Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Hands Round To The Left

In Hands round to the left (Sometimes called 'circle to the left' or 'left hands round'), 3, 4 or more dancers join Nearer hands to form a circle and Dance clockwise round, using the Strathspey travelling step in a Strathspey and the Slip step in a Quick tempo dance.

This Figure is normally allocated 4 bars and, ideally, the dancers should Finish in their Starting Positions: 4 or fewer dancers should always achieve this; unless extra Time is allocated, it is difficult for 6 dancers and impracticable with more. However, Finishing in the Starting Positions is not critical if the Figure is followed immediately by some other Figure which will return the dancers to their Starting Positions, such as Hands round to the right or Chase anticlockwise or if it is preceded by such a Figure and the objective is to return to the Starting Positions of that preceding Figure.

In Scottish Country Dancing Hands round to the left may be qualified by the Finishing Position, as in Hands round to the left halfway, or by the number of Positions moved or by the number of bars allocated.

In Alison Rose (a 4 Couple Longwise set Strathspey), only bars 7-8 are allocated for 8 dancers and so they proceed only a quarter way round The set, all the Men Finishing in the Top two Places and the Ladies in the Bottom two.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Hands round to the left, 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:

Bruce's Men
Bullers Of Buchan
Cairn Edward
Cradle Song (Drewry)
Mary Hamilton
Our Lady Of The Snows
Piper's Brae
Road To The Isles
Tom's Friends
Ythanside 1

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Hands Round To The Left

Hands Round To The Left Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Hands Round'


Additional search terms: 4H round to left.

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