Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Step Up

In Scottish Country Dancing Step up is used by a dancer (most commonly a Couple in unison on both Sides) to move one Place Up on the Side line(s) of a Longwise set so as to vacate the Place needed by another dancer (or Couple). It uses the special step which is described under Step up or Down.

The most common use is to move the 2nd Couple Up The set into the Corner positions While 1st Couple perform a 2-bar Figure, such as Cast down or Cross down, so as to Exchange places with them.

This simple, but much underrated, Figure is a fundamental element of Progression in the great majority of dances in Longwise sets. It is always presumed by those writing a "crib" (the brief resumé of each dance for a Ball) that the dancer will know exactly when to use this Figure and whether, in a Quick tempo dance, the version shown in Stepping (To The Right), which has Diagonal forward movement to help a Casting Dancer, is appropriate rather than that in Stepping (To The Left), which has straight sideways movement; even Miss Milligan leaves these out of her instructions for "101 Scottish Country Dances".

The importance of optimum Timing is shown in bars 25-36 of The New Rigged Ship. The 1st Couple have 8 bars in which, quite comfortably, to Cross and cast twice followed by 4 bars in which, very quickly, they must Lead up to the Top and Cast to Face First corners, ready to Set. 2nd Couple should be helpful by delaying the Step up until bars 35-36; if they Step up on bars 27-28, 1st Couple will have much further to go in bars 33-36, making an already difficult sequence even harder.
Here are examples of those Scottish Country Dances for which we have instructions on this site and in which the term, Step up, 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:

Antarctica Bound
Coanwood Stuarts
Duke Of Wellington
Just Over The Border
Kelly's Kaper
Lamb Skinnet
Memories (Goldring)
Osgood MacKenzie Of Inverewe
Stone Of Destiny
Valley Full Of Tree Tops

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Stepping Up

Step Up Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Step Up'


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