[Callers] Dances with three or more allemandes

Erik Hoffman erik at erikhoffman.com
Sat Feb 15 14:59:57 PST 2014


I have done this:

I say, "Wrists are strongest when straight. Fingers are strongest, when 
curved -- their natural state." Then I discuss symmetry. In an 
allemande, both peoples arms should be bent, so as to permit a 
comfortable connection. Then I say, "it's never a grip! It's a hook!" 
and, for dancing purposes I have eliminated the word "grip" from my 
regular teaching.

Then I have advocated the return of the interlocking (but not locked) 
thumb. I have said "it just feels better," at which point I receive from 
some young and very experienced dancers, "No it doesn't! I think it 
feels better when the thumb is next to the hand, and not interlocking!" 
Then I realize certain things are habits that we learn to like.

I also teach protective hand positions. And, in my book, 
/ContraDictations/, I wrote an article with drawings, /If Allemande 
Left, Where Did Allemande Go? /Still available...

~erik hoffman
      oakland, ca

On 2/15/2014 10:18 AM, Michael Fuerst wrote:
> When I started contra dancing, people know how to allemande.  But over the years people starting bending and twisting the wrists of those with whom they allemanded, so today, in defense, dancers often allemande with a stiff open, bent non-thumb fingers, or wrist to wrist.  Thus I was pondering  a workshop on correct allemanding:
>
> 1) thumbs interlocked, the other four fingers wrapped over the other's hand,
>
> 2) the top of your hand and top of forearm forming a straight line, ensuring the other's wrist is not  contorted
> 3) arm not held stiff, but used as a spring to maintain comfortable tension with the other dancer.
>
> Such a workshop should be held in the middle of the evening, last 5-8 minutes minutes, and precede a dance with multiple allemandes.
>
> So I am asking for dances which have at least three, and preferably four allemandes
>   
> Michael Fuerst      802 N Broadway      Urbana IL 61801       217-239-5844
> Links to photos of many of my drawings and paintings are at www.ArtComesFuerst.com
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