Schottische

NEW: Videos of schottische variations can be found at: libraryofdance.org/dances/schottische

A collection of contemporary schottische figures.

A Literary Note: “Ma was delighted with her trip, but she was disgusted with the girls for allowing me to embrace and kiss them–and she was horrified at the Schottische as performed by Miss Castle and me. She was perfectly willing for me to dance until 12 o’clock at the imminent peril of my going to sleep on the after watch–but then she would top off with a very inconsistent sermon on dancing in general; ending with a terrific broadside aimed at the heresy of heresies, the Schottische.” – Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), Letter to Orion Clemens, 18 March 1861

Basic Schottische Step Patterns

  • Walking Schottische
    • Step-Step-Step-Hop x 2 / Step-Hop x 4
  • Pivoting Schottische
    • Step-Step-Step-Hop x 2 / Pivot-Hop x 4

First Half Variations

  • Basic
  • Cast Away and Rejoin (Optional Clap on 4)
  • Double the Second Half (Perhaps with Verbal Lead)
  • Continuous Pivots (First Half, Twelve Pivots, Back to First Half)
  • Balance (1-2-3-Hop) Back and Forth in Closed Position
  • Zig Zag Balance in Closed Position
  • Schottische Polka (CW Turning 1-2-3-Hops in Closed Position)
  • Reverse Schottische Polka (CCW Turning)
  • Schottische Waltz (CW Waltz with a Hop on 4)
  • Reverse Schottische Waltz (CCW Waltz with a Hop on 4)
  • Schottische Mazurka (Mazurka Style Slide-Close-Slide-Hops)
  • Follow Backing in Closed Position
  • Follow Backing, then Lead Backing
  • Toss Across CCW, Toss Back CW (Closed or Open)
  • Circle Around the Lead (CCW)
  • Circle Around the Lead with Lead Genuflection (Kneeling)
  • Wheel Around as Couple (CW or CCW)
  • Crossed Hand Sweeps
  • Make Stuff Up (Castaway Solo Turns, etc)

Second Half Variations

Basic Figures

  • Step Hops Together
  • Cast Away and Rejoin (to Avoid Traffic)
  • Pivots Together
  • Star Schottische (Turning Two Step Together)
  • Double the First Half (Perhaps with Verbal Lead)
  • Slow Schottische Polka Gallop in Closed Position (Side-Close x 4)
  • Rock Side to Side x 2 in Closed Position
  • Rock Forward and Back x 2 in Open Position
  • Make Stuff Up

Turning Figures

  • Follow’s Underarm Turn
  • Follow’s Free Spin
  • Rollaway
  • Lead’s Underarm Turn
  • Double Follow’s Underarm Turn
  • Double Follow’s Free Spin
  • Double Rollaway
  • Double Lead’s Underarm Turn
  • Choose Any Two of the Four, as in:
    • Chained Underarm Turns (Follow, then Lead)

Circling Figures

  • Circle Around the Lead (CCW)
  • Circle Around the Lead with Lead Genuflection (Kneeling)
  • Wheel Around as Couple (CW or CCW)
  • Double Wheel Around as Couple (CW or CCW)

Cross Body Figures

  • Cross Body Lead
  • Cross Body Inside Turn
  • Cross Body Lead, then Pivaloop
  • Cross Body Inside Turn, then Pivaloop
  • Cross Body Lead, then Pivaloop Around the World*
  • Cross Body Inside Turn, then Pivaloop Around the World*
  • Repeated Pivaloop Around the World*

Pivot Figures

  • Pivot, Follow’s Underarm Turn
  • Pivot, Follow’s Underarm Turn to Crossed Hands or Shadow
  • Pivot, Follow’s Free Spin
  • Pivot, Rollaway
  • Pivot, Four Double Time Smooth Pivot Steps
  • Three Double Time Smooth Pivot Steps and a Hop x 2
  • Five-Step Schottische (Role Reversal Pivots)
  • Role Reversal (It’s a Variation By Itself)
  • Another Way Into Role Reversal: Halve a Half, or Add Half a Half
  • Reverse Pivots (Perhaps from Reverse Schottische Waltz or Polka)

Crossed Hand Figures

  • Sweeps (Sweep Follow Across, Sweep Back the Next Time)
  • Outside Turn, then Sweeps
  • Left Hand Face Loop Out of Crossed Hands
  • Crossed Hands Drop into to Shadow

Shadow Figures

  • Shadow Wheel
  • Shadow Sweeps
  • Shadow Flips
  • Right Hand Follow’s Outside Turn
  • Double Right Hand Follow’s Outside Turn
  • Right Hand Follow’s Inside Turn
  • Double Right Hand Follow’s Inside Turn
  • Illusion Turn (Shadow Circle Around the Lead, CW)
  • Reverse Illusion Turn (Left Shadow, CCW)
  • Windmill (Tandem Turns CW, Windmill Hands)
  • Reverse Windmill (Left Shadow, CCW)
  • Shadow to Crossed Hands
  • Left Hand Face Loop Out of Shadow
  • Free Spin Out of Shadow
  • Shadow to Hammerlock at His Left

Hammerlock and Skater’s Figures

  • Hammerlock at His Left to Tandem Turns (Both CCW)
  • Hammerlock at His Left to Skater’s at His Left
  • Skater’s at His Left to Hammerlock at His Right
  • Hammerlock at His Right to Skater’s at His Right
  • Skater’s at His Right to Hammerlock at His Left
  • Outside Turn Out of Hammerlock and Skater’s

Whole Thing Variations

Schottische Troika (for Three People)

  • Basic Schottische Troika
  • Wheels on the Bus (Turns for Both Follows)
  • Two Moons (Simultaneous Around the Worlds)

Other Kinds of Schottische

  • Solo Schottische Line
  • Schottische Quadrilles
  • Highland Schottische (with Extra, Ornamented Balance Steps)
  • Salty Dog Rag
  • Schottische Mixer
  • Sweetheart Schottische (Related by Name)

Transitions

Two of my favorite dances, Schottische and Club Two Step, happen to share the same range of tempos. While some songs are clearly more conducive to one dance or the other, some songs are appropriate for both, allowing for a traveling schottische lane around a stationary mush pot of club two step (pun intended). Here is a set of transitions I made up to elegantly switch from one dance to the other in the middle of a song that works for both.

  • Club Two Step to Schottische (Video): Run Forward Out of Flip Flops, On the Lead’s Right Side, When in Starting Position for Schottische
  • Schottische to Club Two Step (Video): Keep Closed Position After Pivots, Balance Back and Forth in Closed Position, and Clearly Lead a Slow Side Step to Start Club Two Step on Second Half

Music

For schottische music, see Dancing Tunes – Schottische.

Credit

Many variations learned from Richard Powers. Some picked up from Susan de Guardiola, Youtube, and the dance floor. Others made up by Nick and Danielle.

Contribute

Know another good schottische variation? Share it below!

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