Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Tournée

This Figure, The tournée, interchanges the Positions of two adjacent Couples in a Longwise set and so can be used as a Progression; it is prescribed for Strathspeys, only.

The tournée requires 8 bars of the Strathspey travelling step; when danced by the first two Couples from their Original Places:

Bar 1
As shown in Diagram 115, 1st couple Advance, Giving left shoulders, to the Centre line, 1st man Pulling left shoulder back to Finish Below Partner in Promenade hold Facing Men's side WHILE 2nd couple Advance, Giving right shoulders, to the Centre line, 2nd lady Pulling right shoulder back to Finish Below Partner in Promenade hold Facing Ladies' side;

Diagram 115: The Tournée: Bar 1.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an unshaded arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces; where shown, a shaded arrow head indicates the finishing point of the travelling movement.

Bar 2
as shown in Diagram 116, both Couples Promenade one quarter round, anticlockwise, to Finish in Line across, 1st couple Facing Down and releasing right hands, 2nd couple Facing Up and releasing left hands;

Diagram 116: The Tournée: Bar 2.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces and the finishing point of the travelling movement.

Bars 3-4
as shown in Diagram 117, retaining Hold, 1st couple Turn by the left, moving Down and Inwards to Finish on the Centre line, 1st man in the Position vacated by 2nd lady at the beginning of bar 2 and 1st lady in the Position vacated by 2nd man WHILE 2nd couple Turn, also anticlockwise, moving Up and Inwards to Finish on the Centre line, 2nd man in the Position vacated by 1st lady at the beginning of bar 2 and 2nd lady in the Position vacated by 1st man, all Facing Opposite side;

Diagram 117: The Tournée: Bars 3-4.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an unshaded arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces; where shown, a shaded arrow head indicates the finishing point of the travelling movement.

Bars 5-7
as shown in Diagram 118, 2nd couple Turn by the right one and a half times WHILE 1st couple Turn by the left one and a half times, all Finishing on the Centre line having Exchanged places with Partners and releasing Hold;

Diagram 118: The Tournée: Bars 5-7.
This shows the starting point only; the paths are not shown since these overlap. All finish in partner's position, and facing, as at the beginning of bar 5;

Bar 8
as shown in Diagram 119, 2nd couple Dance Out to 1st couple's Places WHILE 1st couple Dance Out to 2nd couple's Places, all Finishing by Turning on the spot to Face In.

Diagram 119: The Tournée: Bar 8.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an unshaded arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces; where shown, a shaded arrow head indicates the finishing point of the travelling movement.

As in most Strathspey Figures, there is an opportunity to add elegance by careful Covering. This is straightforward in bars 1-2 and bars 5-8 but quite difficult in bars 3-4 since 2nd couple's Finishing movements are different from those of 1st couple.

Note that, in bars 2-4, the Ladies have much farther to Travel than their Partners and so must take much larger Steps whereas the Men, taking very small Steps, are often almost Dancing On the spot. The movement for 2nd lady in bars 3-4 is particularly demanding since she and her Partner have to Turn anticlockwise with a right hand Hold while also Travelling towards their Finishing Positions on the Centre line.

Care must be taken that, at the end of bar 3, the Ladies do not encroach on the space of the Couples Above or Below them in their Longwise sets. Although this is unimportant when these adjacent Couples are Standing or are not near the Centre line, it is critically important when 3rd and 4th couples are performing The tournée at the same time as 1st and 2nd couples (all from their Original Positions), as in Cape Spear. This potential problem will also arise on the 3rd, 5th and 7th Repeats in any dance with the format, 2 Couple repeat in 4 couple set, which includes The tournée.

The official description of the Figure (in The (RSCDS) Manual of Scottish Country Dancing, 3rd Edition, 2013) does not clearly define the Positions of the Dancers in bars 2-4; a description and diagram by the original deviser, Bob Campbell, is a little clearer but does not specify the timing of the change of Hold. The above instructions are a formalization of usual practice, avoiding requiring anyone to Dance backwards but, regrettably, requiring an anticlockwise Turn with a right hand Hold by 2nd couple.

Although not authentic, awkward movements can be avoided by using the following more prescriptive Figures to simplify bars 2-4:

Bars 2-3 (Simplified)
as shown in Diagram 121, both Couples Promenade halfway, anticlockwise, to Exchange places (i.e., each Man reaching the Position vacated by the other Man at the beginning of bar 2 and each Lady similarly) and release Right hands, 1st man Pulling right shoulder back to Finish Facing Own side, 2nd man Pulling right shoulder back to Finish Facing Opposite side, all again on the Centre line;

Diagram 121: The Tournée (Simplified): Bars 2-3.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an unshaded arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces; where shown, a shaded arrow head indicates the finishing point of the travelling movement.

Bar 4 (Simplified)
as shown in Diagram 122, both Couples Turn by the left halfway, 1st couple retaining Hold, 2nd couple releasing Hold, Turning on the spot halfway and Taking Right hands to Finish all on the Centre line Facing Opposite sides, 2nd couple in 1st position.

Diagram 122: The Tournée (Simplified): Bar 4.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; an unshaded arrow head indicates the direction in which the dancer finally faces; where shown, a shaded arrow head indicates the finishing point of the travelling movement.

Modified versions of the Figure exist, notably for a Triangular set in Every Witch Way, where the deviser has changed bars 5-8 so that all three Couples Turn by the left.


For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, The tournée, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Alltshellach
And Happy Meet Again
Arnold House Medley
From Scotia's Shores We're Noo Awa'
Lady McGowan's Dream
Miss Ross Of Ross
Munro Rant
Sylvan Strathspey

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates The Tournée

Tournée Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'The Tournée'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: Tournee, Tourney, Tournay.

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