In a message dated 3/5/00 9:24:25 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Whoops, am I mis-reading you, cece? I was taught that the distance from
the first man to the first woman was the same as the distance from the
first man to the third man.
Nevertheless, if you regard a grand circle as a rectangle instead of as a
circle (while being danced -- yes, I know it begins and ends as a square),
then, there is a problem of speeding upand slowing down. If it's a
circle, there is not. >>
hi priscilla --
you are right. the 1M to 1W distance is nominally 6' and the 1M to 2M is 3'
and another 3' to 3M. i said 3-4' just to allow a little leeway for the set
to elongate, as they often do. i was referring to the 1M-2M distance, not
the overall length of the set, which is twice that.
if we go with the 6x6 dimensions, and use the 1-1-2 phrasing, then 1M will
cross the set in 1 bar (6'); advance to 2W position in 1 bar (3', or half the
speed); then on to 3W position in 2 bars (again 3', but at 1/4 the speed of
his initial crossing.) that's where the factor of four comes from.
NOW, before anyone jumps on me, i realize that this strict interpretation of
time and distance is overly rigid, and that in practice, things even out a
lot. But that is not obvious to beginners, and they have a better shot at
doing it smoothly if they have an intellectual understanding of the need to
change their forward speed.
as far as considering it a circle goes (rather than a rectangle), if we
suppose that the corners of the 6'x6' square set become 4 points on a circle,
then the distances become the arcs of the circle, and there are 360/4 =90
degrees from one "corner" to another. Then there is still a factor of four
in speed, because 1M starts by covering 90 degrees in 1 bar; continues on the
next 45 degrees in 1 bar; and then does 45 degrees in 2 bars. when you say
there is no change in speed if you do it in a circle, you must be envisioning
a very large amount of "smoothing", which is certainly easier to do in a
circle than a rectangle.
Experienced dancers, like yourself, may achieve this smoothing so intuitively
that they don't realize it's happening, but the (admittedly) overly-strict
interpretation of the time and distance is still inescapable.