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

Room Capacity

Lengthwise Sets

Longwise Sets

Circular Sets

Music For Scottish Country Dances

Size Of The Set

Room Capacity

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

2-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

2-Couple Square Set

Other/Large Circular Sets

Music For Scottish Country Dances

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