absence of hopping in strathspey

Benjamin Stein

Message 19622 · 2 Dec 1999 23:54:27 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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XXxxxxx@xxx.xxx wrote:

> I have always danced the strathspey travelling, and setting, with a small
> hop. When I teach it I stress that there is a moment of suspension where the
> foot is off the floor but one should not take a large hop and say it is more
> of a gentle lift that a big hop. However, one of the other teachers I am
> associated with has deleted all mention of a hop and when teaching the
> travelling step emphasizes 'stepping the movement'. It has completely
> changed the manner this teacher dances and the new members of the class never
> hop, they merely step.
> I find this distressing.
> The manual uses the word 'hop'.
> What are others doing?
> Cheers,
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
> --
> XXxxxxx@xxx.xxx

When I first started Scottish Country Dancing there was a very distinct hop in
the Strathspey step. Over the years this has declined to a bare lift. I am not
sure just which version I prefer but it is obvious that there is a clear, if
subtile, trend away from the Highland version.

It is interesting to see the change in the dance technique. Some years ago, at
the Teacher's weekend, C. Stewart Smith showed a short piece of film of the
Glasgow Demonstration team in the late 1920's. There was almost no turnout to the
feet, a definite hop in the Strathspey but at the beginning of the step, and the
Allemande looked like a knot backwards (maybe that is where Mina got the idea?).
In any case he told the story of saying to Miss Milligan "Jean, aren't you
pleased at the way Scottish Country Dancing has changed over the years?" To which
she replied " Stewart, Scottish Country Dancing never changes!!" at which point
he motioned toward the screen, as much as to say, "Well, you have just seen the
changes!".

Ben Stein
xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx

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