Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Allemande Hold

Instructions for the Allemande hold in Scottish Country Dancing.

The Couple Take Both hands as for Promenade hold and, leaving the left hands unchanged, raise the right hands over the Lady's head Finishing with the right hands just Above her shoulder; it is most important that the Man's right arm should not rest on her shoulder. This is similar to the "Shadow Hold" in Ballroom Dancing though the Lady should be beside her Partner in Allemande hold, not slightly in front of him. Diagram 80 shows an approximate plan view of the arms.

It is tempting for the Man to lead (in the Ballroom Dancing sense of guiding his partner) with the right hand and, indeed, it may be helpful to do just that when the Lady is a Beginner in order to establish the rhythm of some of the more staccato movements. However, the formal rule is to guide with the left hand.

This Hold is an essential part of Allemande (see under Complex figures) and is occasionally used in some other Figures, such as Chase.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Allemande hold, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Baldovan Square
Haggis Tree
Border Barque
Celtic Cross (Arrowsmith)
Celtic Kiwi
Hunter's Moon
Morland Knot


Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Allemande Hold

Allemande Hold Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Holds'

Hand Positions

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