Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Figure Of Eight

In Figure of eight, as the name suggests, the dancer follows a path which from above looks like an "8" and is often danced around two other stationary dancers; in more complex sequences, the other dancers may be performing some complementary Figure, arriving at each Place at the instant required to provide a "post" for the performer of the Figure of eight. While this Figure mostly occurs in Longwise sets, and so is described for those, the term can also be used for any similar movement in a Circular set.

This Figure rarely occurs on its own but it is convenient to define it as a building block for the much more common, Figures of eight, in which two dancers perform the Figure simultaneously with varying forms of symmetry. See also Double Figures of eight, in which four Scottish Country Dancers each perform a Figure of eight.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Figure of eight, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Agnes And Bobby Crowe
Gladys McDonald Of Glencoe
Maids Of Currie
Prince Charlie's Quickstep
Round House Reel
Sands Of Morar
Tam O' Shanter (Priddey)
Tribute To Talent
Woodland Assembly

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