Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Petronella Turn

The Petronella turn is the distinctive, 2-bar element of all the Petronella movements; it may be performed using Pas-de-basque or the Strathspey setting step. The following description assumes that the Dancer Starts from her/his Side line in a Longwise set. The result is a movement clockwise one quarter around The set combined with a three quarter Turn on the spot, clockwise; in detail:

Bar 1
Using the appropriate Setting step, Travel Diagonally to the right, Finishing on the Centre line, Facing Up if a Lady, Down if a Man;

Diagram, Petronella Turn To Centre Line

Petronella Turn - To Centre Line

Petronella turn: bar 1 - as in bar 1 of the full Figure, Petronella.
Lady's path shown broken.
With Pas-de-basque, shaded arrow heads show the Facing Direction at the end of the first beat, unshaded show the Facing Position at the end of the bar.
With the Strathspey setting step, a slightly more curved path can be followed to the Facing Position at the end of the bar.


In the form using Pas-de-basque, the Dancer Travels direct to the Centre line on the first beat of the bar and uses the remainder to complete the one quarter Turn on the spot. In the form using the Strathspey setting step, the Dancer Starts by Facing Across The set and then follows a more curved diagonal path between the same Positions, using the whole of the first bar to Travel to the Centre line, and Finishing as in the Pas-de-basque form.

Bar 2
Continuing with the Setting step, Turn on the spot halfway to Finish on the Centre line, Facing Down if a Lady, Up if a Man.

Most commonly, a Couple perform the Figure, in which case they are Back to back, but well separated, at the end of the first bar and Facing each other at the end of the second.


In the most common derivative form, the Dancer performs the same movement but Starting from the Centre line and Finishing in the Sideline next clockwise, as in bars 5-6 of the full Figure, Petronella, for which the first bar is shown in the following diagram.

Diagram, Petronella Turn From Centre Line

Petronella Turn - From Centre Line

Petronella turn: bar 1 - as in bar 5 of the full Figure, Petronella.
Lady's path shown broken.
With Pas-de-basque, shaded arrow heads show the Facing Direction at the end of the first beat, unshaded show the Facing Position at the end of the bar.
With the Strathspey setting step, a slightly more curved path can be followed to the Facing Position at the end of the bar.



In other derivative forms, The set may be of any form, the Dancer(s) may Start from any Position(s) in The set, the extent of the Diagonal movement may be reduced or eliminated and there may be more or less than a three quarter Turn on the spot. For example, when used as a precursor to Crown triangles in bars 17-18 of Fraser's Favourite, the Dancers Finish only half a Place Up or Down from their Starting Positions and do not Turn on the spot during the second bar; in bars 13-14 of The Plantation Reel, the adjacent Couples Dance clockwise around the rectangle formed by their Starting Positions, either straight Across The set or straight Up or Down on the Sides but do complete a three quarter Turn on the spot. When using Petronella turn Across The set in the latter dance, and by all the Corners in bars 1-2 and 5-6 of Over The Volcano, the extent of the Travelling required using Pas-de-basque is too great to be completed in the first bar; after Travelling as far as possible on the first beat of the right foot Step, the first beat of the left foot Step must be used for the remaining Travelling as well as Turning on the spot. It would, of course, be improper to Travel on any other beat of either Step.
A similar movement using the Travelling step rather than Pas-de-basque is described in Petronella turn with skip change under Travelling.

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Petronella Turn

Petronella Turn Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Petronella Movements'

Figures

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