Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


There are many situations in which two or more Scottish Country Dancers should be at the same Position in the same Figure but in different parts of The set; their symmetrical paths may be parallel, mirror-image or doubly reflected (i.e., having Diagonal symmetry). Any slight deviation from unison in Phrasing is magnified and so looks ugly to the spectator and feels uncomfortable for the dancer; a difference in Position of 20cm is painfully obvious yet this typically represents only one forward step, taking about ΒΌ of a second, in a Quick tempo dance. Perhaps because the whole pace of the dance is slower and it is expected to be more elegant, the effect of any deviation is much more striking in a Strathspey.

Covering is the technique of fine tuning by which the symmetry is maintained. While it is to some extent intuitive to avoid significant deviation from the correct Position, even the experienced dancer can be caught out, usually when there is more Time than is necessary for the Figure in question or when the Figure is to be performed in a less usual Timing.

See Mirror covering, Parallel covering and Diagonal covering pages for examples of Figures where Covering may need care in these three different symmetries.

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Covering

Covering Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Covering'


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