Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Highland Schottische Poussette

The Highland Schottische poussette is a rare, but formally prescribed, Figure which, like the Strathspey half poussette, is used as an elegant means of Progression, i.e., interchanging the Places of two adjacent Couples, in Strathspeys.

The whole Scottish Country Dance Figure requires 8 bars, i.e., three Highland schottische steps and two Strathspey travelling steps.

Assuming that 1st and 2nd Couples are to perform the Figure from their Standing places, they start Facing Partners on the Centre line with the Men Below, and their Partners Above, the line joining their Original Places and with 1st Man and 2nd Lady back to back (as in the first diagram). The Partners Take Both hands at the beginning of the 8-bar phrase, retaining this Hold for the first 7 bars; the hands should be in an Open hold with the elbows only slightly bent and the hands as widely spaced as is practicable. 1st Man and 2nd Lady must Start using the left foot step of the Highland schottische step, their Partners Start with the right.

As with the Strathspey half poussette, there is no Time at the beginning of the Figure to reach the Centre line from the Side lines: if stationary, a Couple must Dance in to the Centre line on the last bar of the preceding Figure, 1st Lady and 2nd Man using the left foot step of the Strathspey travelling step (as in Strathspey Travelling Step - Bar 2 but Standing with the feet in first Position at the beginning of beat 1), their Partners using the right foot step (see Strathspey Travelling Step - Bar 1); if performing a previous Figure, the ending must be adapted so as to Finish on the Centre line and 1st Man and 2nd Lady may need to change feet.

The following diagrams show bars 1, 2, 4, 6. 7 and 8 of the Figure. Bars 3 and 5, in both of which the Dancers perform either the first bar of the Highland schottische step (see Highland Schottische Setting Step: - Bar 1) or the third (see Highland Schottische Setting Step: - Bar 3), are not shown; in these, the Couples Dance On the spot in the Starting Position of bars 4 and 6, respectively.

Bar 1
Both Couples perform the first bar of the Highland schottische step, the right foot step for 1st Lady and 2nd Man, the left foot step for 1st Man and 2nd Lady without, of course, departing from the Centre line;

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 1

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 1

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 1. Note that the Dancers do not move from the Centre line.



Bar 2
continuing the Highland schottische step and taking a step on the first beat so that 1st Man and 2nd Lady approach their Own side lines, 1st Couple Dance towards 1st Lady's right While 2nd Couple Dance towards 2nd Man's right and then, on the third beat, both Turn one quarter clockwise, 1st Lady and 2nd Man rotating On the spot, their Partners taking a large step so that they reach their Own side lines;

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 2

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 2

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 2.
Men's paths shown as full lines, Ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show Finishing positions but not the Facing Direction.



Bar 3
both Couples perform the first bar of the Highland schottische step, the right foot step for 1st Man and 2nd Lady, the left foot step for 1st Lady and 2nd Man;

Bar 4
continuing the Highland schottische step and taking a step on the first beat, 1st Couple Dance Down the Men's Side line While 2nd Couple Dance Up the Ladies' Side line and then, on the third beat, both Turn one quarter clockwise, 1st Man and 2nd Lady rotating On the spot, their Partners taking a large step so that 1st Couple are Facing Up and down on the Men's Side line in 2nd Place and 2nd Couple are Facing Up and down on the Ladies' Side line in 1st Place;

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 4

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 4

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 4.
Men's paths shown as full lines, Ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show Finishing positions but not the Facing Direction.



Bar 5
both Couples perform the first bar of the Highland schottische step, the right foot step for 1st Lady and 2nd Man, the left foot step for 1st Man and 2nd Lady;

Bar 6
continuing the Highland schottische step, 1st Couple Dance towards 1st Lady's right While 2nd Couple Dance towards 2nd Man's right, both Couples Finishing on the Centre line with the Men Facing Down, their Partners Facing Up and with 2nd Lady and 1st Man back to back;

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 6

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 6

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 6.
Men's paths shown as full lines, Ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show Finishing positions but not the Facing Direction.



Bar 7
retaining the Hold, all change to the Strathspey travelling step starting with the right foot (1st Lady and 2nd Man must also change foot) and both Couples Turn halfway to Finish on the Centre line, Facing their Own sides;

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 7

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 7

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 7.
Men's paths shown as full lines, Ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show Finishing positions but not the Facing Direction.



Bar 8
releasing the Hold and on the left foot Strathspey travelling step, 2nd Couple Dance Out to 1st Place on their Own sides While 1st Couple Dance Out to 2nd Place, all Finishing by Turning on the spot to Face Partners.

Diagram, Highland Schottische Poussette Bar 8

Highland Schottische Poussette - Bar 8

Highland schottische poussette in 3-couple, Longwise set: bar 8.
Men's paths shown as full lines, Ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened. Shaded arrow heads show Finishing positions after completing the Travelling; unshaded arrow heads show the final Facing Direction.



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

Castle Campbell
Changearound
Dark Island
Double Eighty
Floating On Air
Trysting Place


Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Highland Schottische Poussette

Highland Schottische Poussette Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Poussette Movements'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: HS Poussette, Schottesh, Shcottiche.

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