| To say that the problem of getting the top couple down to the bottom is a | C20th problem caused by the decision to dance in four couple sets rather than | "Longways for as many as will" is not entirely true. Most Scottish country | dances (until fairly recently) are triple minor in form, that is they involve | three couples in dancing each turn of the dance. It is easily seen, | therefore, that even if danced "Longways for as many as will" (Triple minor), | the working couple(s) will have to go to the bottom when there is only one | couple below them. ...
Some contradance crowds do a lot of triple-minor dances, and a common
approach is to tell people to dance with the "ghost" couple at the
bottom the last time through, and modify the dance "however" to make
it work. Most people who are clever enough to understand the figures
are also clever enough to incorporate the ghosts, especially after
they've had a few times through the dance to get the pattern down.
The ghosts seem to be very shy; they seem to be satisfied just
hanging around at the bottom of the line, without ever progressing.