For almost all forms of The set, the Progression arises completely automatically from some part of the sequence of Figures which make up the dance Repeat. In the most common sequence, 2nd Couple Step up While the 1st Couple Cast or Cross down though many other sequences may be used. Most commonly, especially in the older dances, the Progression takes place near the beginning of the Repeat though it may occur anywhere; in Kenora Reel, it occurs on the last two bars of the Repeat.
Certain Figures, notably the older Allemande for 2 couples, Poussette and the Strathspey half poussette, interchange the Positions of adjacent Couples in a Longwise set; in earlier times, the RSCDS used the term Progression for Figures of this type.
At or very near the end of each even Repeat in the exceptional, but very common, Longwise set format with an Active set of 3 Couples in a Full set of 4 Couples (see the section, 3 Couple repeat in 4 couple set), the 1st Couple must Exchange places with the Couple Below them in order to reach 4th place of the Full set. Explicit instructions are not normally given by dance devisers and so the Dancers need to choose an appropriate sequence.
Where the 3rd Couple (of the Active set) are to be Standing at both the end of an even-numbered Repeat and the beginning of the next, they can effect the changeover quite simply by Stepping up on the last two bars of the old Repeat While the 1st Couple modify their final Figure so as to Finish one Place Lower; if this is unpractical, they can Step up on the first two bars of the new Repeat While the former 1st Couple either Cast or Dance Down to 4th place.
However, dances exist in which the 3rd Couple of the Active set are involved on bar 1 of the Repeat and so the dance can become very untidy at this point. A good teacher should recommend a suitable sequence, or modification of the final Figures, which will make the changeover neat.
Problems arising with this Type of Set are covered in more detail in Flow between figures under Flow of the dance.