Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Set And Link For 3 Couples

This is the most common form of Set and link and also the most complex.

It normally starts with 3rd couple in 1st place, 1st couple in 2nd place and 2nd couple in 3rd place, all on Opposite sides, in a Longwise set. Bars 1-2 require Pas-de-basque or the Strathspey setting step as appropriate to the tempo of the dance; bars 3-4 require Skip change or the Strathspey travelling step. In detail:

Bars 1-2
all Take hands On the sides and Set Facing Across the set;

Bars 3-4
3rd lady and 2nd man (at the left End of each line) Dance In, Pulling right shoulder back, and Pass left shoulder to Finish at the other End of the same line, 3rd lady Facing Down in 1st lady's Place, 2nd man Facing Up in 3rd man's Place
While
2nd lady and 3rd man (at the right End of each line) Cast, Pulling right shoulder back, to Finish at the other End of the same line, 2nd lady Facing Down in 1st man's Place, 3rd man Facing Up in 3rd lady's Place
While
1st lady and 1st man (in the Middle of each line) Cast, Pulling right shoulder back, to Finish on the Centre line, 1st lady Facing Down in 1st position, 1st man Facing Up in 3rd position,
all now in lines Across the set, Facing Up and down.

For clarity, the movements in bar 3 are shown in Diagram 107 and for bar 4 in Diagram 108.


Diagram 107: Bar 3 of Set and link for 3 couples in a Longwise Set, 1st couple's paths shown emboldened, ladies' broken; unshaded arrow heads show the finishing positions; initial rotation shown for those casting.

Diagram 108: Bar 4 of Set and link for 3 couples in a Longwise Set, 1st couple's paths shown emboldened, ladies' broken; arrow heads show the finishing positions, including the final rotations to face up and down.

This is usually followed by the same sequence performed with the starting lines Across the set:

Bars 5-6
all Take hands in lines Across the set and Set Facing Up and down;

Bars 7-8
3rd lady and 2nd man (at the left End of each line) Dance In, Pulling right shoulder back, and Pass left shoulder to Finish at the other End of the same line, 3rd lady in her Original Place, 2nd man in 1st man's Place
While
2nd lady and 3rd man (at the right End of each line) Cast, Pulling right shoulder back, to Finish at the other End of the same line, 2nd lady in 1st lady's Place, 3rd man in his Original Place
While
1st lady and 1st man (in the Middle of each line) Cast, Pulling right shoulder back, to Finish in 2nd place on their Own sides,
all Facing In.

The 8-bar sequence appears in exactly this form in bars 25-32 of the Strathspey, Gang The Same Gate and the Reel, The Cuckoo Clock.

In the 5-couple Reel, Reel Friends, the 4-bar sequence starts in the Sidelines but is modified so that the Dancers at the right End and in the Middle of each line Cast only one Place, all Finishing in the Sidelines.

It is essential that devisers and teachers should make it absolutely clear which version of Set and link for three is to be performed.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Set And Link For 3 Couples, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Corian Strathspey
Crossing The Bay
Dee In Spring
Findlater Castle
Kynoch Of Bucksburn
Normal For Norfolk
St Andrew's Links (Sheffield)
Weary Willie's Reel
Whiteadder Jig

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Set And Link For 3 Couples

Set And Link For 3 Couples Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Set And Link'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: Set+Link for 3.

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