn to be danced in first place as demonstrated by the team at St Andrews, but if some dancers follow the RSCDS wording exactly, its not going to overly worry me.

Best wishes

John Brenchley”

The Fairbridge Reel 3/3L · R48

2c petronella to midline | set ; All petronella | all set (2c now in 2plx)
1c+3c Reel4 on midline, at end 3W+1M turn RH to face opp side (1W stays facing 3M on midline)
3W+2c+1M set, 2c advancing on [18] | RHA, 2c to 2plx (1M+3W retain RHJ) | 1M+3W turn RH ½ to face own side while{2} 2c set
3W+2c+1M Reel4 across, at end 1M+3W finish BtoB facing P
1c+3c set to P | turn RH ¾, 1c finish in centre facing up, 3c in 3plx, 2c step up ; 1c lead to top, and cast off to finish BtoB on midline, M above W
2c+1M & 1W+3c Circle3 L, break (1c leading) into Circle6 L ½ | All set to P (3,1,2)

The Fairbridge Reel 3/3L · R48

2s petronella turn & set, all petronella turn & set
1s+3s dance RSh reel of 4 up/down ending with 1M+3L 1/2 turning RH to face opposite sides
2s+1M+3L set, dance RH across, 1M+3L 1/2 turn RH to face own sides while 2s set
2s+1M+3L dance RSh reel of 4 across, 1M+3L end in middle facing partners
1s & 3s set & 3/4 turn RH to 1s facing up & 3s in 3rd pl opp sides, 1s lead up to top, cast on opp sides & into middle 1M facing up & 1L facing down
1M+2s & 1L+3s circle 3H round to Left, 1M leads 2s down Ladies' side as 1L leads 3s up Men's side, all circle 6H round to left 1/2 way to own sides & set. 3 1 2

Sorry, this browser doesn't seem to do SVG graphics :^(


Eric Ferguson
Added on: Dec. 31, 2012, 1:40 p.m.
Quality: Demonstration quality


Murrough Landon
Added on: Sept. 12, 2019, 8:54 p.m.
Quality: Good

NameDateOwnerLast changed
Budapest Local Club 18.12.2014 2014-12-18 Zoltán Gräff Dec. 19, 2014, 11:24 a.m.
SCD Nürnberg (2019-10-28) 2019-10-28 Roland Ritthaler Nov. 18, 2019, 3:52 p.m.
Budapest Local Club 23.05.2019 2019-05-23 Zoltán Gräff May 23, 2019, 10:44 p.m.
Scottish Flowers Hildesheim 2016-09-19 2016-09-19 Cord Walter Sept. 19, 2016, 10:02 p.m.
Barn 25th May George Hobson May 25, 2022, 11:56 a.m.
Scottish Flowers Hildesheim 2013 Cord Walter Jan. 20, 2014, 11:20 p.m.
Scottish Flowers Hildesheim 2003 - 2013 Cord Walter May 19, 2014, 11:25 p.m.
Cambridge RSCDS 14 March 2015 2015-03-14 Roger Few March 15, 2015, 11:50 a.m.
Budapest Local Club 26.05.2016 2016-05-26 Zoltán Gräff May 26, 2016, 9:54 p.m.
Bath live music 24th May George Hobson May 19, 2022, 11:41 a.m.
RSCDS Richmond (N. Yorks) March Social 2022 2022-03-04 Anna S Feb. 10, 2022, 3:23 p.m.
180416 The More Unusual Dance Club 2018-04-16 Peter Dixon April 8, 2018, 12:07 p.m.
SF Hildesheim 3 Paare Cord Walter Dec. 10, 2019, 12:16 a.m.
170619 The More Unusual Dance Club 2017-06-19 Peter Dixon July 28, 2017, 5:59 p.m.
RSCDS Winchester Dance 5 April 2014 2014-04-05 David Talbot April 2, 2014, 1:27 a.m.
Cambridge RonDancing 2022 Murrough Landon Aug. 14, 2022, 11:02 p.m.

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