I have been perusing our Manual and have come across something interesting:
[page 3.7:] "The general rule is that Hands are given at shoulder height,
with elbows down. There is no definitive rule about who gives hands to whom
and how, but it is generally accepted that a man gives his hand to a woman,
with the palm upwards. ..."
This notion is not new in the Manual. I found it in my revisions of "Won't
You Join the Dance" back to 1976. It does not appear in its predecessor
"Introduction to SCD" 1968 and 1973.
To me, it is exceedingly poor practice for anyone to offer palm upward to
form a shaking hands grip. I teach both dancers to raise the arms from
their sides with the palms facing the floor, turning them only slightly
toward each other to form the shaking hands grip. An upward facing palm is
an invitation to the dreaded and dangerous thumb grip.
Perhaps there is some idea that it is Gallant for the Gentleman to
gratiously offer his hand palm up as the Lady accepts with the palm down. I
can imagine this done with gloved hands in a stately dance like a
Strathspey or a Minuet for something like a Lead Down and Up. But it is an
ineffectual entry to a shaking hands grip, and is even dangerous if done at
speed as in Turn Corners and Partner.
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