Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Borrowing Described

Borrowing is a means of performing a 3 Couple repeat in 4 couple set dance when only seven Scottish Country Dance Couples are available rather than eight from which two Sets could be made; the name arises because the Top three Couples borrow the Standing Couple from the Bottom part of The set so that they have enough Couples to perform each evenly numbered Repeat.

This format is not suitable for the Beginner who is likely to have problem enough with the complication of the standard 3 Couple repeat in 4 couple set format.

The sequence is best indicated by the Starting Places for each Repeat with the 1st Couple of the Active sets shown in bold face, the Supporting couples (2nd and 3rd Couples of the Active sets) in roman face and the Standing Couple in italic:

1s2s3s  4s5s6s  7s
2s  1s3s5s  4s6s7s

2s3s1s  5s6s7s  4s
3s  2s1s6s  5s7s4s

3s1s2s  6s7s4s  5s
1s  3s2s7s  6s4s5s

1s2s3s  7s4s5s  6s
2s  1s3s4s  7s5s6s

Note that it is only in the Bottom part of The set that the Dancing couple Drop one Place after their second Repeat. On completing their second Repeat in the Top part of The set (which leaves them in 3rd place of the Full set), the Dancing couple must be prepared to perform immediately as 3rd couple in the new Active set in the Top part of The set.

Equally counter-intuitively, each Couple performing in the Bottom part of The set and arriving at the 4th place of the Full set would expect to be Standing for one Repeat; instead, they must be prepared to perform as 3rd couple in the new Active set in the Top part of The set and, immediately after that, to perform as the Dancing couple in the Bottom part of The set.

Unlike the normal form without Borrowing, the dance does not Finish with the Couples back where they started and, except for the Original 2nd Couple, the dancers stand for only one Repeat instead of the usual two. Also, the Original 1st Couple Dance as such four times. To provide a better balance, the final Repeat is often changed to

2s1s3s  4s  7s5s6s

This modification has the additional benefit that a less-experienced dancer can be assigned to 4th Place from which s/he will Dance exactly as in the standard 3 Couple repeat in 4 couple set format.


Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Borrowing

Borrowing Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Longwise Sets'

Types Of Sets

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