Solo step dance recorded from oral on South Uist. Originally taught by Ewan MacLachlan in the mid-nineteenth century

Known to have been taught by the following dancing masters:

Donald (Roidein) MacDonald – of South Uist
John MacMillan  of South Uist
Archie MacPherson – of South Uist

The most complete notation for the dance was obtained from John MacLeod who had learned the dance from Archie MacPherson and was able to demonstrate 10 steps – see from an interview by Tom Flett with John MacLeod on 12/4/1953 and a notation by Tom Flett marked “1st of August. John MacLeod”

Further steps were collected from:

Roderick MacLean – see an interview by Frank Rhodes with him on 28/4/1955.
Donald Walker who had learned from Donald (Roidein) MacDonald – 5 steps – see an interview by Frank Rhodes with Donald Walker on 29/4/1955.

A full history of the dance and notations has been published in the Newcastle Series which also contains a complete list of references and an analysis of the various manuscript sources: C. MetherellThe First of August, Newcastle: Newcastle Series, (1982).

A further description is published in Flett, J.F. & T.M., Traditional Step Dancing in Scotland, Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press. 1996, 102-108.

Further information derives from an interview by Tom Flett with Peter MacKay 12/4/1953.

Below is an interesting interpretation of the dance, performed in clogs by Ian Dunmur of the Reading Step and Traditional Dance Team.