Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary


In the common situation where the Dancing couple have reached 2nd Place in a 3-Couple Active set, the unqualified term, Teapots, is a convenient shorthand expression for the 8-bar sequence:
Right hands across, the Dancing lady with the Couple Above and the Dancing man with the Couple Below, followed by Left hands across, the Dancing lady with the Couple Below and the Dancing man with the Couple Above.

By extension, it is equally useful in a 5-Couple Set when the Dancing couples, having reached 2nd and 4th Places, both perform the same movements, as, for example, in bars 17-24 of Linkumdoddie. Here, there are 3 Dancers in the Top Hands across, 4 in the Middle and 3 at the Bottom.

Unless otherwise directed, the Dancing couple Give right shoulder, i.e., pass By the left, when changing from Right hands across to Left hands across.

Teapots On the sides is a similarly useful term to describe the, much rarer, 8-bar sequence in which the Dancing couple perform both parts of the Hands across with the Dancers on the Sides of the Corners' square, rather than with those at the Top and the Bottom, as, for example, in bars 17-24 of The Nurseryman. In that dance, the Dancing couple Start on Opposite Sides; to avoid ambiguity, this form of qualification should always be used with Teapots On the sides.

It is important not to use Teapots On the sides to describe bars 9-16 of The Waggle o' the Kilt in which there is no change from Right hands across to Left hands across; similarly, it is inappropriate for other derivative forms of Hands across, such as in bars 25-32 of The Sound of Harris, in which each Couple Crosses to the other Hands across in turn.

Teapots is sometimes, but most unhelpfully, used as a synonym for the basic 4-bar sequence, Hands across; there is no merit in this since the user then must then qualify the term whenever it is to be used for the distinctive 8-bar sequence described above.

Although the term, Teapots, is not actually used in either MiniCrib or MaxiCrib Dance instructions, it can be usefully employed when teaching, informally; here are a few more of the multitude of Scottish Country Dances in which the Figure occurs -
Aileen's Reel
Blackwater Reel
Bonded Warehouse
Corner House Jig
Langholm Fair
Newcastleton Reel
Over The Hill (Haynes)
Poet And His Lass

Dance Video Clip Which Demonstrates Teapots

Teapots Video Clip

Links To Pages Related To 'Hands Across'


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