Whitewater on the James

for my son, Jonathan – who’d rather be rafting!


Original Tune:  ‘The James in Spate’ (John Turner)  © Fiddletree Music, 2004.


8 x 32R for 3 couples in a 4C set                                                                                  devised by Moira Turner



1 – 4        1st couple and 3rd couple right hand ½ turn & twirl to change places with partner.

5 – 6        1st couple, 2nd couple, and 3rd couple set.

7 – 8        1st couple and 3rd couple cross right hand.

               A Hydraulic

9 – 16      1st couple and 2nd couple Set and Rotate.

               A Boil

17 – 20    All three couples set to partner (no hands) then 1st couple change places left hand on the sideline with partner’s 2nd corner (include polite turns), as 1st corners continue to set. (FIG. 2)

21 – 24    1st couple and their 1st corners (in 1st and 3rd places), petronella turn into the centre of the dance (FIG. 3) and set.

               Holes and Haystacks

25 – 26    1st couple change places right hand with their 1st corners in the centre of the dance


               2nd corners (in 2nd place own side) dance anti-clockwise to the ends of the line in the centre of the dance.  (FIG. 4)

27 - 28     All 3 couples change places with partner left hand and finish facing partner.  (FIG. 5)

29 - 32     All 3 couples petronella turn to own sideline and set.  (FIG. 6)


Repeat the dance having passed a couple.   On the 2nd repetition, 1st couple dances down to 4th place on the last 2 bars making a shallow curve around 4th couple (no hands) and a long turn into place as 4th couple steps up ready to begin.

                                          April, 2004 – revised April, 2015


Set and Rotate

9 – 10       1st and 2nd couples, joining nearer hands on the sides, set to partners, beginning to pull back the right shoulder on the second step.

11 – 12      All cast one place clockwise around the square formed by the 2 couples to finish men facing down, women facing up. 

                   At the end of bar 12, 1st couple should be just inside the women’s sideline while 2nd couple are just inside the men’s.  (FIG. 1)

13 – 16     1st and 2nd couples change places right hands with partner and chase one place clockwise to own sides, 1st couple finishing in second place and 2nd couple in top place.

                                                                                                                Condensed from the RSCDS Manual of SCD (1997) p. 6.53