Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Figures Of Eight

This plural form, Figures of eight, is used to indicate that two or more dancers follow paths with some form of symmetry (parallel or mirror), each of which is a Figure of eight. If their paths intersect, Precedence will apply and the paths will not be completely symmetrical (see the diagram below for an example of the half form).

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

In a Scottish Country Dance Strathspey, a Man and a Lady should Take hands at every opportunity when meeting on the Centre line in the mirror form of Figures of eight on the Side and when their paths intersect as they Cross up or Down in Figures of eight across; in Quick tempo dances, it may only be practical to touch hands briefly. In Double figures of eight across, it is probably wiser not to try to Take hands, even in a Strathspey.

While this Figure mostly occurs in Longwise sets and so is described for those, the term can also be used for any similar movement in a Circular set.

See also Figure of eight, in which one dancer performs this Figure alone, and Double figures of eight across, in which four dancers perform.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Figures of eight, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Fisher Blue
Acadian Jig
Blooms Of Ben Lawers
Celtic Crossing
Maidenhead Golden Medley
Miller Of Sessnie
Summer Assembly
Wigtown Cross

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Figures Of Eight

Figures Of Eight Video Clip

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