Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Usage Of Steps

The Usage Of Steps In Scottish Country Dancing

Although the steps are classified by dance tempo, there are significant similarities in usage across the different tempi.

With very few exceptions, all Scottish Country Dances classified as Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs can be performed using, at most, the four steps, Slip step, Skip change, Pas-de-basque and Step up or down; similarly, most Scottish country dances classified as Strathspeys require only the Strathspey travelling step, the Strathspey setting step, the Highland schottische setting step and Step up or down.

Most Figures can be performed in the Quick tempo dances (Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs) and in Strathspeys. If a Figure requires Slip step or Skip change in a Quick tempo dance, it uses the Strathspey travelling step in a Strathspey. Similarly, the counterpart of Pas-de-basque is the Strathspey setting step. Step up or down is identical, apart from the tempo, in both Quick tempo dances and Strathspeys.


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