Allison wrote (responding to Jim):
Notes on the
roll away dance say "succeeded at walkthrough, weren't
going to make it through the dance." If you could tell, did the
confusion seem to have to do with figuring out who was in what role,
or was it mostly about something else, such as getting from the star
to the lines of four?
I think that the difficulty was that there were TWO roles to remember:
a person was a head OR a side, AND a raven OR a lark. That was too
much intricacy for people who don't know at least one of the roles on
autopilot. Lesson learned.
[Two side comments on that dance: (1) Notes say
"This variation is
Wade Pearson's, removing the right-left-through. ...", but the
"original" version you link to doesn't have a right and left through.
It has a cross trail. (2) Personally, I don't think it would be a
great loss to drop this dance from the repertoire, regardless of the
role terminology or the manner of setting up the lines of four. I
could say more on both points but don't want to go even further off
Agreed, I really wanted something with a rollaway since it's my
favorite move for "teaching giving weight," but it seems to require
intricate choreography to get people back to place. I hoped the square
would do it, but I overshot the audience. They were gracious when I
had us switch, at least :)
I'm interested in the rollaway for "teaching giving weight"; I mostly
beat allemandes to death.
Anyway, you might get to your goal with this dance which barely has
choreography(La Guaracha, from "Companion to the Ballroom" 1827, here
from the COmmunity Dances Manuals):
SPANISH WALTZ (CDM, any 32-bar waltz, esp. "My Lodging is on the Cold
Four couple square.
A1&2: Balance forward, back, left hand woman to man's right hand. Four
B: Waltz the set.
That A1 is balance and roll away (with gent not half-sashaying); four
times gets everybody home.
For a barn dance where you can't rely on everybody being able to do a
traveling waltz, you can easily adapt this in multiple ways;
first off, sub a promenade for the waltz, or sub a circle left and
second, you can just make it duple meter if you prefer, and then make
it balance and swing and promenade.
Third, you can change it to be roll away with a half sashay, and it's
more important to reach your partner than to get home on the rollaways;
the promenade takes care of that.
Fourth, change the figure to
1st time: all balance, ravens roll left to right in front of larks
(start crossing neighbor) 4x
2nd time: all balance, larks roll left to right in front of ravens
(For ONS you might be fine just repeating those two times, but if you're
a little ambitious ...
3d time: all balance, ravens roll left to right 2x, / all balance,
larks roll left to right 2x, meet partner on other side ...
Anyway, it's barely choreography but it gives you rollaway practice in
square formation without having to do heads or sides.