Dance Formations – some common ones

Longways Sets

A dance formation with couples arranged in two lines down the hall. When facing the band, the man’s position is usually in the left hand line and woman’s in the right hand line. The ‘top couple’ is the couple nearest the band. Some dances may require the partners in some couples to be standing on the opposite sides to normal. Others may need partners to stand alongside each other in the line facing across the set to another couple opposite.

Quadrilles / Squares

Dances that use a square formation, usually for four couples, with each couple forming one side of the square. The top couple have their backs to the band. The top and bottom couples often do the movements first, so if a dance is new to you it’s best to be a side couple so you can observe and copy them.

A Big Circle around the hall

One big circle with everyone facing into the middle with the woman on the right of their partner. Often everyone holds hands to begin.

Sicilian Circle

A circle made up of couples facing another couple to create one big circle of couples around the hall. Typically during the course of the dance each couple will progress around the hall in the direction they originally face (i.e. clockwise or anti-clockwise).