Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Top Couple

The Top couple in Scottish Country Dancing is the Couple nearest The music in either a Longwise set or a Circular set but not in a Round the room set where the concept has no significance. The term applies only at a specified time; as soon as a Couple moves from that Place, they lose that identification to whichever Couple replaces them.

The term can be particularly useful in dance instructions to identify that Couple correctly after a succession of Figures may have left an unexpected Couple in Top Place and the reader a little confused. More commonly, it is used to assign each Couple's number in The set:
1st couple of the Full set is the Top couple at the beginning of the dance;
1st couple of the Active set is the Top couple at the beginning of the Repeat.

For example, here are some Scottish Country Dances in which the term, Top couple, is used in either the MiniCrib or the MaxiCrib Dance instructions or both -
Anniversary Tensome
Baldovan Reel
Cuillins Of Skye
Toll House

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