Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Advance And Retire

To Advance and retire, Dance toward the Dancer you are Facing and then Dance backwards (using the backward form of the appropriate Travelling step) to where you Started from. This Scottish Country Dance Figure may be performed Across The set, Up and down The set or on a Diagonal.

Where a line of dancers is involved, they normally Take hands. The Facing Dancers may be stationary or Setting or, much more commonly, also Advancing and Retiring as in bars 25-28 of Mrs Stewart's Jig. There is also a fugal form where, as in bars 13-14 of The Cranberry Tart and bars 21-22 of John McAlpin, one line of Dancers Retires While the other line Advances; Eye contact with the Facing Dancer is particularly important.

Where only two Dancers, one Facing the other, are involved, it is commonly specified that they should Touch hands briefly between the Advance and Retire as in bars 1-2 of John McAlpin. Touch hands means Take hands as though intending to Exchange places and release the Hold quickly; it does not mean some more boisterous hand movement such as High five which is appropriate only when explicitly specified by the deviser.

Advance and retire occurs in Strathspeys and in Quick tempo dances. From a Timing point of view, it is simply a combination of Advance and Retire; four bars are normally allocated for the Figure though sometimes only two, as in bars 19-20 and 23-24 of the Strathspey, Bonnie Stronshiray.

See also Set advancing and retire in Setting Figures.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Advance and retire, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:

Andrew And Gordon's Jig
Big Bang
Cutty Sark
Heather Dewar
New Caledonia Jig
Pink Panda
Raki Mountain Trail
Stepping It Out
Sunlit Square
Tae Fife And Back
Triple Happiness
Unicef Circle

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Advance And Retire

Advance And Retire Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Travelling'


Additional search terms: Adv+Ret.

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