Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Hand Positions and Other Niceties

This covers Taking hands, the term for all the hand Holds in Scottish Country Dancing, along with some other topics which relate to graceful and elegant dancing. The descriptions of hand Holds are organized alphabetically in the section, Holds.

While Standing or while Travelling or Setting independently, the hands should hang loosely at the side, with two exceptions: a Lady wearing a long dress may, while moving, use her free hand (both hands if both free) to hold the front of her dress off the floor; where a Setting step other than Pas-de-basque or Common Schottische (the Strathspey setting step) is involved, the arms may be held in a Position appropriate to that step in its original tradition, usually Highland Dancing or Ladies' Step Dancing.

Physical contact with the other Dancers in one's Set is almost entirely hand to hand and so polite and graceful movements are of the essence when Taking hands.

Diagram, Hand Positions Scottish Country Dance

Hand Positions

Taking hands: ready for Balance in line in Scottish Country Dancing.
The triangular symbol on the Ladies' faces represents the nose and so indicates that they are Facing the viewer; the Men are Facing away.

The other niceties covered are:
  • Eye contact;
  • Bow and curtsey; and
  • Precedence.
Links to these are shown below.

Links To Pages Related To 'Hand Positions'

Hand Positions

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