Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Corner Position

In a Longwise set with 3 Couples dancing, the Dancing couple frequently operate in the centre of the dance 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.

When the Scottish Country 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.

In some Longwise sets with 4 Couples dancing, there are often two Dancing couples; when these have reached 2nd and 3rd Places, it is common to use the term, Corners, to refer to the dancers in 1st and 4th Places as, for example, in Angus MacLeod.

The concept of Corners in a Longwise set has also been applied to the 4-Couple Square set (see the following diagram). At the start, with each Man on his Partner's left, the Man's First corner is the Lady on his left and the Lady's is the Man on her right. The Man's Second corner is the Partner of his Partner's First corner, i.e., the Lady three Places to his right; similarly the Lady's Second corner is the Man three Places to her left.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Corner Position, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Cats In The Kitchen
Dear Green Place
Gypsy Glen
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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