Dashing White Sergeant

Ian Brockbank

Message 35441 · 5 Jun 2003 16:12:45 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Hi Helen, Alan,

Another variant which can add a bit of interest after doing it for the
xxxxxth
time is to dance it as a 4 instead of a 3. As well as the fun of the
expressions in the lines which meet us, there's the option of changing
ends, changing men or women in the middle, and the reel of four is more
nippit than the reel of three.

It's interesting that this should come up not long after a letter of
mine was published in the Edinburgh Branch newsletter on the subject of
the similarities and differences.

It was in response to an article following a comment from Dave Francis
that "ceilidh is where the dance forms [i.e. SCD, reeling, old time,
quadrilles] meet".

The difference between the dance styles is one of approach rather than
repertoire. With a good caller and a good crowd, pretty much anything
goes at a ceilidh. It's informal - you do what the caller decides on
the spur of the moment*. On the other hand, the available repertoire is
often limited by the ability of the crowd, and the well-known repertoire
is limited to maybe a dozen dances (with a good crowd).

SCD on the other hand is more formalised - the programme is published in
advance, the dancers are expected to go to (or have gone to) a
reasonable number of lessons and have a grasp of the basic building
blocks. This allows more flexibility in repertoire and devising, giving
Alan typist's cramp entering 11000 dances. (However the building blocks
assume reel/jig/strathspey and set dances.) There is also a level of
skill which can be continually worked on. This is what keeps my
interest and keeps it fresh.

I enjoy an occasional ceilidh (and endure others when our group is hired
to help a conference-full of reluctant unfit visitors "enjoy" themselves
when they would rather prop up the bar...), but it's SCD that I attend
regularly. On the other hand, ceilidh dancing is great if you've got
people who aren't familiar with the dance form. At our wedding we
compromised with a ceilidh on the Saturday night for the wedding guests,
and an SCD dance on Sunday. (This also allowed us to invite people we
couldn't justify inviting to the whole event.)

Cheers,

Ian

*A perfect example of this is in the ceilidh dance "The Virginia Reel".
If you're going to call this, always make sure you and the band agree on
the number of bars. I've seen half a dozen different variants, with 32
bars, 40 bars, 48 bars and 64 bars...

Ian Brockbank
Applications Software Engineer
e: xxx.xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
t: +44 131 272 7076
f: +44 131 272 7001

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen P. [mailto:xxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx]
Sent: 05 June 2003 09:37
To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: Re: Dashing White Sergeant

From: "Alan Paterson" <xxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx>
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 4:30 AM

> Well, this started me thinking and I have concluded that I myself
don't
> particularly like the Dashing White Sergeant.

It's an uncomfortable dance, and dancing in the center position (with
extra
twirls) helps one to avoid dying from boredom.

-- Helen (MD USA)

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