Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Petronella Turn

The Petronella turn is the distinctive, 2-bar element of all the Petronella movements; it may be performed using Pas-de-basque or the Strathspey setting step. The following description assumes that the Scottish Country Dancer starts from her/his Side line in a Longwise set. The result is a movement clockwise one quarter round The set combined with a three quarter Turn on the spot, clockwise.

In the form using the Strathspey setting step, the Dancer starts by Facing Across The set and then follows a more curved diagonal path between the same Positions, using the whole of the first bar to Travel to the Centre line, and Finishing as in the Pas-de-basque form; in the second bar, s/he again Turns On the spot halfway.

Most commonly, a Couple perform the Figure, in which case they are back to back, but well separated, at the end of the first bar and Facing each other at the end of the second.

In derivative forms, The set may be of any form, the Dancer(s) may start from any Position(s) in The set, the extent of the diagonal movement may be reduced or eliminated and there may be more or less than a three quarter Turn on the spot. For example, when used as a precursor to Crown triangles in bars 17-18 of Fraser's Favourite, the Dancers Finish only half a Place Up or Down from their Starting Positions and do not Turn on the spot halfway during the second bar; in bars 13-14 of The Plantation Reel, the adjacent Couples Dance clockwise around the rectangle formed by their Starting Positions, either straight Across The set or straight Up or Down on the Sides but do complete a three quarter Turn on the spot. When using Petronella turn Across The set in the latter dance, and by all the Corners in bars 1-2 and 5-6 of Over The Volcano, the extent of the Travelling required using Pas-de-basque is too great to be completed in the first bar; after Travelling as far as possible on the first beat of the right foot Step, the first beat of the left foot Step must be used for the remaining Travelling as well as Turning on the spot. It would, of course, be improper to Travel on any other beat of either Step.

A similar movement using the Travelling step rather than Pas-de-basque is described in Petronella turn with skip change under Travelling.

Links To Pages Related To 'Petronella Movements'


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