The Promenade

by Derek Haynes

The Promenade starts with the dancers in the centre of the set, facing up with hands joined - right hand in right hand and left in left - the man's right arm being over the lady’s left. The man's right arm should be across his partner and the lady's left arm across her partner so that the hands are well apart at about waist height. The hold should be comfortable and firm, but not taut. The sketches in " 101 Scottish Country Dances" and in " Introducing Scottish Country Dancing " illustrate the arm positions for the Promenade, and the Allemande.

When dancing either the Promenade or the Allemande figure it is necessary at various points for the man to pivot, almost on the spot, while the lady dances round him so that as a couple they make a 90 or 180 degree turn to their left.

Two Couple Promenade

Bar 1 Both couples dance diagonally out towards the 1adies' side of the dance.

Bar 2 1st man pivots, bringing his lady round so that they face across the dance, while the 2nd couple dance up following them.

Bar 3 The 1st couple dance across the dance while the 2nd man pivots bringing his lady round to face across the set.

Bar 4 1st man pivots bringing his lady round so that they face down the men's side of the dance, while the 2nd couple dance across the top of the dance.

Bar 5 1st couple dance down the men's side, while the 2nd couple swivel and start to follow 1st couple. At the end of bar 5 both couples are on the men's side facing down.,

Bar 6 1st man pivots bringing his lady round so that they finish in the centre of the dance, facing up, just below 2nd couple's original place. The 2nd couple dance down the men's side.

Bar 7 1st couple dance up the centre of the set to just short of their original place, while 2nd couple swing into the centre of the dance just below their original place.

Bar 8 Both couples dance away from their partner, outwards and up to their original places on the sidelines.

Three Couple Promenade

Bar 1 All three couples dance diagonally out towards the ladies' side of the dance, the 1st couple turning to face the men's side at the end of the bar.

Bar 2 The 1st couple dance across the dance.

Bar 3 The 1st couple dance one place down the men's side.

Bar 4 The 1st couple dance another place down the men's side.

(The 2nd couple dance one step behind the 1st couple and the 3rd couple one place behind the 2nd couple during bars 2 - 4.) At the end of bar 4 all three couples are on the men's side facing down. Up to now the phrasing is as for the three couple Allemande (see Sheet 1).

Bar 5 The 1st couple swing into the centre of the set to finish facing up just below 3rd couple's original place. 2nd and 3rd couples dance down the men's side.

Bar 6 The 1st couple dance up the centre for one step, the 2nd couple swing into the centre, again just below 3rd couple's original place, while 3rd couple dance another step down the men's side.

Bar 7 1st and 2nd couples dance another step up the centre, while the 3rd couple swing into the centre. Each couple should now be in the centre of the set, facing up and just below their original places.

Bar 8 All three couples dance away from their partner up towards their original places to finish on the sidelines.

Four Couple Promenade

On bar 1, the 1st couple swing onto the men's side of the dance and start dancing down, while 2nd, 3rd, and 4th couples dance up the centre following them.

On bar 2, 3, and 4 the 1st couple dance down one place on each step turning into the centre at the end of bar 4, while 2nd, 3rd, and 4th couples turn down the men's side in turn following 1st couple.

1st couple turn into the centre on bar 4, 2nd couple on bar 5, 3rd couple on bar 6, and 4th couple on bar 7. All then dance out and up to original places on bar 8.

Promenade to Corners

Dance the figure normally up to the end of bar 6. On bar 7 the 1st couple cast, allowing the 2nd couple to dance up towards top place, taking a longer step than normal. On bar 8 the 1st couple cross passing left shoulders, to finish facing 1st corners while the 2nd and 3rd couples dance out to, respectively, 1st and 3rd places on the sidelines.

Promenade to Poussette

The couples involved in the Poussette take a short step on bar 8 so that they finish in the centre of the set in line with their original places, facing partners with hands joined ready for the Poussette.

General Notes

1. In at least one dance the Promenade is danced in the first eight bars and therefore must be started from the sidelines. In such a case, the first step is used to dance in to meet partners. The dancers should catch up to the correct phrasing as soon as possible, and should do so by the end of bar 4.

2. A common fault in the Promenade is for the leading couple to dance too far up the dance in the first two bars. Following couples should stay close behind the couple they are following and the phrasing should allow the trailing couple to be in the centre of the dance at the end of bar 7 so that all may dance out to the sidelines together.

3. There are no retiring steps in the Promenade, all steps being forward travelling.

4. A useful exercise to develop the pivoting movement is given below. Starting from the diagram, the man alternately pivots and travels so that his track is along the sides of a square, pivoting at each corner, while the lady takes equal length steps all the way round. This exercise leads very naturally into the two couple Promenade, where 1st man pivots on bars 2, 4, and 6, while 2nd man pivots on bars 3, 5, and 7.Figure for Promenade Technique
Copyright by Hugh Foss (Formby), 50 Wicks Crescent, Formby. L37 1PW - now 15/2 West Bryson Road, Edinburgh. EH11 1EH

Technique Sheets for Teachers No.2.