Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Bryan McAlister

Message 15750 · 1 Feb 1999 11:13:38 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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In article <v01530500b2d775b5c95d@[164.138.184.219]>, M Sheffield
<xxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx> writes
>>>
>>> I still think a stylish strathspey is the hardest thing to learn.
>>
>> I think that Martin is setting unnecessary standards here.
>
>Me? Setting standards?
>I never thought anyone would say that!
>:-)
>
>It's not so much a matter of setting standards, as being realistic (imho)
>about what people can do.
>
>>why expect control, elegance & so
>>on when first dancing a strathspey.
>> (...) why ban a s'pey because it
>>is done with a shuffling step and a high lifted hop?
>
>Because I don't think many people enjoy a spey if they haven't first learnt
>to move elegantly with the music. And if they aren't enjoying it, why force
>it upon them?

Should we not be questioning why there is so much emphasis on elegance.

Consider the music firstly, strathpeys are not necessarily elegant, most
are wonderful fiery exciting pieces of fiddle music which possess a
spectacularly groovy rhythm.

How one justify slowing them down so they lose much of that quality, and
then change the style to a leisurely, albeit elegant, balletic style
which has lost that quality.

Surely we must have reached a point where Strathspeys should be
recovered, their tempo and style restored and the irreparably slow ones
ie those that aren't strathspeys at all given their own category. I
dont have any problem with that and certainly would not object to
dancing these dances.

The world of Country dancing would gain significantly in that it would
have gained an additional type of dance - the slow thingy, and regain
some respectability amongst other traditional dancers and musicians by
sorting this difficulty out.
--
Bryan McAlister

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