[Callers] Yearn / Slice?

Bob Isaacs isaacsbob at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 23 12:43:43 PDT 2012

David and All:
Thanks for sharing A Quarter More, as I was not aware it was the dance that introduced the yearn.  I thought both slice and yearn referred to the same single progression move, and it was a matter of regional taste as to which was used.  I did not invent the term slice, and do not know who did.  But I like the move and use it in my dances a fair amount.  It is an easy and efficient progression in 8 beats, which means there's plenty of time for other ideas.  And yes, Lisa, it has worked in medleys when I know the audience well - even if dancers don't know it, they can easily fake it/figure it out on the fly.
So back in 2006 when a bunch of us wrote Slice of Pinewoods, we thought we were creating a new move, the double slice, but really were just rediscovering George Walker's yearn.  Even so, I prefer the terms slice and double slice, as they indicate the number of progressions (in addition to the yearn/urine issue).  It's also been my experience the double slice is better in long lines rather than going two by two - more connectedness means less possible confusion over which couple to finish across from.
BTW, there's another variant here:
Half a Slice              Becket-L / BI
A1.      8          Half a slice L to a line/4                             (1)
           8          Down hall in line/4 – turn alone
A2.      8          Up hall and bend line
           8          Ladies allemande L 1½
B1.      4,12     Neighbor balance, swing
B2.      6          Circle L ¾
           10        Partner swing – face on L diagonal
(1) – As in a normal slice, go forward towards each other on the L diagonal.  But here the top two dancers (1L and 2G) keep hands joined and the bottom two push off (1G’s L hand and 2L’s R hand) so all face down.  This is an efficient way to get everyone progressed and facing down in 8 beats, so there is time for creative or dramatic push-offs.
> Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 08:04:02 -0400
> From: David.Millstone at valley.net
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Subject: [Callers] Yearn / Slice?
> I'd appreciate some clarification about several relatively new terms in the contra 
> dance world.
> In her description of Fruit Punch, Joy wrote:
> A1 With couple on L diagonal, Yearn to new Neighbors and fall straight back (8)
> My understanding was that "yearn" means moving on the left diagonal toward one 
> set of dancers, and then back from there on the left diagonal so that a couple 
> has moved two places. If I understand Fruit Punch, the couple has only moved one 
> place, forward on the left diagonal and then straight back. I've heard Bob Isaacs 
> and others refer to that move as "slice" left but I don't know if that's common 
> usage.
> "Yearn" was created by Seattle choreographer George Walker in his dance "A Quarter 
> More/"
> http://www.quiteapair.us/calling/acdol/dance/acd_121.html
> David Millstone
> Lebanon, NH
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