Sore Ankles and Calves (was RE: 8x32 strathspeys (was New Recording Requests))

Norman Dahl

Message 60710 · 11 Apr 2011 03:36:04 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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On 9 April 2011 21:52, Lee Fuell <xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:

> ...snip...
>
> ...and add to that the fact that "by the book" Scottish country dancing
> technique is bio-mechanically unsound. For stylistic reasons, we force our
> feet, calves, knees, hips, etc. to do things in ways they are not
> designed/evolved (pick your preference) to do. Our legs are built for
> walking with parallel feet; dancing with good turnout puts a lot of stress
> on the joints they aren't constructed to take. You can develop the
> musculature to adapt to turnout, but the bones, tendons and ligaments are
> what they are.
>
> Our feet are designed for heel-to-toe walking, yet we dance with our heels
> off the floor. This inordinately stresses the arch of the foot, and
> requires constant contraction of the calf muscles to hold the heels up ...
>

...snip...

>
> Lee
>
> Beavercreek, OH, USA
>

I am a (pretty much) former dancer, who finds any form of technique, let
alone good technique, increasingly difficult by reason of age and health. I
have tried walking, but this removes all the zest in a dance and is
unsatisfactory for both the 'dancer' and the rest of the set.

Therefore, I wonder if it might be possible to devise some set of steps and
movements that -are- bio-mechanically sound, and yet maintain the style and
spirit of SCD. Without the unnatural muscle and joint stresses of today's
SCD, the four minutes to dance a reel or jig, or the eight minutes for a
strathspey, would be much less of a physical challenge. This might be a way
of prolonging a person's dancing life. More controversially, it might also
be a way to ease the learning curve for new dancers, and hence help to
preserve SCD for the future.

I have often wondered how much the more balletic aspects of SCD really have
to do with social dancing; surely the essence of it is the moving
interaction with the other dancers and the music?

Best regards,

-norman-

Norman Dahl, Brisbane

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