Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Chaperoned Chain Progression

This Figure interchanges the Couples in 1st and 3rd Places in Scottish Country Dances in the Longwise set format; it is also known as the Promenade chain progression and the RSCDS prefers Chain progression for 3 couples. The Chaperoned chain progression requires 8 bars, using the Strathspey travelling step where it occurs in Strathspeys and Skip change in Quick tempo dances.

The Progression is unconventional in that it interchanges Couples who are not adjacent; where it occurs in bars 17-24 of Linnea's Strathspey, the conventional Progression has already occurred in bars 3-4. In this example, the Figure Starts with 2nd Couple in 1st Place Facing In, 3rd Couple in 3rd Place Facing In and 1st Couple already in 2nd Place but Facing Out. From those Positions:

Bars 1-2
1st Man and 1st Lady Cast clockwise While 2nd and 3rd Couples Turn ¾ By the right, all Finishing on the Centre line, 1st Man and 2nd Lady Taking hands in Promenade hold at the Top and 3rd Man and 1st Lady Taking hands in Promenade hold at the Bottom (both "Couples" Facing clockwise) with 2nd Man and 3rd Lady in the Middle, Left hands joined and Facing Own sides;

Bars 3-6
1st Man with 2nd Lady and 3rd Man with 1st Lady Promenade clockwise halfway around The set, Exchanging positions, While 2nd Man and 3rd Lady Turn By the left 1½ times, all Finishing on the Centre line in the reverse order, i.e., from the Top: 1st Lady, 3rd Man, 3rd Lady, 2nd Man, 2nd Lady, 1st Man;

Bars 7-8
1st Lady and 1st Man Cast clockwise While 2nd and 3rd Couples Turn ¾ By the right, all Finishing in their Own side lines, 3rd Couple in 1st Place, 1st Couple in 2nd Place, 2nd Couple in 3rd Place.

Correct Phrasing is of the essence in the Chaperoned chain progression. At the end of bar 2, the Dancers must all be on the Centre line, releasing the existing Hold ready to Take hands with the temporary "Partner" for the next 4 bars; 2nd Lady and 3rd Man should be particularly careful not to get ahead of their approaching "Partners". Similarly, at the end of bar 6, the Dancers must again all be on the Centre line, releasing the existing Hold, and with 3rd and 2nd Couples ready to Take hands with Partners for the final 2 bars.

The Figure also appears in bars 25-32 of the Medley, Sandy's Scotch Broth. In this dance, and in any dance with 3 Couples in the Full set in which this Figure appears, spacing between The sets in the same line needs care. At the beginning of bar 3, 3rd Man and 1st Lady are in Promenade hold on the Centre line Below 3rd Position and, in The set Below, 1st Man and 2nd Lady are in Promenade hold on the Centre line Above 1st Position. This means that there are four Dancers in line between The sets; clearly, the normal practice of spacing The sets by the same distance as that between adjacent Places within The sets is inadequate. This problem is less important in the 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set format because there is always a Standing Couple between the Active Couples in adjacent Sets.


For example, here are some other Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Chaperoned chain progression, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Chasing The Eclipse
Countess Of Dunmore's Reel
Forty And Counting
Triggs Lock

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Chaperoned Chain Progression

Chaperoned Chain Progression

Links To Pages Related To 'Chain Progression'

Complex Figures

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