Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Figures Of Eight Across Halfway

In Figures of eight across halfway, two Dancers, usually a Couple, each perform a Figure of eight Across, starting with either the Crossing or the Casting movement; each Dancer Finishes opposite the Place in which s/he started.

In a common form, the Dancing lady (or Man) Crosses up between the Couple Above and then Casts down While the other Crosses down between the Couple Below and then Casts up, each Finishing opposite the Place where s/he started. The upper diagram shows an example of this form as it occurs in bars 28-32 of MacDonald of the Isles.

Diagram, Figures Of Eight Across Halfway - Lady Down, Man Up

Figures of Eight Across Halfway - Lady Down, Man Up

1st lady Cross down, 1st man Cross up into Half figures of 8 across in a Longwise set: Starting from 2nd place on Opposite sides, 1st man Facing Diagonally Up, 1st lady Diagonally Down; Finishing in 2nd place on Own sides.



In a common alternative form, the Dancing couple, Starting from Opposite Sides, both Cross up (or Down) between the Couple Above (or Below) them and then Cast down (or Up) so that they return to their Own sides. Where their paths Cross, Precedence applies. The lower diagram shows an example of this form as it occurs in bars 7-10 of The Wee Cooper O' Fife.

Diagram, Figures Of Eight Across Halfway - Lady Down, Man Up

Figures of Eight Across Halfway - Lady and Man Down

Half figures of 8 across in a Longwise set, 1st couple Starting on Opposite sides and Crossing down to Start. The, preferred, asymmetrical paths (emboldened) allow even pace while giving 1st lady Precedence which is facilitated by Taking left hands. The straight line paths require the Lady to Start quickly and the Man to hold back.



For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Figures of eight across halfway, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Bow Fiddle Rock
Breathalyser
City Of Stirling Reel
Faraway Isle
Freshwater Bay (Burns)
Kinmont Willie
Muse Cottage (Goldring)
New Abbey
Uncle Isaac
Will Ye No' Come Back Again

Links To Pages Related To 'Figures Of Eight'

Figures

Additional search terms: Half figures of eight, ½ Figs of 8.

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