# Room Capacity

The*Room capacity*for Scottish Country Dancing on a floor of a given size is calculated using the

*Size of the set*to determine how many

*Sets*can be accommodated in the space available and the number of

*Dancers*in each.

In *Longwise sets* with comfortable spacing for most dances, the adjacent *Dancers* in the *Side lines* will be about 1yd (90cm) apart and the *Partners* about 2yd (1.8m). The spacing between *The sets* across the room should also be about 2yd (1.8m).

## Room Capacity with Couples in Longwise Sets

*Couples*disposed as for

*Longwise sets*:

the leftmost line (A) shows the unnumbered

*Couples*having just come onto the floor at the announcement of the dance;

the next line shows them

*Made up*in four

*Sets*(B1-B4), each of four

*Couples*;

the next line shows them

*Made up*in five

*Sets*(C1-C5), each of three

*Couples*;

the rightmost line shows them

*Made up*in three

*Sets*(D1-D3), each of five

*Couples*.

Obviously, the diagram illustrates the situation at different times; for a real dance, the lines of

*Couples*would all be as in line A soon after the announcement of the dance; after counting by the

*Top man*in each line, they would all be as in line B for

*4 Couple sets*or as in line C for

*3 Couple sets*or as in line D for

*5 Couple sets*and similarly for

*6 Couple sets*and

*7 Couple sets*.

This layout shows the minimum floor size (16yd (14.4m) wide by 17yd (15.3m) long) which will just accommodate four lines of four *4 Couple sets* with the recommended spacing; i.e., 128 *Dancers* in all. When, as here, *The sets* are of a size which fits the floor layout perfectly, each *Dancer* requires a little over 2 square yards. For *3 Couple sets*, there can be only five *Sets* in each line on a floor of these dimensions and, for *5 Couple sets*, only three, i.e., only 120 *Dancers* with these formats; for the much rarer *6 Couple sets*, there can be only 96 *Dancers* and, for *7 Couple sets*, 112.

A small increase in width or length of the floor space allows a little extra space between adjacent *Sets* but makes no difference to the number of *Dancers* which can be accommodated. The width must increase by 4yd to allow an extra line of *Sets* and the length by 4yd to allow an extra *Set* in each line; as a corollary, reducing the width by a small amount loses a complete line of *Sets* and reducing the length by a small amount loses a complete row.

Since the vast majority of dances in any programme will be for four *Couples* in *Longwise sets*, it is sensible to concentrate on these when calculating the capacity of a given floor area. The following table with Length and Width in yards (~90cm) gives details of some example optimum sizes:

Length | Width | Sets | Dancers |
---|---|---|---|

17 | 4 | 1x4 | 32 |

17 | 8 | 2x4 | 64 |

17 | 12 | 3x4 | 96 |

17 | 16 | 4x4 | 128 |

17 | 20 | 5x4 | 160 |

13 | 12 | 3x3 | 72 |

9 | 12 | 3x2 | 48 |

5 | 12 | 3x1 | 24 |

The next table can be used to determine the number of *Dancers* which can be accommodated on a rectangular floor of a given length and width (both in yards). If the exact length is shown, work along that row; if not, choose the row above. If the exact width is shown work down that column; if not, choose the column to the left. The number of *Dancers* which the floor can accommodate will be at the intersection of this row and this column. For example, a floor 15yd square could accommodate 72 *Dancers* in *4 Couple sets*.

Width | ► | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 | 20 | 24 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

5 | 8 | 16 | 24 | 32 | 40 | 48 | |

9 | 16 | 32 | 48 | 64 | 80 | 96 | |

13 | 24 | 48 | 72 | 96 | 120 | 144 | |

17 | 32 | 64 | 96 | 128 | 160 | 192 | |

21 | 40 | 80 | 120 | 160 | 200 | 240 | |

25 | 48 | 96 | 144 | 192 | 240 | 288 | |

Length | ▲ |

A detailed analysis for the rarer *Types of set* would produce a similar result for all but the smallest of rooms. As the diagram indicates, *Longwise sets* of *3 Couples* and *5 Couples* fit almost as well into the lines as do *4 Couple sets* and for some room lengths will actually be better. The *Square set* maps quite well onto a *4 Couple, Longwise, set* in its share of the space between *Sets* and similarly, the *Triangular set* onto a *3 Couple, Longwise, set* and so these need no special attention. Most *Round the room sets* and *Large circular sets* can be danced in concentric *Sets* if need be in order to make the best use of a large hall.

Although many will remember ballrooms of the mid-20^{th} century in which the *Dancers* were almost shoulder to shoulder in the *Sidelines*, the above analysis applies to a modern Scottish Country Dance event where the space available should be at least the minimum to allow comfortable dancing. However, this does mean that, at a sacrifice of some comfort and with a preparedness of the *Standing Dancers* to move apart to allow *Dancers* to *Travel* between them, a slightly smaller width or length of floor can accommodate the number appropriate to the next larger size in the table.

The analysis is also appropriate to a Scottish Country Dance event where one would expect that, except perhaps for a handful of spectators who have some disability, all will wish to be on the floor in at least the first few dances on the programme. However, at a Wedding Ceilidh or some such, many, or even most, of the assembled company may have no intention to dance; it is important for the organizer to make a good estimate of this fraction for his/her event.

Finally, these space requirements are for the dancing, only; additional space will be required for musicians and their equipment, seating, with tables if necessary, and for any circulatory activities by non-dancing attendees which must not be allowed to encroach on the area where the dancing is in progress.

## Links To Pages Related To 'Room Capacity'

Types Of SetsSize Of The Set

Room Capacity

Longwise Sets

Circular Sets

Round The Room Sets

Other Sets

Music For Scottish Country Dances

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