Square Dance Nebraska - Ideas
Dosado versus Highland Fling

What's the difference? A Dosado is a back-to-back movement which does not involve touching anyone. A Highland Fling (also called Highland Swing or Hungarian Dosido in other areas) involves putting your right hand around the waist of the person in front of you while raising your left hand in a stylish manner and then doing a full turn. A Highland Fling is only a dancer's adaptation when a caller calls a Dosado.

Dancers are divided into those that do and those that don't (do the Highland Fling, that is). I doubt you will ever be told by a caller that you can never do a Highland Fling but you should be aware of why some dancers and callers disapprove of it being used all the time and why some dancers prefer it.

The reason many dancers like it is because too many callers over-use "dosado to an ocean wave" and the dancers find that it flows better and even helps when the caller clips the timing and starts getting too far ahead of the dancers. Some dancers don't even know there is a difference between the two and more than one dancer trying to do a normal dosado has been told by another dancer, "the caller called a dosado!"

Among the dancers that don't like the Highland Fling, you will probably find the majority are women. Many complain (and justly so) that they are tired of the lazy arm that drags across their chest as the man gets into an ocean wave or having to get out of it unexpectedly because a different call was used. Some callers call a Square Thru and then use a Dosado as sort of a “hand canceler” before calling a Star Thru. While Square Thru and Star Thru is comfortable for the man, it causes the ladies to use two left hand movements together so a regular Dosado smoothens that out and a Highland Fling will only cause more problems.

The general rule is that the person that doesn't want to do a Highland Fling has the right of refusal. The sign given for not wishing to do a Highland Fling is first to not even look like you might do a Highland Fling. Either sex can simply turn their right shoulder into the movement (a slight twist of the body). The man can place both hands behind his back and the lady can hold her skirt. It will take a little practice to make this movement natural but then again you had to practice every square dance movement before it became natural.

If you want to do the Highland Fling then simply approach the dancer with the proper arm gestures (one hand up, the other ready for a waist) but be sure to get approval before you simply grab and swing.