The Thistle Turns Silver

for Barbara Benedict of Richmond, Virginia, on The Silver Anniversary of Thistle School, 2005




Original Tune:  ‘The Thistle Turns Silver’ (John Turner)  © Fiddletree Music, 2004.

Suggested Recording:  ‘Hoedown Reel Set’ from Scottish Dance Music by Music Makars



5 x 32R for 5 couples in a 5 couple set                                                                                                      devised by Moira Turner


1 – 2         2nd and 4th couples dance a petronella turn to finish back to back with partner in the centre of the dance facing original position.

3 – 4         1st, 3rd and 5th couples set turning right about to face out.

5 – 6         2nd and 4th couples set, pulling back right shoulder and remaining back to back, and turn to face partner’s original position.

7 – 8         1st, 3rd and 5th couples set turning right about to face in.

9 – 16        2nd and 4th couples turn 1st corner right hand, pass partner right shoulder, turn 2nd corner left hand and pass partner left shoulder to finish in 2nd & 4th places (resp.) in the centre of the dance on own side facing up.   (2M & 4M pull back left shoulder.)


                 “Triangle Progressions”  


17 – 18      1st couple dance down own sideline 2 places and remain facing down


                 2nd couple dance diagonally out and up 1 place and face up


                      3rd couple dance diagonally in to position just vacated by 2nd couple and face up.  (FIG. 1)

19 – 20      1st , 2nd and 3rd couples set, 2nd and 3rd couples turning right about to face down.

21 – 22      1st couple repeat bars 17 & 18 with 4th and 5th couples but to finish 4th couple face up, 5th couple face out and 1st couple face in.  (FIG. 2)

23 – 24      2nd, 3rd and 4th couples set


                 5th couple dance a petronella turn to finish in own sideline, 5W facing 1W and 5M facing 1M


                 1st couple (in 5th place) dance a petronella turn to finish with back to partner in the centre of the dance, 1W facing 5W and 1M facing 5M.  (FIG. 3)



                 “Thistle Reels”   (FIG. 4)


25 – 32      2nd, 3rd and 4th couples dance reels of 3 in the ‘sidelines,’ 3rd and 4th couples passing right shoulder to begin and all retaining the shape of the thistle outline shown in Fig. 4


                 5th and 1st couples dance a reel of 4 on the circumference of the circle completed by 3rd and 4th couples.

                 To interlace the reels, 1st couple pass 3rd couple right shoulder on bar 2 and 5th couple pass 2nd couple right shoulder on bar 4.

                 All finish in the original sidelines. 


Dancers finish in the order 2, 3, 4, 5, 1 ready to repeat the dance with a new top couple.

                                                                                                                                           June, 2004



The Thistle Turns Silver

Devised for The Thistle School Silver Anniversary, 2005





FIG. 1:                                                                                                  FIG. 2


1M                             1W                                                                       2M                             2W



             2M   2W                                                                                                 3M   3W



3M                             3W                                                                       1M                             1W



             4M   4W                                                                                                 4M   4W



5M                             5W                                                                       5M                             5W








FIG. 3:                                                                                            FIG. 4:


2M                               2W                                                                     2M                               2W



             3M     3W                                                                                               3M   3W



4M                               4W                                                                     4M                             4W




             5M     5W                                                                                  5M                             5W



1M                               1W                                                                                  1M   1W