Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Casting

In Scottish Country Dancing, the term, Casting, means Dance Up or Down Outside a Longwise set or around the Outside of a Square or other Circular set for the specified or implied number of Places and in the specified or implied Direction. Casting is one of the commonest Figures used in many Longwise set dances to achieve the Progression of 1st Couple to 2nd Place, as shown in the upper diagram.

The Figure is usually performed by one or more Dancers as individuals though a Couple may Cast together in Promenade hold or Allemande hold or in Tandem.

The Starting and Finishing Positions are usually Places or intermediate Positions on the periphery of The set though the succeeding Figure may require a Finishing Position Inside the set and the preceding Figure may require a Starting Position Inside the set.

The extent of the Casting is usually one Place though, when the destination Place specified is occupied by a Standing dancer, the Casting must be extended by half a Place (compare the movements for 1st Man in the two diagrams). Any greater extent must be specified explicitly by defining either the number of Places or the Finishing Position.

Two bars are usually allocated when the extent of the Casting is one Place; when Casting more than one Place, the Timing is longer but not necessarily pro rata.

Diagram, Cast Down To An Unoccupied Place

Cast Down to an Unoccupied Place

1st couple Cast, as individuals, to the vacant 2nd places in a Longwise set, Starting from their Original Places, Facing In and Finishing Facing In.


This form occurs in The Cooper's Wife (Mitchell) in bars 1-2; note that 2nd couple Step up at the same time.


Diagram, Cast Up And Cast Down Adjacent Place Occupied

Cast Up and Cast Down (Adjacent Place Occupied)

1st lady Cast up, 1st man Cast down, in a Longwise set, Starting from their Own sides in 2nd place, Facing In; they Finish Facing In, Man half a Place Below 3rd man, Lady half a Place Above her Original Place.


This form occurs in The Montgomeries' Rant in bars 7-8.


Casting has two forms:
  • in the simplest, the preceding Figure (for example, Cross) has left the Dancer Facing Out, as shown in the lower diagram, ready to Dance Out of The set;
  • from Standing, the Dancer must first Turn on the spot to Face Out.
The Direction of the Turning on the spot (clockwise or anticlockwise) is the same as the Direction of the succeeding Casting, as shown in the upper diagram. See also Dance in and cast (also known as Cuddle cast) for a slower, more complicated version of Casting from a stationary Position.

The Direction of the Casting is expressed in various ways as specified below.

Cast

When the instruction applies with no qualification in a Longwise set, this is essentially an abbreviation for Cast Down.


Cast Down

This instruction usually applies to a Dancer or a Couple in a Longwise set; each Dancer Finishes Below the Starting Position. For example, in both diagrams, 1st Man is shown Casting Down on his Own side.


Cast Off

This is a synonym for Casting Down.


Cast Up

This instruction usually applies to a Dancer or a Couple in a Longwise set; each Dancer Finishes Above the Starting Position. For example, in the lower diagram, 1st Lady is shown Casting Up on her Own side.


Cast Anticlockwise

This instruction usually applies to a Dancer or a Couple in a Circular set; each Dancer Travels Outside The set in an anticlockwise Direction. It can be used in a Longwise set: for example, in the lower diagram, 1st Couple are shown Casting anticlockwise on their Own sides. It is particularly useful when referring to a Dancer on the Centreline between Top or Bottom couple's Places.


Cast Clockwise

This instruction usually applies to a Dancer or a Couple in a Circular set; each Dancer Travels Outside The set in an clockwise Direction. It can be used in a Longwise set when applicable to more than one Dancer; it is particularly useful when referring to a Dancer on the Centreline between Top or Bottom couple's Places.


Note that Casting is restricted to Travelling Outside the set. The term should never be used for the similar movement in which the Dancer Travels Inside the set, as, for example, the leftmost Dancer in Set and link, the Men in bars 1-2 of Schiehallion reels and the Ladies in bars 31-32 of The Bonnie Lass o' Bon Accord. There is no convenient term for this movement Inside the set and so a more verbose form such as Dance [to a specific Place or in a specific Direction] should be used, taking care to avoid any potential confusion with the unfortunate practice of using Dance to mean Lead with Nearer hands joined.
For example, here are a few of the multitude of Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Cast, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Banff Hornpipe
Bonnie Banchory
Burns Bicentenary Strathspey
Bramhall
Fife Meeting
Gallagher's Rant
Gold In Tassie
Liquid Assets
Reel For Alice
Water Of Fleet
Winter Park
Scotland's Gardens

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Casting

Casting Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Casting'

Figures

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