I'm glad you're looking at your dances in detail. You've made me think about
an aspect of programming that I've forgotten about. There was a time when I used to
program most of my dances of the evening to be flowing and having good transitions. In
the DC area I'd throw in a dance or two that had an awkward moment. Many of the
dancers in that area dance 1-4 nights a week. They dance the dances that flow and have
good transitions all of the time. You might even say that many of them could be a little
bored by some of the common transitions that flow (and therefore are used in many dances)
The awkward move or transition was a new puzzle for them to play with. It made them think
and adjust. Of course the level of the dance had to fit the skill level of the crowd.
I can remember as a dancer enjoying the non flowing or bad transition on occasion (one an
evening). Sounds strange but I've heard others mention the same thing. And of course
not everyone will enjoy this. As we all know you can't please everyone 100%. Maybe
it's save to say that we try to please the average.
By the way, Bob Dalsemer once made a good point in this regard. He said that many of the
transitions that we now consider as good transitions were considered awkward years ago
when they were first introduced.
Send Callers mailing list submissions to
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
You can reach the person managing the list at
When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Callers digest..."
1. Questionable figure transitions (lynn ackerson)
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:07:33 -0800 (PST)
From: lynn ackerson <callynn1(a)pacbell.net>
Subject: [Callers] Questionable figure transitions
To: callers <callers(a)sharedweight.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Hi all. Several times a year I go through my cards and try to throw out dances that
turned out not to be as great as I thought they were when I collected them. This round,
several transitions are sticking out for me as being awkward. The first is a ladies chain
to a circle L with the same group of 4. The courtesy turn ends with both dancers'
momentum going more toward a circle R than circle L. I find this transition even worse
when the ladies chain is on the L diagonal followed by a circle L with the couple across.
On a R&L through followed by a circle L, I recommend that the dancers use a California
twirl instead of a courtesy turn and that gets around that courtesy turn to circle L
transition. Am I being a bit too anal about this? There are just so many dances
available, I feel like I need to get down to this level of detail to weed some out.
The second transition that I see a lot, especially in Cary Ravitz dances is swing to
star (L or R) in same group of 4. For this one, one of the swingee's needed hand will
be around their swinging partner and it's awkward to extricate it to make the star. In
some dances, depending on what follows the star, I can replace the star with a Long Lines
F&B which fixes it.
I talked to several of you at NEFFA about another transition that really bugs me: from
a hey which has a R shoulder pass in the middle to a swing on the side. Whoever finishes
the hey first, has to make an immediate change in momentum (since they just passed L on
the side) to get into a swing. Some dances alleviate the problem by using a balance and
swing instead of just a swing, but that only works if there's enough time.
Any thoughts? Like I said, I'm getting way down to the details to come up with
reasons to weed out dances. Do you have suggestions for making these transitions smoother?
Are there other transitions you personally try to avoid?
Callers mailing list
End of Callers Digest, Vol 16, Issue 3