Irene van Maarseveen writes: >I think our disagreements about covering are probably fewer than they >appear. We at least agree that good phrasing (using the simplest >definition) is the most important bit.
<snip> >I guess that, one way or another, we need to be made aware of being >aware of our partners and of the others in the set. >So, can anyone suggest a better term?
I agree. If words could fix a problem then I would prefer the use of
I think for many people "covering" is something they are obligated to do
(probably because of urging by teachers) whereas "alignment" happens.
Alignments occur all the time--the trick in good phrasing is to have them
happen at just the right times.
Example: Corners are stationary and second place is vacant. Dancing couple
casts to second place and then everybody crosses. For the dancing couple,
the casting and crossing should be one continuous flow, without any
hesitation. However, all of the couples are meant to cross together. If
dancing couple finishes the cast too soon (frequently the case), they will
leave the other dancers behind during the cross. There IS a time when the
dancing couple crosses or is aligned with the set line. If it is just the
right time (not too early, not too late) then something wonderful happens.
I like to use a technique where the dancing couple mentally "picks up" the
other people to begin the crossing. Sometimes the corners will feel a
peripheral communication from the dancing couple that says something like
"come along with me". This isn't mental telepathy or mysticism--the dancing
couple by forming attitudes and expectations project signals with their
bodies and faces that the other dancers sense, especially if they are ready
to be picked up. I think that sets that phrase well (i.e. are dancing well
together) are using this phrasing tool even though they may not recognize
it as such. Even though each person is touching only his/her own partner,
they are not just dancing with their own partners--they are dancing with
the other couples as well.
But isn't that covering? Yes, most emphatically! But, a dancers primary
focus should be on the person(s) with whom s/he is immediately dancing. If
dancers have enough mental cycles for more, then they can use them to
observe how they are aligned with the other dancers. My objection is with
overt covering, in which a dancers attention is on someone other than the
immediate partner. When a teacher admonishes me to "Cover!" or queries "Are
you covered?", my attention is immediately drawn away from my partner and
focussed on the rest of the set.
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