Why is it that the sets which you join as 4th couple are the ones which require
most assistance, so that the only cues you can give to start with are verbal? -
And this sometimes means that nobody gets to see what first couple should really
do until the last two repeats. (OK I know I should have been a bit quicker onto
the floor, but you know what I mean)
Thinking about it, I suspect that non-verbal cuing works with one person at a
time, say your partner, but if you need to control a few more then you need to
I suppose like most teachers I'm a little schizophrenic about getting the dances
done correctly - part me likes the approach that mutters "details" as they go
the wrong way, and defines a successful dance as one where everyone is in the
right place on the final chord; the other part really does care, because I spend
so much time in class trying to get them to phrase and cover and all those other
things, including performing the dance as the deviser intended. I usually give
in to my instincts to help, on the grounds that people will feel more
satisfaction the closer they get to doing the dance "correctly"; - they usually
thank me, but I'm never convinced that they really mean it!
I think that as well as teaching "recovery" - (what do do when a mistake is
made) - we need to remember to explain to our newcomers that there is a
non-verbal language, so they will have to watch carefully. You can come unstuck
even if they do know, especially if you emphasise the need for eye contact -
they look so hard into your eyes that they fail to see the subtle hand gesture
you're making showing them which way to go!
Not that eye contact isn't important - if I have a choice of two people to turn,
then I like the correct person to look at me, and the other to look elswhere.