Diamonds on Black Velvet
by Sue McKinnell 8X32 Strathspey for 3C
1-8 1M and 2W pass RS then pass partners LS into a half diagonal reel of 4 (on the diagonal from 1W’s position to 2M's position). On bar 4 as 1M and 2W are dancing past each other RS to RS they take RH and turn halfway (to original positions but toward the center of the set). 1W and 2M join them (behind partners) to dance RH across once round. (1W and 2M need to time the loop at the end of the half reel so they can be in place at the end of bar 4.) End 2M, 2W on the women's side and 1M, 1W on the men's side.
9-16 2M and 1W pass LS then pass the person opposite them RS into a half diagonal reel of 4 (on the diagonal from 1M's position to 2W's position). On bar 4 as 1W and 2M are dancing past each other LS to LS they take LH and turn halfway. 1M and 2W join them (in front of partners) to dance LH across once round. All end facing down, left hands joined with partners in the order 2, 1.
17-24 1C followed by 2C lead down below 3C, cross over, cast up to 2nd place, meet partners, dance up between 1st place, and cast off 1 place; 2C cast into 1st place.
25-32 Reels across the set, 1C giving LS to 1st corners to begin. On bar 4, 1C change places passing LS to complete partner's reel. 2C and 3C dance full reels of 3 across. 1C end in 2nd place on own sides.
Suggested music is Liz Donaldson’s Strathspey tune written for me.
On a trip to Mexico I stayed in a thatched hut on the Chichen Itza site. I remember the night sky as darker than any I'd ever seen before and the Milky Way sprinkled across it like diamonds on black velvet.