Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Types Of Sets

The essence of Scottish Country Dancing is dancing in Sets of which there are many different formats. Types of sets categorizes these formats and defines the numbers of Dancers required for each format. This material is organized logically in the sections: Longwise sets (also often known as Lengthwise sets), Circular sets (mostly various forms of Square sets) and Other sets (most notably Round the room sets).

The set covers general principles about Sets and has subsidiary pages covering Repeats and the major feature, Progression, which, in most dances, enables every Dancer to perform at least one Repeat in every Place of the Active set. Size of the set is concerned with the space required to enable the Dancers to perform comfortably and The music for Scottish country dancing covers the way in which the tunes fit to the Repeat structure.

Types of sets is concerned with the overall appearance of the dance; the more detailed picture is covered in Set structure for the geographical considerations and in Figures for the Dancers' movements.

The diagrams in this section show the Dancers in plan view, i.e., as seen from above. The usual convention is followed whereby each Man's Position is shown diagrammatically as a circle and each Lady's as a square, with the enclosed number indicating the dancer's Original Place in either the Full set or the current Active set.

Conventions in diagrams involving movement are shown in Figures; when the direction in which the Dancer is Facing is important, it is shown by a small line representing the nose.

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Types Of Sets