Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Pass And Turn

The Scottish Country Dancing Pass and turn Figure occurs in Longwise sets in Quick tempo dances and Strathspeys, using the Travelling step appropriate to the Tempo throughout; it starts with the Dancing couple Facing one of their Corners' Positions (which must be specified either explicitly as, for example, Pass and turn with Partners' First Corners or implicitly from the previous Figure).

The Figure bears some resemblance to a Diagonal Half reel of four though the Corners do not Exchange places: While the Corners Turn By the right quickly and return to Places, the Dancing couple Give right shoulders to the Corners they are Facing and Dance the End loop of a Diagonal Half reel of four; the Finishing Positions for the Dancing couple will depend on the subsequent Figure.

When inexperienced dancers are involved, each Corner must be careful, when approaching the other Corner ready to Turn By the right, to avoid appearing to offer to Take hands with the Passing Dancing man/lady.

The diagrams show the 4-bar version as it appears in bars 21-24 of The Swan and the Tay, though the Dancing couple continue at the end to Finish in 2nd place on Own sides.

Pass and turn with second corners: bars 1-2.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show finishing points.


Pass and turn with second corners: bars 3-4.
Men's paths shown as full lines, ladies' broken, 1st couple's emboldened; arrow heads show finishing points.

The exact form of the beginning and ending are strongly dependent on the preceding and succeeding Figures. In this example, the preceding Figure is Pass and turn with First corners and the succeeding Figure is Set on the side lines of the Longwise set.

4 bars are normally allocated though, in some Strathspeys, such as Scotch Mist, it is to be performed in 2 bars and so the Corners must move very quickly and be especially careful over preparatory hand movements.


A modified form of the Pass and turn Figure occurs in bars 17-20 of Ramadan-ce. Here, the Dancing couple perform exactly the same movements but First corners Turn halfway, release the Hold, Pull right shoulder back and Dance Out to Exchange Positions. This movement is repeated with Second corners in bars 21-24.

In another modification, the full Turn by the right by the Corners is replaced by a full Gypsy turn as in bars 13-16 and bars 21-24 of The Courtship.


For example, here are some other Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Pass And Turn, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Black Black Oil
Bothwell Brig
Chequered Court
Christie's Strathspey
Doobri
Falkirk Lass
Get Your Skates On
Mideltone Silver
Midnight Oil
Misses Farrell Of Alloa
My Cary Valentine
Sprig Of Ivy (Dickson)

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Pass And Turn

Pass And Turn Video Clip

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Pass And Gypsy Turn

Pass And Gypsy Turn Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Pass And Turn'

Complex Figures

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