Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Set And Rotate

The Figure, Set and rotate, interchanges the Positions of two adjacent Couples in a Longwise set and so can be used as a Progression. In the 2005 edition of "The Manual of Scottish Country Dancing", the RSCDS describes it for Quick tempo dances, only; however, many devisers have included it in Strathspeys.

Set and rotate requires 8 bars; when danced by the first two Couples:

Bar 1
All Take hands On the sides, Set (right foot step) Facing Partners and release the Hold;

Bar 2
all Set (left foot step), Turning on the spot (a whole Turn for 1st Man and 2nd Lady, three quarters for 1st Lady and 2nd Man) to Finish Facing clockwise around the rectangle formed by their Places;

Bars 3-4
all Chase clockwise one Place around the rectangle formed by their Places, Finishing Facing Partners;

Bars 5-6
all Cross up and down on the sides, Finishing Facing clockwise;

Bars 7-8
all Chase clockwise one Place around the rectangle formed by their Places, Finishing 2nd Couple in 1st Place, 1st Couple in 2nd Place.

Note that the Hold must be released promptly at the end of bar 1; otherwise, it is difficult to Turn on the spot by the required amount in bar 2. In the Strathspey form, the sideways movement on bar 1 should be made smaller than normal and the Dancers should release their Hold and begin to Pull right shoulder back in the second half of that bar so that Turning on the spot in bar 2 is easier.

When it is used in the last 8 bars of the format, 3 couple repeat in 4 couple set, and when 3rd Couple will be involved on bar 1 of the next Repeat, it is necessary, for the 1st Couple only, to modify the Figure on the 2nd, 4th and 6th Repeats.

Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Set and rotate, 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:

Calm Before The Storm (Boyd)
Cannadine Strathspey
Capital Jig
Crystal Quaich
Father Connelly's Jig
Four Minute Reel
Grumpy Gentleman
Lord Brownlow's Strathspey
Westminster Reel

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Set And Rotate

Set And Rotate Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Set And Rotate'

Complex Figures

Additional search terms: Set+Rotate.

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