Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Step Up (Or Down)

In Scottish Country Dancing, Step up (or down) is a sideways Travelling Step used for moving Up or Down one Place in a Longwise set; it requires 2 bars and so should be performed quite gracefully in Quick tempo dances as well as in Strathspeys.

For movement to the left, i.e., when on their Own sides, Up for the Man or Down for the Lady, the upper diagram shows the standard version; this is applicable when Time is not of the essence.

For movement to the right, i.e., when on their Own sides, Up for the Lady or Down for the Man, interchange left and right in this description.

This Figure is used by one Couple, usually a Supporting Couple, in conjunction with various movements by another Couple, usually a Dancing couple, in order to Exchange places. If the other Couple is Casting, and especially when there is too little Time for them to complete the preceding Figure accurately, it is helpful if those Stepping Up or Stepping Down make the first movement diagonally forwards rather than sideways and step diagonally backwards into line on the third movement. The lower diagram shows this version for movement to the right, applicable when Time is short.

Diagram, Stepping To The Left

Stepping To The Left

Stepping up or down, going to the left: each movement shown separately.

Diagram, Stepping To The Right

Stepping To The Right

Stepping up or down, going to the right, with Diagonal forward Travel in order to help another Couple when time is short.

See Fitting The Steps To The Music for those details covering this and the other six basic steps of Scottish Country Dancing.
Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Step up (or down), 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:

Bras d'Or
London Reel
Nice And Easy

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Stepping Up (Or Down)

Step Up (Or Down) Video Clip

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


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