[Callers] rocks and dirt by Erik Weberg

Yoyo Zhou yozhov at gmail.com
Mon Sep 30 18:51:03 PDT 2013

On Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM, Laur <lcpgr at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Can anyone share their opinion on why the caller would have chosen to make
> the change in the dance?  orientation or flow?

It's hard to know for sure without asking Carol (or whoever it was that
changed it). Here are some reasons (and examples) I can think of for
variations to be created:

- Fix poor transitions (right and left thru->circle left, ladies
chain->next neighbor balance).
- Fix timing issues (swing ending in the middle of a phrase).
- Add things that are missing (no partner swing, no neighbor swing).
- Eliminate unwanted figures (a balance in a smooth dance, a circle right,
too many circle lefts).
- Make a dance easier to dance or to teach (use hands in the circular hey).
- Other aesthetic reasons (substituting balance/gypsy/dosido before a

Those who feel strongly enough about choreography to change dances to fit
their programs have some aesthetic by which they judge the new dance to be
better than the original, but different callers prioritize different
things. As Alan mentioned, some callers (myself included) put a high value
on a neighbor swing because dancers seem to like it. Perhaps Carol (or
whoever) values the transitions here more than the original, enough to
outweigh the lack of a neighbor swing.

What are the questionable transitions in the original? If the circular hey
is done without hands, the balance is no problem. But swing to ladies chain
is not the smoothest. And (I noticed when I coincidentally called this
dance) there are ladies who will accidentally try to chain back instead of
allemanding. But I think there's still that risk of confusion in the
revised dance, as the ladies have the same cue twice - the other lady
extending a right hand.

(For the record, I think I called it with the variation A1 gypsy and swing.
My reasons: it flows well, it feels like a good fit with that part of the
dance, and I hadn't called any gypsy and swings yet in my program.)

Yoyo Zhou

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