Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


The term Cross has the following three separate meanings of which the first can apply to a single dancer as well as two whereas the others necessarily involve two:

Dance from one Side of The set to the other;

Exchange places or Exchange positions with another dancer;

Dance on a path which intersects with that of another dancer. The various Figures in which the term appears often embody more than one of these: for example, in a Longwise set, 1st Couple Cross means that they Dance from one Side of The set to the other and also Exchange places; 1st Couple Cross up means that they Dance from one Side of The set to the other and also on paths which intersect with each other.

When unqualified by direction in a Longwise set, Cross means straight Across The set; when qualified as Up or Down, it means Diagonally. It may also be qualified as: Up and down on the Side(s); Up and down on the Centre line; or Out of the Men's or Ladies' Side.

In almost all cases, two bars are allocated to these Figures. The action at the end of the Figure depends entirely on the Figure which follows. For example, when followed by Cast, the dancer continues to Face Out; when no Figure or one such as Set on the Sides follows, the dancer Turns about and Faces In.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Crossing, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Aberdeen Hunt
Forbes Rant
Iain Nixon's Reel
Lyne Valley Reel
Peggy's Strathspey (Finley)
Renali Strathspey
Rockcliffe Rant
Tree Fern
Ye'll Aye Be Welcome Back Again

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