I use Chain 'n' Hey http://contrafusion.co.uk/Dances/ChainnHey.html
a lot with
groups where at least some of the people know what they are doing. No, I don't
generally draw imaginary lines on the floor for ordinary heys (yes, for a Lichfield Hey!),
but I often demonstrate and tell them to watch how we are walking figure eights (with
extra loops) and weaving between each other.
I teach the Courtesy turn first, hand positions and hips together - tell them to imagine
a pole between them and the man walks backwards around the pole, the lady walks forwards.
Once they get it I tell them, "OK. Now you are Pole Dancing". :-)
I then tell the ladies to make sure they only "touch & go" with their right
hands - no holding on - and that their objective is to get around the man by passing him
with their left shoulder - and to walk forwards all the time (so many try to back into the
man's arm!). Then I tell the men that their job is to step in and scoop up the lady
with their right arm (I used to focus on the left hand, but have found that focussing on
the right arm has more success), then do the courtesy turn that they have learnt.
Once they get it (reasonably well) I tell the ladies to step forwards and the men to step
back and make a line of four ready for the hey (it really helps to get the men to step
back!). Now the ladies already know the path since it is exactly the same as two
ladies' chains. As long as I can persuade them to keep their eye on the last person
they pass so they turn the easy way, and to make that turn a big loop, then there is a
high level of success. The dance is also forgiving since they have 16 beats of partner
balance and swing to get back to their own side and get ready for the lines.
I think the R & L Through is the worst move of all! It is completely
counter-intuitive. The lady pulls by with her right hand, and especially if the man hangs
on, she automatically starts to turn to the right, when she needs to turn to the left.
There are areas and styles where it is the standard to pass through without hands, then do
the courtesy turn with hands. I have a much higher success rate when I teach it that way.
I quite often change a R & L Through to a Half Promenade if there is only one dance I
want to do in an evening that has a R & L Through.
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362
for Dancing in Kent
From: Luke Donforth via Callers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 23 August 2016 13:42
Subject: Re: [Callers] Favorite dance to teach a ladies chain?
Interesting approach John. I'd personally hesitate to introduce both chain and a hey
in the same dance for mostly new dancers. Do you draw an extensive parallel of the motion
on the floor for the ladies?