Salty Dog Rag came over from the States and became a popular, if challenging, couple dance in the eCeilidh repertoire in the 1980's. If you had a slinky schottische played, you danced a Salty Dog....
It's a couple dance, there'll be two of you, side by side, facing anticlockwise round the room. In the side by side, you have "right hand holding right hand" and "left hand holding left hand". Skaters do this when skating as couples - at least in the pictures...
The music is a schottische and the rhythm is shown emphasised woven into the descriptions of the moves. The dance is right footed, meaning the moves start on the right; you'll be doing a Right Left Right Hop, Left Right Left Hop. Right Hop, Left Hop, Right Hop, Left Hop and so on to the rhythm...
Facing round the room, in that skaters hold ...
and the same again
There are variations here, or maybe better described that the Folk Process has got involved and people have found their own ways of fitting a move to the music. Following the original notation...
Face your partner, hold left hands: Face your partner? The man has the easy job, he keeps on facing the way he'd been dancing. The woman faces him. There is going to be a move "out sideways" and orientating yourself this way, particularly in a small room or with many people, reduces the chance of collisions.
Face each other again and repeat... The move can be seen as a snippet here.
Back in skater's hold, facing round the room, but not moving, for a showy bit...
and the same again
Turn to face each other and repeat the chorus ...
... and then start again with the travelling.
The Salty Dog Rag appeared in the UK around 1984 (Albion Band/Albionettes) and arrived in the eCeilidh repertoire as the dance to dance to to the Ran Tan Band's Big Cheese.
Somewhere along the line, a simplified version of the chorus developed with right hands instead of left and without the spin. Turn to face each other...
Move slightly away from each other and do the same again, pulling past with your right...
The Salty Dog Rag tune in ABC notation
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