Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Corner Position

In a Longwise set of 3 Couples in Scottish Country Dancing, the Dancing couple frequently operate in the centre of The set with one Couple Above them and one Couple Below them. These Supporting Dancers are the Corners; the Dancing man has two Ladies as his Corners and the Dancing lady two Men. Occasionally, the Dancing couple may be 2nd Couple so that 1st and 3rd Couples are their Corners and are already in Place at the beginning of the Repeat, as in the Scottish Country Dance MacDonald Of The Isles. Much more commonly, 1st Couple is the Dancing couple and so their Corners (2nd Couple in 1st Place and 3rd Couple in 3rd Place) are not established until after a Figure (such as 1s Cast While 2s Step up) has interchanged 1st and 2nd Couples; the following diagram shows this situation.

Diagram, Structure Of 3 Couple Longwise Set Scottish Country Dance

Structure of 3 Couple Longwise Set

Dancers, Positions and Directions in a Longwise, Active, 3-couple set: after the most common Progression. The shaded area is defined as the Inside of The set. The arrows are indicators of Direction, only, not paths followed.


When the Dancing couple are in 2nd Place in their Own side lines and Facing the Opposite Sides, their First corner positions are on the right of their Partners and their Second corner positions are on the left. The terms, Partner's First corner position and Partner's Second corner position define the other two Corner positions in The set; these are sometimes called Third and Fourth corner positions, respectively.

As a Repeat of a dance proceeds, the occupants of the Corner positions may change; in the simpler dances at least, a Dancing man's or Lady's First corner is the Dancer who, once the Dancing couple reach 2nd Place, is the first to occupy the First corner position in this Repeat and similarly for the Second corners. Clearly, there is less risk of ambiguity, especially in the more complex modern dances, in always describing a Figure in terms of the Corner position, which is a fixed Place, rather than the Corner, a Dancer who may well have moved to some counter-intuitive Place.


In most 5 couple sets, the Dancing couples (the 1st and 3rd Couples) soon reach 2nd and 4th Places, respectively; i.e., the order becomes 2 1 4 3 5. The 1st Couple in 2nd Place perform as Dancing couple with the Couples in 1st and 3rd Places as their Corners while the 3rd Couple in 4th Place perform as Dancing couple with the Couples in 3rd and 5th Places as their Corners; thus the Original 4th Couple are Corners for both Dancing couples and so need to be especially alert.

In the 7 Couple dance, The Kelpie Of Loch Coruisk, the 1st, 3rd and 5th Couples are the Dancing couples; after 4 bars they are in 2nd, 4th and 6th Places, respectively, i.e., the order becomes 2 1 4 3 6 5 7. The Original 4th and 6th Couples, now in 3rd and 5th Places, both find themselves as Corners for two Dancing couples.

See Corner position in square set and Corner position generalized for usage of the term, Corner extended to other than Longwise sets for 3 Couples.


Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Corner position, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:

Cats In The Kitchen
Dear Green Place
Fireworks
Gypsy Glen
Kestrel
Skagits In Stockbridge


Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Corner Position in a Longwise Set

Corner Position Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Positions'

Set Structure

Additional search terms: Corner pstn, Crnr pstn.

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