Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Other Steps

Some Other Steps Used In Scottish Country Dancing

While almost all dances which are commonly performed require no other than the seven steps, Slip step, Skip change, Pas-de-basque, Step up or down, the Strathspey travelling step, the Strathspey setting step and the Highland schottische setting step, a few popular dances involve less usual steps, mostly from the Highland Dancing répertoire but some from other country dancing and the Olde Tyme répertoires.

The most important examples of these rarer steps in Quick tempo dances are:
the simple Running step (with strong emphasis on the right foot step at the beginning of each bar) which occurs in Strip the Willow and The Hebridean Weaving Lilt;
Set and point in Angus MacLeod (note that the 2-bar phrase of this step following the 2 bars of Pas-de-basque is sometimes described separately as Spring points, as in Lobster In The Pot);
Pas-de-basque coupé in Lord Maclay's Reel though this is often replaced by Coupé pas-de-basque with the alternative sequencing;
Waltz steps from the Olde Tyme répertoire in The Waltz Country Dance and Janet's Delight; and
in The Eightsome Reel, each Dancer is invited to choose an alternative to Pas-de-basque for her/his 8 bar solos.

The most important Strathspeys which include examples of these rarer steps are:
the Medley, Schiehallion which has the Rocking step in the Strathspey part;
The Glasgow Highlanders which uses a 4-bar Setting step of the same name; and
The Shepherd's Crook (MacNab) which specifies Rocking step, Huntly and the Fling Step from the Highland Dancing répertoire.

For those Dancers who have a special competence in footwork (usually through early ballet or Highland Dancing training), some of the dances by the devisers, Maggie and Duncan Keppie, contain an even wider range of Highland Dancing steps.

However, for most others, and especially for the average Scottish Country Dancing Beginner, these more complex steps are of low priority. In order not to miss out on some of these popular dances if one has not yet mastered the prescribed step, the following can be replaced as indicated:
for Set and point, Pas-de-basque coupé or Coupé pas-de-basque, Set twice (Pas-de-basque) but negotiate with the other Dancers in The set beforehand especially if you will be Taking hands with them when Setting;
for the Rocking step, Set with the Highland schottische setting step but make minimal sideways movement on bars 2 and 4; and
for the Glasgow Highlanders Setting step, Set with the Highland schottische setting step.

Dance Video Clip which demonstrates the Running Step

Running Step Video Clip

Dance Video Clip which demonstrates Spring Points

Spring Points Video Clip

Dance Video Clip which demonstrates Coupé Pas-de-Basque

Coupé Pas-de-Basque Video Clip

Dance Video Clip which demonstrates Glasgow Highlanders

Glasgow Highlanders Video Clip

Dance Video Clip which demonstrates Rocking Step

Rocking Step Video Clip

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