Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Knot For 3 Couples

The Figure, The knot for 3 couples is a means of inverting the order of adjacent Couples in a Longwise set using a Travelling step throughout. It appears in some Strathspeys but, blessedly, not so far in any Quick tempo dance; however, it does occur in the Medley, Montrose Dancers, and so requires Skip change in the Reel part. Like the Allemande for 3 couples, it often degenerates into an untidy scramble in Quick tempo.

In the first 4 bars, the Figure has the same similarity to an inverted Allemande for 3 couples as does the 2-Couple version to the Allemande for 2 couples.

When performed by 1st, 2nd and 3rd Couples, from their Original Places, the movements for 3rd Couple, who are the leaders, are as follows:

Bars 1-2
Turn By the right halfway, 3rd 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 (3rd Man Turning on the spot) and Dance Out to the Ladies' side line, 3rd Man Finishing in 3rd Lady's Place;

Bar 4
retaining Allemande Hold, Turn By the left one quarter (3rd Man Turning on the spot) and Dance Up the Ladies' side line one Place;

Bar 5
retaining Allemande Hold, continue to Dance Up the Ladies' side line until 3rd Man reaches 1st Lady's Place, release the right hand and Turn By the left one quarter, 3rd Man Turning on the spot, Finishing in the Ladies' side line with 3rd Lady Above 3rd Man;

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;

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 2nd Couple, who follow 3rd Couple, the movements are as follows:

Bars 1-2
as for 3rd Couple;

Bar 3
retaining Allemande Hold, Dance Down the Centre line to 3rd Position and Turn By the left one quarter with an Open hold, 2nd Man Turning on the spot;

Bar 4
retaining Allemande Hold, Dance Out to the Ladies' side line and Turn By the left one quarter (2nd Man Turning on the spot and Finishing in 3rd Lady's Place);

Bar 5
retaining Allemande Hold, Dance Up the Ladies' side line one Place (2nd Man Finishing in 2nd Lady's Place), release the right hand and Turn By the left one quarter (2nd Man Turning on the spot in 2nd Lady's Place);

Bar 6
as for 3rd Couple but Finishing in 2nd Position;

Bars 7-8
as for 3rd Couple but Finishing in 2nd Place.

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

Bars 1-2
as for 3rd Couple;

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

Bar 4
as bar 3 for 2nd Couple;

Bar 5
retaining Allemande Hold, Dance Out to the Ladies' side line and Turn By the left one quarter (1st Man Turning on the spot in 3rd Lady's Place), release the right hand and Turn By the left one quarter (1st Man continuing to Turn on the spot);

Bar 6
as for 3rd Couple but Finishing in 3rd Position;

Bars 7-8
as for 3rd Couple but Finishing in 3rd Place.

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

Note that, in order to accommodate 3 Couples while retaining the reference point (all the dancers in the Ladies' side line, Ladies above their Partners) at the end of bar 5, all, especially 1st Couple, must move quickly in that bar.

Note also that the above instructions differ slightly from those in the RSCDS's "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing" in the same respect as for The knot for 2 couples.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, The knot for 3 couples, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Cataraqui Woods
Derwent Strathspey
From Ochtertyre To Amulree
Jordanhill Strathspey
Lassie From Stirling
May Yarker's Strathspey
Melrose
Misty Isle In Summer
Shores Of Solway

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates The Knot For 3 Couples

The Knot For 3 Couples Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'The Knot'

Complex Figures

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