Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Allemande Left

In Scottish Country Dancing, Allemande left and Allemande right are elegant forms of Turn for a Couple (or for a Man and a Lady who are not Partners). These differ only in the Taken hand; both require 4 bars and the Dancers normally Finish in the Positions in which they Started the Figure. The naming is curious since neither has any element of Allemande in it though the first two bars of Allemande right are similar to the Turn by the right which quite often precedes Taking hands in Allemande hold.

Using the appropriate Travelling step throughout, for Allemande left, in detail:

Bar 1
Man and Lady Advance to Take hands By the left, raising the joined hands above head height and retaining Hold;

Bar 2
Man take a small step Advancing WHILE Lady Turn ¼ anticlockwise under the joined hands;

Bar 3
Man take a small step Retiring WHILE Lady Turn ¼ anticlockwise to Face her Starting position, Finishing by releasing hands;

Bar 4
Man Retire to his Starting position WHILE Lady Dance back to her Starting position, normally Finishing by Turning on the spot anticlockwise to Face the Man.

Since 4 bars are allocated for this Figure, it must not be rushed; even in a Quick tempo dance, it can be performed especially gracefully and precisely.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Allemande left, 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:

Amethyst (Charlton)
Black Donald
Gold in Sydney

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Allemande Left

Allemande Left Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Turning'


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