Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Precedence

In most Figures, and provided the dancers' Timing is perfect, the paths to be followed do not involve any conflict and so no dancer has to give way to another; however, in a few Figures, one dancer has to take Precedence over another by passing in front when Crossing Up or Crossing Down, for example.

In Scottish Country Dancing, unless otherwise specified, a Man should allow a Lady to go first. The intention to give way can be confirmed by Taking hands: if the Lady is on the Man's left, he Takes her right hand in his and guides her in front of himself towards his right; if the Lady is on the Man's right, he Takes her left hand in his and guides her in front of himself towards his left. Taking hands in this way is almost always appropriate in a Strathspey, where it adds elegance to the dance; in some Quick tempo Figures, such as Double figures of eight across, it may not be practical.

Considerations of Precedence also arise with Arches; who should make the Arch and who should go under? See Arches in Figures.


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Hand Positions

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