[Callers] "improper"

David Lawrence Harvey dave at nycbarndance.com
Sun Oct 9 14:15:18 PDT 2011


Pretty sure it's a formation.  What's "improper" is mixing ladies and
gents.  Heaven forbid!

Never heard anyone say a couple standing alone across from each other is
improper no matter what side each is on.

Dave Harvey
NYC Barn Dance

On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 3:13 PM, Read Weaver <rweaver at igc.org> wrote:

> A question about terminology (maybe two).
>
> Does the term "improper" mean a formation, or a position? In other words,
> does that term mean a line of dancers that alternates gent/lady/gent/lady
> down the right line and lady/gent/lady/gent down the left line, or does it
> mean gent in the right line, lady in the left line (all left/right
> designations based on facing the top of the set)?
>
> What makes it two questions is whether there's a difference in how you, as
> a caller, think about it, and how you think your dancers think about it.
>
> What I really want to know is whether there's regional variation, and
> whether it's different in English country dance and contra. And maybe
> whether it's changed over time.
>
> Here in Boston, I'd say dancers think of it as a formation, and there seems
> to be variation in how callers think of it (e.g., some callers will say "end
> improper" to mean gent/right, lady/left whatever position you're in—it comes
> up more often in English country dance than contra, but sometimes in contra
> too).
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