Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Rights And Lefts Halfway

Sometimes called Half right and lefts, Rights and lefts halfway is the first half of Right and lefts and so is a Half grand chain for 4 Dancers, usually adjacent Couples or Corners in a Longwise set or the Opposite Dancers in a 4 couple square set.

They normally start By the right, Across The set, though sometimes as, for example, in bars 49-60 of Seton's Ceilidh Band, the Dancers first Cross on the sides. In a Square set, the 2nd and 4th Place Dancers also start Across The set whereas the 1st and 3rd Place Dancers usually start Up and down.

This Figure takes 4 bars in all, 2 for each Crossing movement with sharp rotations at each corner. The Figure should Finish with a Polite turn whenever practicable. Traditionally, the Polite turn was omitted for those Dancers due to follow the Half right and lefts immediately with a repetition of the Figure from different Places as, for example, the 1st Man and 4th Lady on bar 4 in The Garry Strathspey, where they have to repeat the Figure from 2nd and 3rd Places on bar 5; nowadays, this exception is often ignored.

In a 4 couple square set, the path may still be a rectangle but rotated so that the Dancers Cross diagonally both Across The set and on the Sides. 4 Dancers are involved and they Finish Diagonally opposite their Starting Positions.

In a 3-Couple Triangular set, the rectangle becomes a trapezium; this requires a much quicker movement by those Travelling on the longer side of the trapezium. 4 Dancers are involved and they Finish having Exchanged Places. For example, in bars 25-28 of MacPherson's Jig, the Couples in 1st and 3rd Places Exchange places.

See also Rights and lefts halfway diagonally for that specific form.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Rights and lefts halfway, either appears explicitly or is implied; note that for a common term these will be a small selection; for a rare term, these may be all that exist:

Big Bang
Bonnie Shira Glen
Chequered Hall
Clints Of Dromore
Code Breaker
Peat Inn
Quincentenary Reel
Road To Banff
St Patrick's Jig
Wee Croft

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Rights And Lefts Halfway

Rights And Lefts Halfway Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Chains'


Additional search terms: ½ R&L.

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