Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Strathspey Half Poussette

The Strathspey half poussette (common synonym - half Diamond Poussette) is a formally prescribed Scottish Country Dancing Figure which, like Allemande, is used in Strathspeys as an elegant means of Progression, i.e., interchanging the Places of two adjacent Couples.

The whole Figure requires 4 bars; it is a derivative of the Strathspey poussette, using the movements of bars 2, 3, 7 and 8 of that Figure.

As with Allemande and unlike the full Strathspey poussette, there is no Time at the beginning of the Figure to reach the Centre line from the Side lines: if stationary, a Couple must Dance in to the Centre line on the last bar of the preceding Figure, 1st Man and 2nd Lady using the left foot step of the Strathspey travelling step (see Diagram 10), their Partners using the right foot step (see Diagram 9); if performing a previous Figure, the ending must be adapted so as to Finish on the Centre line and 1st Lady and 2nd Man may need to change feet.

Assuming that 1st and 2nd Couples are to perform the Strathspey half poussette Figure, they start Facing Partners on the Diagonal line which is at right angles to the line joining 1st Lady's and 2nd Man's Places with 1st Lady and 2nd Man back to back, as at the end of bar 1 in the Strathspey poussette (Diagram 72).

1st and 2nd Couples Take Both hands at the beginning of the 4-bar phrase, retaining this Hold for the first 3 bars; the hands should initially be in an Open hold with the elbows only slightly bent and the hands as widely spaced as is practicable. 1st Lady and 2nd Man must start using the left foot step of the Strathspey setting step, their Partners start with the right.


Bar 1
taking a step on the first beat so that 1st Man and 2nd Lady reach their Own side lines, 1st Couple Dance towards 1st Man's right While 2nd Couple Dance towards 2nd Lady's right and then, on the third beat, both Turn slightly less than one sixth clockwise, 1st Man and 2nd Lady rotating On the spot, their Partners taking a large step (this is exactly as in Diagram 73);

Bar 2
continuing with the natural foot, 1st Couple Dance towards 1st Man's left While 2nd Couple Dance towards 2nd Lady's left until 1st Man and 2nd Lady have passed back to back, both Couples Finishing on the Centre line, 1st Couple in 2nd Place and 2nd Couple in 1st Place (this is exactly as in Diagram 74);

Bar 3
continuing with the natural foot but dropping the elbows to Take a tighter Hold (as in Poussette using Pas-de-basque), both Couples Turn clockwise approximately two thirds and then release their Hold when Facing Opposite Sides (this is as in Diagram 78 but with the Couples interchanged);

Bar 4
continuing with the natural foot, all Dance backwards, 1st Couple Finishing in 2nd Place, 2nd Couple Finishing in 1st Place (this is as in Diagram 79 but with the Couples interchanged).

If this Figure is to be repeated by 1st Couple (supported by 3rd Couple this time), as in Neidpath Castle at bar 29, they modify the preceding two bars as follows:

Bar 3
1st Couple Turn clockwise approximately two thirds (this is as for 2nd Couple in Diagram 78 but without releasing their Hold);

Bar 4
continuing with the natural foot and reverting to the Open hold, Dance a very short step toward 1st Man's left on the first beat and then Turn clockwise approximately one third, 1st Man rotating On the spot so as to Finish with 1st Lady and 3rd Man back to back (3rd Couple should be Dancing toward the Centre line on this bar) on the Diagonal line which is at right angles to the line joining 2nd Lady's and 3rd Man's Places.

In other dances, such as Alltshellach and, especially notably, Peggy's Love, bar 4 is modified to suit the succeeding Figure.


For example, here are some other Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Strathspey Half Poussette, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Blervie Castle
Glencoe
Golden Anniversary Strathspey
Kinfauns Castle
Lea Rig
Shamrock Girl
Trip To Tobermory

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Strathspey Half Poussette

Strathspey Half Poussette Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Poussette Movements'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: ½ Diamond Poussette.

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