Solo hard shoe step dance from South Uist, Scotland.

The dance is one of a seerries of solo step dances attributed to the dancing master Ewan MacLachlan.  He taught a number of people on South Uist and although the First of August was perhaps not the most popular dance in his repertoire a number of sources were able to recall it, or parts of it:

Archie Macpherson is the individual through whom most of our knowledge of the dance comes. In particular he taught John Macleod of Eochar from whom Tom Flett and Jack MacConachie obtained the fullest available notations for the dance.  Another pupil, Roderick MacLean provided information and notations to collector Frank Rhodes. Additionally, D.G. MacLennan published what was clearly a substantial reconstruction of the dance, having learned it from Archie Macpherson in 1925.

Ronald Morrison became a dancing master in Castlebay, Barra.  His versions of the steps are consistantly different from other sources.  His pupil Donald Walker was one of Tom Flett‘s informants.

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 source:

C. MetherellThe First of August, Newcastle: Newcastle Series, (1982).