Lagan Bridges

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Dance details

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Name: Lagan Bridges Type: jig Bars: 48
Set: 4 couple longwise (4 couple dance) Devised by: Pamela Emerson
Published in: The RSCDS Belfast Branch - Diamond Jubilee Dances
Suggested music: 4 X 48 bar jig as used for Argyll's Fancy which can be found on RSCDS Music for the Book of Graded Scottish Country Dances CD, played by Rob Gordon and his band, Track 12

Dance instructions

1 - 8 All 4 couples dance reels of four on the sides of the set. 1s start by going in and down.
9 - 16 1s and 3s lead down the middle of the set for 4 steps. As they turn 2s and 4s step forward and join both hands with their partner to form two arches. As the 1s and 3s lead up they pass below the arches and all four couples dance out to the sidelines.
17 - 24 Joining hands on the side, all set, advance for 2 steps, all set twice.
25 - 32 pousette for four couples (see notes below).
33 - 40 2s with 3s and 4s with 1s rights & lefts.
41 - 48 Eight hands round and back.


Pousette for three or four couples
This formation begins with all couples side by side in the middle of the set
This is danced exactly as the pousette for two couples. 1st couple dance out towards the man's side of the dance while the other two or three couples dance out towards the woman's side. 1st couple dance a long step down on bar 3 to finish at the bottom of the set while the other couples dance up one place[1]

Explanatory notes

Dance devised for RSCDS Belfast Branch's 60th Anniversary competition by Pamela Emerson

When Belfast is mentioned people will say that there is a divided community, so bars 1 - 8 have the two sides of the set dancing independently. They are dancing the same pattern but they observe each other which can be shown in the dance by maintaining good eye contact and covering with your partner.

Belfast has a lot to offer the visitor so lets go on dancing a tour of the city to experience some of the sights, history and culture to be found there.

The River Lagan, flows through the city and is traversed by bridges which are illustrated in bars 9 - 16. By its banks the Titanic was built and as the engineering and shipbuilding industries flourished, new buildings were constructed and the town expanded. The pousette in bars 25 - 32 serves to represent the industrial workings that have made Belfast commercially prosperous.

Northern Ireland has its own parliamentary buildings at Stormont in the east of the city. The magnificent Portland stone building set on a hill is approached by a long straight driveway. Bars 17 - 24 show the driveway, which was lined by fans of 'The Belfast Boy', footballer George Best, during his funeral procession.

Belfast has been celebrating its heritage and has constructed two open air spaces for entertainment and social activity, Custom House Square and Writers Square. The Custom House was built in the 1850s and its steps were Belfast's 'Speakers Corner' where people of the day aired their political views. Writers Square has quotes about Belfast by local writers and poets inscribed on plaques inserted in the ground. The rights and lefts formations in bars 33 - 40 relate to the two squares.

Standing at the end of the Queen's Bridge is a 15 metre steel structure of a woman holding up a ring, created to symbolise peace and reconciliation. She stands on a globe in what is known as Thanksgiving Square, an area that is dedicated to giving thanks and looking for hope in the future. In bars 41 - 48 all the dancers, from both sides, join together in a circle of celebration.


  1. RSCDS Manual of Scottish Country Dancing 2005, 6.19.2, page 56