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

Andrea Nettleton twirly-girl at bellsouth.net
Tue Mar 13 19:38:27 PDT 2012

I don't know if seasoned dancers who engage in a bad habit are able to hear that they are in error.  In a new dancer workshop, I show and tell that the two dancers in an allemande are like two panes in a revolving door and their joined hands are like the post they turn around.  Their arms should be in a flat open W shape along the plane of the glass.  They should maintain the same relative position to one another.  If they do so, and keep their wrists flat, I say, they are well positioned to help one another around with the firm presence of their bodies flowing into their arms.  I demonstrate that when one person tries to speed up by curling their wrist and scooting faster than their complement, they not only break down all possibility of teamwork, but can do damage.  Here I make exaggerated contortions with my demo partner.  The point is generally well taken.  I don't know if one could get away with such a teaching point during the evening, unless you were doing a dance with an allemande 2X round and could justify trying to keep everyone safe while ensuring they had the tools to get all the way round twice?  I don't know.  I think uncurling the curled fists that people impose on us while dancing might be the best we can do for those with a deeply ingrained habit.

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 13, 2012, at 8:42 PM, Chris Page <chriscpage at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM, Perry Shafran <pshaf at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Speaking of allemandes - is there ANY way to teach experienced dancers to not bend their wrists when they allemande?  The wrist is supposed to be straight, not bent, as bending can cause pain to the other person's wrist (generally mine).  Nowadays when I find a person allemande with a bent wrist I go ahead and keep mine straight and sacrifice a good allemande with weight for protecting my arm and wrist.
> I wish I knew. I was teaching a pre-dance workshop at another place
> and some of the "helpful" experienced dancers in the session were
> steadfastly insisting that the bent wrist alternative was the only
> safe one. Is there any way to deal with that without getting into an
> noisy argument while the new dancers are trying to sort this stuff
> out?
> -Chris Page
> San Diego
> p.s. I'm not bothered by the hidden thumbs. The allemandes work fine
> either way. The hidden thumbs just means the person's been hurt in the
> past and is protecting themselves.
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