Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Rights And Lefts Diagonally

In Scottish Country Dancing, Rights and lefts diagonally (often called Diagonal rights and lefts) is a version of Right and lefts in which the path is distorted Diagonally. The Figure should be Finished with a Polite turn unless the succeeding Figure requires otherwise. In all forms, the Figure requires 8 bars.

In rare examples, such as The Dream Catcher, the basic Rights and lefts Figure is simply rotated through 45° in the Square set and so involves only 4 Dancers who Finish in the Places in which they started.

Much more commonly, the Figure is a combination of two, successive Half diagonal rights and lefts Figures in which the Dancing couple Dance first with one pair of Corners and then with the other pair and so 6 Dancers are involved; the Dancing couple Finish in their Starting Positions; each pair of Corners Finishes in Exchanged Positions.

In each Half diagonal rights and lefts Figure in a Longwise set, the rectangle becomes a parallelogram with Crossing (Across the set) replaced by Crossing Diagonally. For example, in bars 9-16 of My Heather Hills: first, the Dancing couple, in 2nd Place on Opposite Sides, Cross diagonally, the Lady going Up, the Man going Down, and so Exchange places with their Partner's Second corner position; next, they Cross up and down on the sides to reach 2nd Place on their Own sides; then, they Cross diagonally, Lady Up, Man Down to Exchange places with their Partner's First corner position; finally, they Cross up and down on the sides and so reach 2nd Place on their Opposite Sides. This Figure takes 8 bars but involves 6 rather than 4 Dancers: the Dancing couple Dance continuously and Finish in their Starting Positions; the Corners Dance in either the first or the second half and Finish diagonally opposite their Starting Positions.

Note that, in this specific dance, all repeat the full Figure in bars 17-24 and so all Finish where they Started at bar 9 (apart from a slight adjustment by the Dancing couple to suit the succeeding Figure).

In almost all examples, the Dancing couple Start in 2nd Place of a 3 couple, Active set but, in The Dandelion Picker, they Start on the Centre line, Dancing lady Facing Down between 3rd couple in 1st Place, Dancing man Facing Up between 2nd couple in 3rd Place; here, the Figure is Danced Up and down The set rather than Across. The Dancing couple Start the first Half diagonal rights and lefts by Crossing diagonally By the right with the Corner Diagonally to the right and the second Half diagonal rights and lefts by Crossing diagonally By the right with the Corner Diagonally to the left. All Finish with the Corners having Exchanged places and the Dancing couple in their Starting Positions for the Figure.

Note that, in a Longwise set (the most common usage), Diagonal rights and lefts differs from the simpler Rights and lefts in that the Dancing couple always Cross with a Corner, never with each other.


For example, here are some other Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Rights and lefts diagonally (or Diagonal rights and lefts), is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Auchinellan Jig
Bonny Lads Of Earley
Bruce's Men
Carousel
Kilkenny Castle
La Valletta
Singing Sands
Unit 5
Whistling Wind

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Rights And Lefts Diagonally

Rights And Lefts Diagonally Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Chains'

Figures

Additional search terms: Diag R&L.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing 'Rights And Lefts Diagonally' page