[Callers] [trad-dance-callers] Questions on dance style.

Roger Diggle diggle at pobox.com
Fri Dec 26 13:07:03 PST 2008

Notion #1 in contra dancing (IMHO) is: Be on time for the next figure.  
Sometimes, in order to actually accomplish this, it's necessary to 
skip the current figure.  This in turn requires that a dancer can 
imagine the end point of the figure they are skipping, so they can be 
in the right place for that next figure.  So the involved skills are:  

1. Realizing in the first place that the current figure will make me 
quite late if I attempt to complete it, 

2. Imagining where I need to be at the beginning of the next figure, 

3. Providing gentle help to confused people in the neighborhood about 
where they will need to be.  

Note that each of these 3 skills is quite worthwhile in its own right.  

While there isn't necessarily a particular dance that teaches these 
skills well, any breakdown in any dance provides an opportunity to 
exercise these three skills.  So it's worth discussing occasionally 
to keep planting the seed of the idea.  

If I had to choose a dance for this purpose, it might be: 

The New Moan Hey      Duple and Improper
A1:  Circle left; Swing Neighbor
A2:  Circle left 3/4; Swing Partner
B1:  Men allemande left 1-1/2; 
     Maintaining left-hand hold, scoop up Neighbor, 
     'Star' promenade 1/2 way, 
     Cast around with the Women moving forward
     about 1-1/4 until the Women are facing across
B2:  Hey for 4, start w/ Women passing right shoulder  

Sometimes the men get their allemande started late.  If 
they are aware they are running late, they can simply 
allemande half way and scoop up their neighbors.  Or if 
the women notice that the men are running late they can 
slide in beside their neighbor guy at their half-way point.

It's not unusual for the star promenade to arrive too late 
for the cast around figure.  Executing the cast makes the 
hey for 4 start late.  While it's fun to do the cast, it's 
more important to start the hey on the phrase.  So, enjoy 
a hip-bump or two, and be on time starting the hey in B2.  


On Fri, 26 Dec 2008 11:10:16 -0800 (PST), Dave Colestock
<contradancerdave at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'd like to tap the collective experiences of the group for a couple of
> questions.  I have an event coming up where the organizers want to
> their groups dance "style", and are having one of their dance evenings
> dedicated to providing dance style tips.    ...    

     <stuff deleted>

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