[Callers] Re Allemande Hold (was Analysis of Stars)

Chrissy Fowler ktaadn_me at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 13 12:40:52 PDT 2012

On thumbs and allemandes:

A good friend of mine is sensitive to the 'dreaded thumb lock', and has showed me exactly why.  He's right.  It's AWFUL.  His strategy is to keep his thumb beside (n line with) his fingers, everything else is the same in the 'mitten grip'.  I've tried it myself, it works great.  (And for those who don't believe it re. the thumb lock, get a friend to practice with you.  Do the bent thumb allemande and tell them to press down hard with their thumb.  Then try to extricate yourself.  Ouch.)

This particular thumb-free (or perhaps "thumb-safe") allemande grip is no different than the bent thumb grip.  (Thus, I disagree heartily with the FB person Jeff quoted.) 

What makes the allemande feel great is the "connection" of the shared muscle tension in upper arms, the position of fingers around base of thumb of the other person's hand, and the straight wrist.  

I once heard some great caller point out that you are engaging your upper arm muscle when you allemande - not your shoulder, not your wrist, not your fingers, and definitely not your thumb.  Which is to say it's the shared, elastic tension that makes the allemande a great ride.  

Chrissy Fowler
Belfast, ME


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