Improve our Terminology?

Anselm Lingnau

Message 61255 · 22 Jul 2011 14:31:55 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Hamish Dewar wrote:

> Until you referred to "the statutory left shoulder passes" in Mairi's
> Wedding. Yes, that's how James Cosh wrote it, but a million dancers can't
> be wrong.

Here we go again …

I was talking about Mairi's Wedding as a propaedeutic exercise for Polharrow
Burn. I fervently hope that even if you subscribe to the popular
interpretation of Mairi's Wedding, you will at least dance Polharrow Burn the
way Hugh Foss wrote it, i.e., with left-shoulder passes between the reels. So
I also hope you will agree that Mairi's Wedding as an exercise for Polharrow
Burn only makes sense with left-shoulder passes, no matter what people will
otherwise do when dancing Mairi's Wedding as a fun dance on its own merits.
The whole point of the exercise is to show dancing couples their track for
Polharrow Burn, but in a less confusing setting. If you object to Mairi's
Wedding being (ab)used in this way, feel free to employ The White Rose of
Scotland instead, or use some other method that works for you; this method
works for me.

Having said that, in my class I generally try to teach dances according to
what the description says. In the case of Mairi's Wedding, the description
says, in large friendly letters, »Pass left shoulder«. I tell people to expect
right-shoulder passes »in the wild«, and suggest they try both versions to see
what they like better (after all, you get two turns as dancing couple, so you
can experiment). What people do outside of my class is their business, not
mine, and I would not presume to tell them what to do.

I do have an issue with »teachers« who pass off the right-shoulder-pass
version of Mairi's Wedding as the »correct« one. Especially because that will
lead to people using right-shoulder passes in *any* dance involving diagonal
half reels of four (such as Polharrow Burn or Irish Rover), simply because
they don't know any other method.

> Please don't tell me that the kinky version of Mairi's Wedding is still
> official RSCDS policy.

Mairi's Wedding is not an RSCDS-published dance, so the RSCDS is
understandably silent on the matter.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Mainz/Mayence, Germany ................. xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in
looking outward together in the same direction. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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