For me, the obvious problem with the do-si-do analogy is that mad robins
can go in either direction, and if it's counterclockwise, it's the path of
a see-saw instead of a do-si-do (and I don't teach see-saw if I can help
My experience is that the important parts are:
- It's a sideways sliding figure
- You're sliding around neighbor while looking at partner (or vice versa)
- You return to where you started
So this might sound like:
"Don't do it yet. We're about to do a sideways sliding figure called a mad
(Maybe, add something about returning to starting place if it seems like
it'll help this audience)
"You'll be looking at your partner the whole time but sliding sideways
around your neighbor."
"It starts with, ravens slide to the right in front as larks slide to the
left behind," (dancers are now moving)
"then larks slide to the right in front as ravens slide to the left
behind." (continue moving)
"And you're back where you started."
Also, some people - some beginners, but also some experienced dancers - are
not able to confidently move sideways while keeping their eyes on their
partner, or maybe it's too much staring for them, so they do the motion
without the eye contact. At my local dances I'd say this happens at least
1/3 of the time. Does this feel satisfying? No. Does it work fine? Yes.
I've learned to manage my expectations.
On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 9:57 AM Don Veino via Callers <
Your numbered list approach is just what I did that
night (but Gents and
Ladies). I do like your stressing point 2.
On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 12:49 PM, Maia McCormick <maiamcc(a)gmail.com>
When teaching it from the mic, I've taken to doing it like this:
1. "This is another of those fancy moves that gets you right back where
you started. *At the end of this move, you'll be right back here*."
2. "So it's important to *stay on the side of your set*. Lots of people
feel like they should cross. Don't."
3. "Lock eyes with your [partner]. You're going to walk a little circle
around your [neighbor], while looking at your partner.
4. "[Ravens] take a small step forward, [larks] take a small step back."
5. "Keep your eyes on your partner. Ravens, step to your left and larks
step to your right, sliding past your neighbor."
6. "Now larks step forward and ravens step back; larks step right and
ravens step left, sliding past your neighbor again."
7. "You're back where you started, hooray! Now let's try that up to
On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 12:39 PM Don Veino via Callers <
> As may be obvious, I love Mad Robins. I'm still working on what is the
> best way to teach them.
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