Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Almost all *Circular sets* for *Couples* are formed by the *Dancers* being evenly spaced in a circle with the *Men Standing* on the left of their *Partners*. The *Top couple* of *The set* is nearest to *The music*. *Couples* are numbered clockwise starting from the *Top* and followed by any *Couples* inside *The set*; however, numbering is not required in those formats in which the number of *Couples* is not fixed and all are performing the same movements. A few *Circular set* Scottish Country Dances, most notably those with one or more extra *Couples Inside* a *Square set*, involve *Progression*; if so, the *Progression* leaves a new *Couple* or *Couples Inside The set* to lead the *Repeat*. More commonly, *Circular set* dances are performed once through only; however, these may have a Chorus at the beginning and the end with a *Dancer* or a *Couple* or more than one *Couple* leading repeated sequences in between, usually without *Progression*, as for example in The Eightsome Reel.

At a Ball, the *Top man* in each *Set* should check that his *Set* has sufficient *Couples* (or whichever other *Partner group* is appropriate); if not, he should indicate how many more are required to complete his *Set*. He should establish the size and correct shape of *The set* if necessary, preferably by all *Taking hands* in a circle; if the ballroom is crowded, he should adjust the diameter of his *Set* and the space between his and the adjacent *Sets* to a fair share of the amount available, moving his *Set* as necessary. When performing a *Square set* dance which involves *Dancers Leading Out* of the *Top* and *Bottom* or *Out* of the *Sides*, it may be advantageous in a crowded ballroom to rotate *The set* through 90^{o}, so that the *Top couple* is in what would normally be *2nd Place*; this avoids competition for space when *Leading Out*. Ideally, the decision should be made by the MC but the *Top man* in one *Set* can safely do it if no other adjacent *Set* has changed.

A few *Square sets* are for *Partner groups* other than *Couples* or for multiple *Couples* on each side; these are covered on the main *Square set* page.

One format for *3 Couples*, the *Celtic brooch set*, is more genuinely triangular than the *Triangular set* though the *Dancers* are not all in one circle; the *Ladies* are equally spaced around a large circle, *Facing In* towards their *Partners* in a smaller circle *Facing Out*.

The Set

Size Of The Set

Lengthwise Sets

Longwise Sets

Circular Sets

Music For Scottish Country Dances

Size Of The Set

Lengthwise Sets

Longwise Sets

Circular Sets

Square Set

4-couple Square Set

Triangular Set

Celtic Brooch Set

5-Couple Square Set

6-Couple Square Set

Other/Large Circular Sets

Other Sets
4-couple Square Set

Triangular Set

Celtic Brooch Set

5-Couple Square Set

6-Couple Square Set

Other/Large Circular Sets

Music For Scottish Country Dances

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