On Apr 13, 2017, at 12:34 PM, Jacob Bloom wrote:
My dance You Married My Daughter (written in 1987) has
a Ladies Chain into an Allemande Left, although I find it less confusing to teach it as
"ladies pull by, allemande left with the opposite gent.
I wholeheartedly agree with Jacob. If you want the ladies to
pull past each other and then allemande with whichever gent
they meet, then just tell them that--designating which hand
to use, which gent they meet (partner, neighbor, or shadow]),
how far to turn, and where they end up, as appropriate. If
you describe it using the word "chain"--at least with a crowd
of contemporary American contra dancers--I think there are
likely to be at least a few dancers who will react by doing a
courtesy turn, or the twirls people sometimes put in place o
a courtesy turn, before you can tell them otherwise. Then,
having practiced it that way, some of them may continue to do
it that way every time, even after you've attempted to clarify
what action you actually intended, so that they always end up
fumbling around a little to get to wherever they need to be
for the next move.
Even if you don't use the word "chain", the mere act of
ladies pulling past each other and extending their left hands
to the gents they meet may trigger some gents to start a
courtesy turn. Describing the action as a "chain" can only
increase the number of dancers who have something to unlearn.