Dashing White Sergeant

Alan Paterson

Message 35435 · 5 Jun 2003 10:30:15 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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In the correspondence over the past few days on "Ceilidh vs. SCD)" it was
pointed out that there are SCD dancers (let me use that expression to
describe those who - kind of - follow the RSCDS way) who express a dislike
of the dance Dashing White Sergeant.

It was implied that such people are to be described using a rude word.
"Workers" I seem to remember.

Well, this started me thinking and I have concluded that I myself don't
particularly like the DWS. Reasons:

- The interaction betweeen the 2 groups of 3 is minimal. Basically one
dances the same figures with the same people six times through.

- It's exhausting (writing as someone usually to be found in the centre
position)

- It is a flawed dance! (I mean, LEFT-shoulder entry to the reels. Lord
above!)

So I would maintain that it is quite acceptable not to want to do this
dance.

However, if the REASON for rejecting it is, as Bryan implies, "It is a
ceilidh dance", then perhaps there may be a little justification for the
term of derision expressed.

Coming at this dance from another angle, I have often seen people being
brought up to do this who have no SCD experience. Perhaps they did it at
school, or perhaps they just get a quick description and off it goes.

Almost invariably, these people will take the second eight-bar phrase and
throw it out the window (Set-and-turn-both hands, stuff that!) and they
will more often than not do a right-hand turn followed by a left-hand turn.
This has the result that a RIGHT-shoulder entry to the reel becomes more
natural - thus removing the structural flaw mentioned earlier.

I have never seen it done, but I can well imagine that the ceilidh dancers
would do this as well. This is therefore a case where they have IMPROVED an
RSCDS dance. IMNSHO.

Bravo.

Alan

P.S. At our dance a few weeks back, I did mention in the briefing that it
is perfectly OK to dance it the way I described above. No-one actually did
though. Some habits die hard.

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