absence of hopping in strathspey

Marjorie McLaughlin

Message 19633 · 3 Dec 1999 02:16:57 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Richard L Walker wrote:
> Our teacher states there is no hop in a
> strathspey traveling step. As soon as the dancing starts - there > it is - skip, hop, elevation, merely clearing the floor, whatever.

I think, Richard, that the hop being discussed here is not at the
beginning of the strathspey step. (I don't think there's much
disagreement that the strathspey step begins with a sinking of the
supporting leg as you reach forward with the right leg with no lift or
hop at the start - but then I could be wrong, I suspect there could be
disagreement about anything!). I presume the discussion is about what
happens between bars 3 & 4; after the reach, close, reach: does the
supporting foot leave the ground as the working leg pulls through?

Seems to me I was taught to hop in my early dancing days, but for some
years now it seems that the word "lift" or "lilt" has been used more
often to characterize what the forward supporting leg is doing. I am
pretty sure my foot briefly leaves the ground as I pull the other leg
through, but I don't like to teach it as a hop - I feel dancers execute
the step more gracefully if they concentrate on the down/up/down
movement of the knee on the forward supporting leg which gives the time
and distance needed for the back leg to pull through and give the urge
to the start of the next bar. If the foot does the work and not the knee
you can begin to get more jerky movements.

Marjorie McLaughlin
San Diego, CA

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