Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Skip Change

In Quick tempo Scottish Country Dances, Skip change is a forward (and occasionally backward) step used for most Travelling Figures. The diagrams show the basic step, Starting with the right foot from a stationary Position and taking two bars, one for each foot. The first step is almost always with the right foot; if specified otherwise, Start at the beginning of bar 2 but Standing with both feet in first Position.

For clarity, each separate movement in the step is shown on a separate line, Starting from the bottom of each diagram. Since the left foot step would naturally follow the right foot step, the diagram for it is placed above the right foot step diagram; the first movement of bar 2 is a clear continuation from the last of bar 1.

Diagram, Skip Change Bar 2

Skip Change - Bar 2

Second bar of Skip change, continuing onto the left foot from bar 1; each beat shown separately.

Diagram, Skip Change Bar 1

Skip Change - Bar 1

First bar of Skip change, Starting from Standing on the right foot; each beat shown separately.

Working upwards, the lower diagram shows the movements in bar 1 (the right foot step) of Skip change, Starting from stationary (with heels off the ground). The upper diagram shows bar 2 (the left foot step); this normally follows immediately after the right foot step as shown here.

At the end of the last beat of each bar, one foot is behind the other (the left foot in the lower diagram). If the step is to continue, as in the upper diagram, the forward movement on the first beat has to be longer and quicker than on the first beat from stationary (the lower diagram) in order to reach the required Position at the end of that beat.

If the step is not to be repeated, close the rear foot to the normal Standing Position without hopping on the other; if Pas-de-basque or some other step should follow, move the rear foot directly to the first Position of the new step.

When dancing backwards, on beat 3 of each bar the heel of the closing foot must just touch the instep of the other foot (i.e., bringing the closing foot into third Position front).

See Fitting The Steps To The Music for those details covering this and the other six basic steps of Scottish Country Dancing.
Very few Scottish Country Dancing Figures require this step to be performed in a straight line; the Direction of each step must be adjusted to suit the Direction required by the Figure though, as when walking, this soon becomes automatic.

With a few exceptions, such as in bars 2-3 of Dos-à-dos, in bar 1 of Allemande and Promenade round and when Dancing backwards, the Dancer Faces in the Direction of Travel.

The length of the steps must also be adjusted to suit the Figure in which they are being performed though the well-devised dance will not require abnormally long or short steps. When two Dancers are Travelling together on a sharp curve, as for example in Allemande, one Dancer may have to take very large steps While the other almost Dances On the spot.

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Skip Change

Skip Change Travelling Step Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Steps for Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes'


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