As may be obvious, I love Mad Robins. I'm still working on what is the best
way to teach them.
I know about the "Dosido/now face your Partner/on the same path as the
Dosido, do a Mad Robin" approach and have used it.
I've heard other callers I admire admonish to not use the "wrong" move as a
teaching tool for the "right" move - as it's that much harder to "unlearn"
the original bit.
What I've observed is that newer dancers may end up focused on the wrong
person, facing the wrong direction, and possibly doing the "Dosido Twirl"
when using the Dosido teach. But they *do* follow the correct path (so long
as the caller remembers to say SeeSaw vs. Dosido as the correct analogue)
on the floor. Some can make the facing adjustment and some persist in
facing the wrong way. If the dance tolerates the facing differences, all is
As a practice, I actively solicit feedback on my calling at each gig. Out
of a recent one I got into an extended discussion about the Mad Robin teach
with a dancer whom had struggled with their beginner partner in a sequence
that evening. I had read that crowd as highly experienced so did only a
basic teaching of the move, which they reported having not got through to
this beginner. They freely offered that all was well around them, it was
just a frustration in their own experience. We touched on the merits and
drawbacks of the Dosido teach (which I chose not to use in that situation
as it appears to annoy experienced dancers, plus because of the above
I'm trying to evolve to something that teaches both the correct motion and
the facing direction at the same time - *without* taxing experienced folks'
patience. I have my own ideas on this but welcome others'.
So, how do *you* teach a Mad Robin most effectively and efficiently? Do you
vary it by context, crowd composition, other factors?
Chrissy Fowler of Belfast Flying Shoes fame has asked me to share with you
the email below. (She's on the SW organizers list but not the callers
This resource she's created is pretty amazing ... enjoy!
Hi Shared Weight Organizers List.
I'm writing to share a resource that I recently put together - Dancing in
Literature: A Partial Bibliography. It's posted on the Belfast Flying
Shoes blog (http://belfastflyingshoes.org/dancing-books-for-flying-shoes/)
and is meant to be widely disseminated. As noted on the front page of the
pdf, this project was supported by a dance education grant from the Maine
Arts Commission and by Belfast Flying Shoes, with help from many
The word "partial" is key. This is by no means comprehensive, and I'm
making no recommendations about the literary value of any of the books.
But it's a resource, and I'm happy to imagine it being of use.
I wanted to have a dance where dancers did the dolphin hey figure with a neighbor rather than with a partner so that knowledge could be transferred from one person to another. I wrote this dance with that purpose. This dance borrows much from Seth Tepfer’s “Dolphin Yay!” dance and Andrea Nettleton’s “Porpoiseful Play”. Much thanks to both of these choreographers for their great dances.
Please take a look at this dance and let me know if you know it to be already written in this way. The slice in the beginning can be changed into a double slice (left diagonal forward to new neighbors, left diagonal back to next new neighbors) to make it a double progression, giving more dancers a chance to be the dolphin couple. I called this in Santa Barbara, CA, on 9/30, with the double slice. The dancers gave the dance a thumbs up. Click on these words for a video link. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoYYc4mKzrE>
by Jacqui Grennan
** BECKET ** ID Lady 1 and Gent 2 (AKA “top couple”)
(8) LEFT DIAGONAL - Slice (single progression) or double slice (double progression) to new Neighbors
(8) Lady 1 & Gent 2 (”top couple”) left shoulder ‘round 1-1/2 to face Lady 2
(14) Dolphin Hey for 3 (6 passes) - Dolphins pass Lady 2 right, end by passing Lady 2 at the same place where the hey was started
(2) Lady 2 cross the set
(16) Neighbor right shoulder ‘round/Swing
(6) Circle left 3/4
(10) Partner Swing