Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Crown Triangles

In Scottish Country Dancing Crown triangles is a derivative form of Balance, found in Longwise, Active Sets with 3 Couples, in which the Balancing axes move clockwise round the square formed by the Corner positions; it is similar to Double triangles in which the Dancing couple alternately Balance on their Own sides and the Opposite sides. In the most usual form, the Figure has 6 bars, i.e., it requires three complete Pas-de-basque Setting steps:

Bars 1-2
with the Corners in 1st Place Facing Down and in 3rd Place Facing Up, the Dancing couple, in 2nd Place, start back to back in the centre of The set with the Lady Facing Up and the Man Down, Take Left hands with First corners and right with Partner's Second corners and all perform Pas-de-basque;

Bar 3
all drop hands and, While the Corners perform the first bar of Pas-de-basque, rotating on the first beat of the bar to Face Across The set, the Dancing couple perform it with a long movement diagonally to the right and backwards on the first beat of the bar, Finishing still back to back in the centre of The set but now Facing Out on their Own sides and Taking Right hands with Partner's First corners and Taking Left hands with Partner's Second corners;

Bar 4
all perform the second bar of Pas-de-basque normally, i.e., exactly as in bar 2 of Double triangles;

Bar 5
repeat bar 3 from this Position, the Corners rotating on the first beat of the bar to Face Up and down and the Dancing couple Finishing still back to back in the centre of The set but now Facing Man Up, Lady Down;

Bar 6
all perform the second bar of Pas-de-basque normally.

Note that these instructions are slightly at variance with formal RSCDS teaching (as in the 2005 edition of "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing") where the rotations by the Corners and the diagonal movement by the Dancing couple are shown as occurring on the left foot steps (bars 2 and 4) rather than on the more comfortable right foot steps (bars 3 and 5) above.

This 6-bar form as, for example, in bars 3-8 of Baldovan Reel, typically follows a 2-bar Figure by which the Dancing couple reach their Starting Positions.

In the 8-bar form, the Dancing couple Finish in their Starting Positions; in the 4-bar form each Finishes in the other's Starting Position.

As in Double triangles, this Figure is supposed to represent a St Andrew's Cross as seen from above and so the arms should be extended as fully as is practicable and the Dancing couple should be almost touching back to back.

As is also the case in Double triangles and Balance in line, this Figure cannot be performed using the Strathspey setting step because this would involve sideways movement with alternate dancers going in opposite directions.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Crown triangles, 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:

Baldovan Reel
Blue Eyed Lassie
Exciseman (Rayner)
Fraser's Favourite
Henderson In Hereford
Maureen's Reel
Mercat Cross (Attwood)
Scotia Sea
Splat The Tattie

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Crown Triangles

Crown Triangles Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Setting'


Additional search terms: Crowd.

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