Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Knot For 2 Couples

The Figure, The knot for two couples is used as a Progression to interchange adjacent Couples in a Longwise set using the Travelling step appropriate to the Tempo throughout; although originally specified for Strathspeys, in which it has the same elegance as the Allemande (for 2 Couples), it also appears in a few Quick tempo dances.

In the first 4 bars, the Figure has similarity to an inverted Allemande (for 2 Couples) with the following significant differences: the Couples are not required to be already on the Centre line but normally start from Places (i.e., in the Side lines); the characteristic movement in bar 1 of Allemande is omitted.

When performed by 1st and 2nd Couples, from their Original Places, the movements for 2nd Couple, who are the leaders, are as follows:

Bars 1-2
Turn By the right halfway, 2nd Lady continuing to Turn on the spot, clockwise, under her Partner's arm, Finishing on the Centre line, Facing Down in Allemande Hold;

Bar 3
retaining Allemande Hold, Turn By the left one quarter (2nd Man Turning on the spot) and Dance Out to the Ladies' Side line, 2nd Man Finishing in 2nd Lady's Place, as shown in Diagram 93;


Bar 4
retaining Allemande Hold, Turn By the left one quarter (2nd Man Turning on the spot) and begin to Dance Up the Ladies' Side line, as shown in Diagram 94;

Bar 5
retaining Allemande Hold, continue to Dance Up the Ladies' side line until 2nd Man reaches 1st Lady's Place, release the right hand and Turn By the left one quarter, 2nd Man Turning on the spot, Finishing in the Ladies' side line with 2nd Lady Above 2nd Man, as shown in Diagram 95;

Bar 6
changing to an Open hold, Turn By the left one quarter, at the same time moving Across the set to Finish on Opposite Sides of the Centre line in 1st Position, as shown in Diagram 96;

Bars 7-8
retaining the Hold, and making it as Open as possible, Turn By the left halfway and release the Hold to Finish on Own sides in 1st Place.

For 1st Couple, who follow 2nd Couple, the movements are as follows:

Bars 1-2
as for 2nd Couple;

Bar 3
retaining Allemande Hold, Dance Down the Centre line to 2nd Position;

Bar 4
as bar 3 for 2nd Couple;

Bar 5
with 1st Man Turning on the spot throughout, Turn one quarter anticlockwise to Face Up, release the right hand and Turn By the left one quarter, Finishing in the Ladies' side line with 1st Lady Above 1st Man;

Bar 6
as for 2nd Couple but Finishing in 2nd Position;

Bars 7-8
as for 2nd Couple but Finishing in 2nd Place.

Covering is important in bars 6-8 since both Couples are performing the same Figure.

Note that these Scottish Country Dancing instructions are more detailed than those in "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing" and are slightly different; the RSCDS's instructions require the Ladies to Travel an enormous distance in bars 3-4 and then slow down dramatically, taking 4 bars to Turn By the left less than three quarters. It is helpful to the dancer to have some reference point about halfway through any complex Figure (cf. Diagram 85 which shows the alignment of the dancers on the Men's side line at the end of bar 5 in Allemande); in these instructions for this Figure (but not in the RSCDS's), the dancers should be in the Ladies' Side line, Ladies above the Men at the end of bar 5.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, The knot for 2 couples, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Beauty Of The North
Cromarty's Sundance
Dancing Master Of Moncton
Golden Wedding Strathspey
Karin's Strathspey
Let's Celebrate (Wilde)
Mill Of Towie
Miss Gibson's Strathspey
Miss Milligan's Strathspey
Where Friends Meet

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates The Knot For 2 Couples

The Knot For 2 Couples Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'The Knot'

Complex Figures

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