August 26, 2005

Two's Company -- Three's A Crowd 3x32 S


3x32 Strathspey

Bars 1-8    1C, 2C, 3C Set and dance La Barratte* (End on opposite sides)

Bars 9-16    1C, 2C, 3C Set and Link for 3 couples twice. End on proper sides in the order 3C 2C 1C

Bars 17-20    3C and 2C Set and Link for 2 couples.
End progressed (2C, 3C, 1C).

Bars 21-32    Rights and Lefts for 3 couples, ending ready for 2C to start a new round.

*Directions for LaBarratte:
La Barratte takes only 6 Bars so it usually starts with set.

Bars 1-2    Set
Bars 3-4    Cross RH until arms are almost fully extended
Bar 5    Dance back the path you just traveled.
But woman pull back RS slightly & raise R arm so you can dance
under own R arm - Both couples are now facing down the dance.
Woman has back to partner.
Bar 6    Man hold out LH – palm UP.
Woman bring LH up UNDER man’s LH & wrap fingers over top of his palm. Let go RHs.
As man raises L arm slightly – Woman dances UNDER his L arm.
LHs are now in proper SD grip.
Bars 7-8    Dance out to opposite sides.

Note: Bars 5-6 are crucial bars with a lot to do quickly. I would suggest practicing them until you can dance quickly, smoothly and automatically.

Devised by Holly V. Sherman (hollyvalentine530 [at]

Posted by ldfs at August 26, 2005 11:28 AM


I taught this in class after a couple of other dances with La Barrat in them. In fact here in San Francisco there has been quite a discussion about how to do the hands in that figure. I tried to clearly and fairly teach it with the handing you describe which is in contrast to the original description given and taught by Drewry but which is in keeping with one of our dancer's strongly held views on the matter. Nevertheless while the class enjoyed the dance quite a bit, they almost unanimously preferred the 'hook' grip.

In this dance, I suggest one ought to at least point out that the directions given with this dance are different than the description of the figure originally published with The Haggis Tree and MicMac Rotary.

It is a fun dance, but a good one to build up to since it consists entirely of three less common figures.

Posted by: Bruce Herbold at December 16, 2007 6:27 PM

In my experience, dancers who "get" the handing described by Holly prefer it. However, for many, it seems to be just one thing too many to remember, and the figure certainly works without it.

My understanding of the history is that the handing given above was discovered by Georgina Finlay after La Barratte had been introduced, and achieved some popularity, and that John Drewy thought it a good idea when he was shown it.

Posted by: Peter McClure at December 19, 2007 3:44 PM

I would like the description of the formation "La Baratte" specific to the dance "Stanford Swing". I did it some time ago and when I went to teach it to my class as per memory (?!) they weren't in the right place for the next part! Help!

Posted by: Jeanette McGown at July 3, 2009 10:57 PM
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