Interesting. I've never seen the grapevine step done in square dancing, but I come from the International Folk Dancing tradition, where we learned a lot of Israeli dances that had the grapevine step. We carried it into other dances because it was fun. I danced with a whole bunch of hippies back in the 70s and they exaggerated ALL the steps, and that one had us flying around the circles, our legs making giant arcs in the air.

When I first started contra dancing I did the grapevine step out of habit. I quit when I realized I was the only one doing it.

Seattle now, Deming then.

On Jun 26, 2015, at 6:21 AM, Read Weaver via Callers <> wrote:

Are you asking about grapevine step? A twisting step, where you alternate the right foot going in front of and behind the left as you walk sideways. It’s how circles (of 4 or 8) are done in modern western square dancing, and in the last several years increasingly seen, to the dismay of all right-thinking people, on contra dance floors.

Read Weaver
Jamaica Plain, MA

On Jun 26, 2015, at 9:01 AM, Rich Sbardella <> wrote:

I did not understand your reference to grapevining in MWSD.  Can you elaborate?

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 8:50 AM, Read Weaver via Callers <> wrote:
In my separate beginners’ workshops, I have people take allemande hold, and then move around as fast as they comfortably can (“faster than you ever would in a dance”), paying attention to what that feels like in their hands and arms. I then have them do it again, starting fast and then slowing down a lot (slower than in a dance), keeping that same feeling in their hands/arms. Then I’ll have them do a 2-hand turn with that same feeling (my workshops most often combine contra & English), and then a circle of 4. I talk about the circle 4 being the most boring move in contra when it’s done without weight, and pointing out that it has quite a nice feeling when everyone is giving weight. (That’s also where I explain grapevining—why it’s done in MWSD (giving weight isn’t part of their style, so grapevine makes it a more interesting figure), and why it’s a bad thing to do in contra (because it makes it so much harder to give weight).)

Giving weight is the first thing I teach in a beginners’ session, partly to emphasize how important it is, and partly because it gives me the opportunity to point out everywhere else where you do it, including just a little like in a courtesy turn.

Read Weaver
Jamaica Plain, MA

> On 6/24/2015 11:29 AM, Rich Sbardella via Callers wrote:
>> How do you descibe giving weight, and how do you teach it for circles,
>> allemandes, and, swings?
>> Rich
>> Stafford, CT
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