Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


Strictly, this imperative form should appear in Scottish Country Dance instructions before every Figure (for example, Reel of three or Hands across but not Set or Cast) where the name of the Figure does not include a verb though it is obviously implied and so is usually omitted; it must be included for a movement such as Dance Down Inside The set (as for the leftmost Dancer on the Men's Side in Set and link).

It is a convenient term to precede a description of the path to be followed when one or more Dancers are to Travel in a way not defined by a standard term as, for example, in the description of the Men's path in bars 1-2 of Quarter schiehallion reel.

In the 2005 Edition of The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing, Dance with no qualification was unhelpfully defined to mean Lead Taking Nearer hands in order to differentiate from Lead which, when unqualified, means Lead Taking Right hands. Since this can potentially conflict with the important usage in the previous paragraph, care must be taken when using Dance with inadequate qualification; the golden rule has to be to favour redundancy over any risk of ambiguity.

The reference form, Dance, is not used for the more general meaning of performing the complete set of Figures which make up the whole dance or for the substantive forms such as dance meaning an event.

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