strathspey Archive: Set to and turn corners

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Set to and turn corners

Message 10700 · Pat Kent · 6 Feb 1998 20:36:08 · Top

Hi Jeanetta says <pat and I probably learnt from the same teachers.>
We probably did. I learned to dance in Greenford Middlesex.. not too far
from Harrow.. what a small world we live in and as you say it was many
moons ago. We probably went to the same socials and Balls. Did you dance
at Watford town Hall when Jimmy Shand taped his record for "Step we
Gaily" I Did and in the middle of Monty's Rant you can hear me " houck"
is that how you spell it?? HUMPH "not a lady like thing to do especially
in Scottish Country dancing". Any way using the skip change of step is
so much nicer and smoother and you definately get to your second corner
on time, and also leave your first corner back in place rather than
somewhere else. A good strong turn with both dancers using their Biceps
in the upper arm...Gee I sound like I'm giving a class....
Cheers from Nova Scotia
Pat

Set to and turn corners

Message 10762 · Bryan McAlister · 10 Feb 1998 00:40:13 · Top

Amen to Jim Healy's comments, I have given up trying to P'd'Bas in this
situation, both because I find it difficult and awkward but also because
NO ONE else does it. All that happens is you disturb the rythm of the
person you happen to be confronting at that time.
Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS, Linlithgow,Scotland
Web page http://www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
/\
_ _ / \
_/# #\__^__/____\_
__IIIII__#__IIIIII_________

Set to and turn corners

Message 10769 · SMiskoe · 10 Feb 1998 05:52:51 · Top

Martin asks about the handing, R-L-R-L in corner partner. I'm sure that
someone has already said that in contra dancing, which derives much from
English, and also some from Scottish, the corner partner figure is frequently
done. In this figure, called contra corners, it is partner right, corner
left, partner right, corner left. Frequently it is followed by doing
something with your partner. It flows nicely and there is no scrambling to
get around your partner to the second corner.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

Set to and turn corners

Message 10772 · Alan Paterson · 10 Feb 1998 09:08:35 · Top

Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque in Set and Turn
Corners? It is not easy. It is much simpler to use skip-change. But skip-change feels so
twisted when you're holding both hands - I don't like it.

Pas-de-Basque feels better and it is a magical experience when your corner can do it
properly (If the corner is poor, then it feels horrible).

Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as well! - otherwise
I'm going to feel so alone :-(

Alan

--
Alan Paterson
Berne, Switzerland

Set to and turn corners

Message 10773 · Keith Paterson · 10 Feb 1998 09:24:20 · Top

Alan Paterson wrote:

> Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as well! - otherwise
> I'm going to feel so alone :-(

You're not alone Alan. I prefer using PdB, too. If done well it can be an
enchanting experience.

Keith Paterson

--
***************************************************************************
* Keith Paterson http://rshx01.rz.fht-esslingen.de/~ees3kepa *
* Keith@esd.de *
* ESD GmbH, Ringstr. 33, D-04430 Dölzig / Leipzig *
* Tel: 034205 - 61 648 Fax: 034205 - 615 36 *
***************************************************************************

Set to and turn corners

Message 10777 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 10 Feb 1998 11:06:27 · Top

Keith Paternson replies to Alan Paterson:

>> Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
>>well! >>- otherwise I'm going to feel so alone :-(
>
>You're not alone Alan. I prefer using PdB, too. If done well it can be an
>enchanting experience.

Well...if you guys like it...then SO DO I!

Just a wee problem...
>[Alan:](If the corner is poor, then it feels horrible).
And the potential for an "enchanting experience" is only present if both
people are strong and skilled. Even that potential can be missed if one
person's timing is off.

Assuming YOU are strong and skilled, unless you are dancing in a select
set, the probability of your having a good experience with one of your
corners is not high and with both your corners is pretty low.

If YOU are not strong and skilled, then the probability of your having a
good experience with any corner at any time is very small.

So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard. If it is your objective
to attract only athletic dancers and to discourage those who do not measure
up, then that is the kind of standard you want. But if you are marketing
this dance form as suitable for the average person, then this kind of
standard is out of place.

>[Alan:] But skip-change feels so twisted when you're holding both hands -
>I don't like it.

Well, even the 2HSkCh turn requires a bit of practice and some arm strength
to do it well (so it is not twisted). Your bodies should be facing each
other during the turn, as if you were hugging a barrel between you. But
this amount of skill is easily achieved by most dancers with a little
practice.

I have less experience with the 2-bar turn, but I just love the 4-bar turn
done with skip-change. It is easy to train the average dancer to do that
turn well so they can enjoy it.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Just a thought

Message 10778 · Peter Hastings · 10 Feb 1998 11:13:39 · Top

On Tue, 10 Feb 1998, Oberdan Otto wrote:

> So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard. If it is your objective
> to attract only athletic dancers and to discourage those who do not measure
> up, then that is the kind of standard you want. But if you are marketing
> this dance form as suitable for the average person, then this kind of
> standard is out of place.

Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
the average ?

Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
dancing ?

Peter Hastings
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

Just a thought

Message 10780 · The_Healys · 10 Feb 1998 11:29:25 · Top

Peter Hastings, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (: writes

> Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
> dancing ?
I seem to recall this thread started because people in Edinburgh
_do_ do this type of dancing :^)

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

dancing folk in Edinburgh

Message 10781 · Peter Hastings · 10 Feb 1998 11:39:19 · Top

A minority of those dancing in Edinburgh adhere to the RSCDS Edinburgh
branch method of turning two-handed. The rest prefer to dance in the more
widely accepted fashion (available world-wide at every other RSCDS
branch).

Perhaps Ian would like to comment on what is taught in Edinburgh branch
teachers class ?

cheers

Peter Hastings
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

dancing folk in Edinburgh

Message 10782 · Ian Brockbank 05-Jan-1995 0951 · 10 Feb 1998 11:49:56 · Top

Peter wrote:

> A minority of those dancing in Edinburgh adhere to the RSCDS Edinburgh
> branch method of turning two-handed. The rest prefer to dance in the more
> widely accepted fashion (available world-wide at every other RSCDS
> branch).

Sorry Peter, I have to disagree with you here. In my experience, the
number of people in Edinburgh/Dunedin who want to turn skip-change is
greater than the number who want to turn pdb.

> Perhaps Ian would like to comment on what is taught in Edinburgh branch
> teachers class ?

Stanley said something along the lines of "Edinburgh have always done it
skip-change, but a few years ago a teacher started teaching it pdb at one
of the classes, and so now you ought to do it pdb for the exam".

Cheers,

Ian
--
Ian.Brockbank@edo.mts.dec.com Edinburgh, Scotland
Grand Chain: The Scottish Dance and Music Resource:
--- http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/

dancing folk in Edinburgh

Message 10792 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 10 Feb 1998 16:27:30 · Top

I learned to dance in Edinburgh and danced with a number of groups
there. Although I remember being told about the skip change/PdB
two-handed turn controversy, I don't remember every actually doing the
two handed turn with skip change at any venue I ever danced at. This
would have been in the late 80s and early 90s.
Ian, is the resurgence in popularity of the skip change version a recent
trend?

--Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneaplis, MN, USA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lara Friedman~Shedlov You have the right to remain silent.
laradf@alumni.si.umich.edu Anything you say will be misquoted,
then used against you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

> Peter wrote:
>
> > A minority of those dancing in Edinburgh adhere to the RSCDS Edinburgh
> > branch method of turning two-handed. The rest prefer to dance in the more
> > widely accepted fashion (available world-wide at every other RSCDS
> > branch).
>
> Sorry Peter, I have to disagree with you here. In my experience, the
> number of people in Edinburgh/Dunedin who want to turn skip-change is
> greater than the number who want to turn pdb.
>
> Ian.Brockbank@edo.mts.dec.com Edinburgh, Scotland
> Grand Chain: The Scottish Dance and Music Resource:
> --- http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/
>
>
>

dancing folk in Edinburgh

Message 10793 · Ian Brockbank 05-Jan-1995 0951 · 10 Feb 1998 17:11:53 · Top

Lara asked:

> I learned to dance in Edinburgh and danced with a number of groups
> there. Although I remember being told about the skip change/PdB
> two-handed turn controversy, I don't remember every actually doing the
> two handed turn with skip change at any venue I ever danced at. This
> would have been in the late 80s and early 90s.
> Ian, is the resurgence in popularity of the skip change version a recent
> trend?

Maybe it's the opposite - I now dance with Dunedin and the Branch - both
formed from people who have been dancing longer than typical New Scotland
people, and particularly in the case of the Branch, more localised in the
examples set/dancers around - New Scotland gets dancers from all over, so
will have the people coming in as experienced dancers probably dancing pdb
turns, which will then tend to filter down to the general membership.

I have to say I don't remember what it was like in NS. I would suspect I
learned to dance skip-change turns 'cos Caroline tended to comment, but it
is only in the last couple of years this has become something I really
notice.

I was particularly thinking of my experiences at Dunedin lately (the Branch
are definitely skip-change still). The few people who turned pdb on one
night I was watching definitely stood out. Mind you, another night there
were more pdb turners there.

Ach well. I'll probably go along to Dunedin tomorrow night and find
everyone using pdb turns.

Ian
--
Ian.Brockbank@edo.mts.dec.com Edinburgh, Scotland
Grand Chain: The Scottish Dance and Music Resource:
--- http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/

Just a thought

Message 10798 · Martin.Sheffield · 10 Feb 1998 19:20:49 · Top

Peter asked:
>
> Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
> the average ?
>
> Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
> dancing ?

We do.

But we prefer to keep quiet about it !

Martin,
Grenoble, France.
------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france

Just a thought

Message 10802 · harvey · 10 Feb 1998 20:16:30 · Top

>Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque
>in Set and Turn Corners? It is not easy.

No. True. But is easy a good standard for Scottish dance?

>So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard.

All aspects of Scottish dance can be called "elitist standards". The
only question is, which standards do we choose to teach? After all, I
have seen people drop out of Scottish because they can't dance in time
to music, because they cannot perform skip change, or because they
don't like the social pressure to occasionally bring tea items.

I think the greatest enemy of set-to-and-turn-corners using PDB is
poor teaching. I have talked to many dancers who are unable to do this
figure only to find out that they have never been taught how to do
it. Instead, some teacher gives a PDB lesson and then says "Now do it
turning with your partner". Some people can learn this way, but not
many.

The step needs to be re-taught as part of a two handed turn, with
attention to the right foot crossing, how to close in third, arms,
eye contact, etc.

I teach turning in PDB first for poussette, then later as part of
ST&TC. The lessons are long (20 min plus for breakdowns and exercises
with a variety of partners) and intense. I teach it more than once a
semester.

I am not interested in teaching dancing that is historically accurate,
except as a fascinating exercise. Nor am I interested in trying to
make the dancing I teach less difficult, because once I do that, where
do I stop? I want to teach the same Scottish dance that other people
are doing, so we can continue to dance together beautifully. The
places I have been in the US (and two in Scotland) use PDB for this
figure; it distresses me to her that other teachers have chosen to
teach something different.

That is *not* to say that accessibility cannot be taught, as well, for
those unable to do PDB turns, or Highland Schottische for that
matter. But that is a very different strategy from making SCD "easy"
or "natural" (for whom?).

I believe that if a person can cleanly execute a two hand skip-change
turn with good partnering, then they can be taught to do the same turn
well with PDB. The "average" person mentioned by previous writers *is*
capable, with good teaching and practice. It is a matter of choice for
the student *and* the teacher; I think it is worth it.

Terry

Just a thought

Message 10824 · Bryan McAlister · 11 Feb 1998 11:55:04 · Top

In article <199802101311.aa14426@cis.udel.edu>, harvey@cis.udel.edu
writes
>
>>Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque
>>in Set and Turn Corners? It is not easy.
>
>No. True. But is easy a good standard for Scottish dance?
>
Why should it not be appropriate for a traditional dance form,its
commonplace to find that traditional designs, artifacts, styles, etc
achieve an economy and style that is very hard for artifice to match.

>>So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard.
>
Yup!
When I teach country dance at ceilidhs I throw all that stuff out the
window, along with poussettes and go back to common or garden figures
that everyone can achieve first time, and what do you know, virtually
everyone can do it. So why exclude people by tarting it up
Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS, Linlithgow,Scotland
Web page http://www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
/\
_ _ / \
_/# #\__^__/____\_
__IIIII__#__IIIIII_________

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10826 · BEATRIX WEPNER · 11 Feb 1998 12:10:34 · Top

Hello,

Has anybody out there danced the Flirtation Hornpipe?
If yes: what music can you use for it???

Thanks
Beatrix
Dipl.Ing. Beatrix Wepner
Inst. f. Lebensmitteltechnologie
Univ. f. Bodenkultur, Wien
Muhtg. 18; 1190 Wien
Tel.:0043-1-36006-6608
Fax: 0043-1-36006-6251
email: H8840318@edv1.boku.ac.at

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10827 · Stella Fogg · 11 Feb 1998 14:43:08 · Top

Hi Beatrix,
The music for the Flirtation Hornpipe is on Elma Grech's
"Elma's Tunes". I purchased my copy from TACSOUND and I am sure Shirley
will reply here and let us know if it is still available.
Stella

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10828 · Smith, Kent · 11 Feb 1998 15:06:59 · Top

Elma Grech has a suitable recording on her record of solo piano. The
lead tune is "Flirtation Hornpipe," and I believe the dance was written
to match. As I recall, there is something about the ABAB or AABB
pattern in the directions (can't recall which) that doesn't fit the
dance, and Earl Gaddis for one changes the sequence.

>From candidate classes with Elma as the musician, I have fond memories
of her powerful, spirited playing, but solo piano is not for everyone,
and I'm not certain the recording is available on anything other than
vinyl.
Kent (Connecticut)

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10863 · Shirley Lanktree · 11 Feb 1998 22:46:23 · Top

>
>
>Hi Beatrix,
> The music for the Flirtation Hornpipe is on Elma Grech's
>"Elma's Tunes". I purchased my copy from TACSOUND and I am sure Shirley
>will reply here and let us know if it is still available.
>Stella
>
Stella Its Catherine and John Shaw you want at TACSound
(tacsound@sympatico.ca) Shirley TACBooks> >

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10905 · Stella Fogg · 13 Feb 1998 11:19:46 · Top

Sorry for the wrong name....
I had just sent off my remittance to Shirley for the
books I ordered and she was on my mind. I did mean Catherine and John of
TACSOUND. Maybe this is a good time to put in a plug for both TACBOOKS and
TACSOUND, they have
my admiration for tirelessly doing such a tremendous job. Catalogues arrive
faithfully with a wealth of material available and orders arrive promptly
and in good condition.
Thanks to all of you,
Stella Fogg

Flirtation Hornpipe

Message 10915 · Shirley Lanktree · 13 Feb 1998 17:45:17 · Top

>
> Sorry for the wrong name....
> I had just sent off my remittance to Shirley for the
>books I ordered and she was on my mind. I did mean Catherine and John of
>TACSOUND. Maybe this is a good time to put in a plug for both TACBOOKS and
>TACSOUND, they have
>my admiration for tirelessly doing such a tremendous job. Catalogues arrive
>faithfully with a wealth of material available and orders arrive promptly
>and in good condition.
>Thanks to all of you,
>Stella Fogg
>
>--
>StellaF@worldnet.att.net
>
Stella Three cheers to you for the plug and kind words. We even get
parcels addressed to TACTalk! Shirley and John TACBooks> >

Just a thought

Message 10830 · Maghi King · 11 Feb 1998 15:14:28 · Top

Now I'm sure I'll get shot down for this, but ...

I teach line dancing as well as SCD. In my line dance classes I have
people who I am sur ewould have difficulty with SCD. I manage to eeach
them line danicng anyway (o.k., not the most complicated line dnaces
that exist, but a fair range).

Hence line danicng is easier than SCD. Q.E.D.

Maghi

Oberdan Otto wrote:
>
> Peter Hastings asks a couple of rhetorical questions:
>
> > Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
> > the average ?
> >
> > Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
> > dancing ?
>
> I sure don't know of a dance form or style that is "easier" than SCD. Each
> dance form I have encountered has had its own degrees of complexity and
> difficulty that are the equal of and sometimes more difficult than what we
> do in SCD.

--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

Just a thought

Message 10833 · Smith, Kent · 11 Feb 1998 15:30:05 · Top

Last night I looked in _A Complete Guide to Scottish Country Dancing_ by
Allie Anderson and John M. Duthie, physical education instructors in
Edinburgh in the 1920s.

For Set to and Turn Corners, they suggest skip change of step for the
turns with the following note:
"Note. In some districts turns are danced with Pas de Basque step. As
Pas de Basque should be done on the spot it would seem logical to turn
with progressive step (Skip change of step)."

So their argument seems to have been one of logic rather than of
historical reconstruction.

They also have interesting comments on the quick time poussette.
They describe two methods. The first, "the method generally taught" is
the same as the RSCDS form with the man starting on the left foot and a
half turn on bar 6. The second is a variant they report was danced in
the South-East Border Counties. The man starts on the right foot, bar 6
is a quarter turn, and bar 7 is turn and move back combined.

They make a couple points in favor of the right-foot alternative. "The
use of the Right foot on the strongest rhythmic beat of the bar, the
first, is universal in Scottish Country Dancing, with the exception of
the Slip step. It would seem therefore that the instruction that men
begin with the Left foot is a relic from the intermediate period, when
poussette was done as a Polka or Waltz." They also note that having the
man on the right foot for the turns on the even bars tends toward the
man's turning on the spot and pulling the woman around him, rather than
maintaining a "Hands Round" symmetry.

A commemorative edition of the book was published by TAC in 1990.

Kent (Connecticut)

Just a thought

Message 10835 · Stefan Barthel · 11 Feb 1998 16:32:58 · Top

>Yup!
>When I teach country dance at ceilidhs I throw all that stuff out the
>window, along with poussettes and go back to common or garden figures
>that everyone can achieve first time, and what do you know, virtually
>everyone can do it. So why exclude people by tarting it up
>Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS, Linlithgow,Scotland

Well, it depends on where you are dancing! If we are giving or attending
a ceilidh, sure we use simple dances and simple figures. And it is fun.
Sure noone is excluded.

But I don't want to have a ceilidh all the time. I like the more accurate
style much more when doing it regularly every week. Dancing ceilidh style
every week would be far too boring (for me). And if someone is not able
or willing to learn and achieve the necessary skills, so I can't help it.

And even at a ceilidh: dancing better than the rest in the hall grants
your partners enjoying to dance with you a little more, and may be you
get asked for a second dance. So get trained in classes, it's worth the
time you spent in it.

----------------------------------------------------------
Stefan Barthel email: bast@nuernberg.netsurf.de
Spardorfer Strasse 40a
D-91054 Erlangen ++49 / 9131 / 20 66 11 (p.)
++49 / 911 / 688 667 71 (d.)

http://nuernberg.netsurf.de/User/barthel
----------------------------------------------------------

Just a thought

Message 10841 · Ken McFarland · 11 Feb 1998 19:00:50 · Top

Oberdan wrote:
>Peter Hastings asks a couple of rhetorical questions:
>
>> Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
>> the average ?
>>
>> Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
>> dancing ?
>
>I sure don't know of a dance form or style that is "easier" than SCD. Each
>dance form I have encountered has had its own degrees of complexity and
>difficulty that are the equal of and sometimes more difficult than what we
>do in SCD.

In my experience, when one compares a dance that requires intermediate
skills in American Square dancing or New England Contra dancing with a dance
requiring intermediate skills of Scottish Country Dancing, both Square and
Contra Dancing are definitely easier. There is very limited special foot
work involved for Square or Contra dancing, and that automatically makes
those dance forms easier, IMO.

Note Oberdan: one can't compare apples and oranges here: comparing a
demonstration level dance from one dance form (such as Square dancing) with
a basic intermediate dance from Scottish would break the equation. Yes each
form has it's own degrees of complexity, but it would not seem right to me
to compare vastly different levels between dance forms. (I am assuming an
Intermediate level for the two hand PdB turn).

Ken McFarland

Just a thought

Message 10918 · Ron Mackey · 13 Feb 1998 18:57:12 · Top

> Subject: RE: Just a thought
> Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 08:31:35 -0500
> Reply-to: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de

Hi,
Kent wrote
> Last night I looked in _A Complete Guide to Scottish Country Dancing_ by
> Allie Anderson and John M. Duthie, physical education instructors in
> Edinburgh in the 1920s.
>
> For Set to and Turn Corners, they suggest skip change of step for the
> turns with the following note:
> "Note. In some districts turns are danced with Pas de Basque step. As
> Pas de Basque should be done on the spot it would seem logical to turn
> with progressive step (Skip change of step)."

Not wishing to puff up my conceit but the statement that the PdeB
should be done on the spot does not hold with my experience.
There are many dances in which one is instructed to 'set, advancing
to...' The Pousette is essentially travelling PdeB.
One is often told to 'Set twice (3&3) across the set turning
to the opp. sides on the second setting', even in Set & Cast off one
is moving by the end of the second bar. Hello Goodbye is another
example. I am confident many more examples could be found with
time or a better memory than mine.
Added to which is the tradition of the Kemsoole, which is a form of
travelling PdeB in which one moves on two out of the four beats. In
class I always give PdeB step practise on the basis that although,
usually, it is a conversation / salute with the person one is facing
it is also a travelling step.
If PdeB practise were given with this in mind, from the very
introduction of the step, I feel that fewer dancers would have
difficulty with a simple two handed turn.
Cheers Ron :)

Ron Mackey London UK
< o +---------------------------------------------------+
`O> |EMail Ron Mackey mailto:Ron.Mackey@BTinternet.com |
/#\ | or via http://www.newone.demon.co.uk/ -----+--+---|
|> | or RMM@newone.demon.co.uk -------+-----+-----+-|
- +---------------------------------------------------+

Just a thought

Message 10920 · Maghi King · 13 Feb 1998 20:30:45 · Top

Oberdan Otto wrote:
>
> touchee, Maghi. I'm assuming you mean "Country-Western Line Dance"
> including stuff like Elvira, Electric Slide, New York New York, Achey
> Breaky Heart, etc, not International Folk line dances.
>
> Perhaps I am mistaken, but it is my impression that Country Western Line
> Dancing in social situations is usually associated with a more "full
> featured" dance form such as Square Dancing or Country Western Couple
> Dancing (Texas Two-Step, Country Waltz, Country Swing and sometimes
> Countrified West Coast Swing). Dancing by yourself for a while is OK, but
> eventually most people want to dance with somebody.
>
> Cheers, Oberdan.

Hello Oberdan and others!

Yes, that's what I meant, Electric Slide and company.

In at least one of the classes I teach, the students like it precisely
because they don't have to dance with anybody (except for occasionally
slapping hands or something).

But anyway, I thought it was EASIER we were discussing, not whether
people got bored with it?

Maghi
--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

Just a thought

Message 10848 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 11 Feb 1998 20:18:14 · Top

>Oberdan Otto wrote:
>> I sure don't know of a dance form or style that is "easier" than SCD. Each
>> dance form I have encountered has had its own degrees of complexity and
>> difficulty that are the equal of and sometimes more difficult than what we
>> do in SCD.

and Maghi answered the challenge:
>Now I'm sure I'll get shot down for this, but ...
>
>I teach line dancing as well as SCD. In my line dance classes I have
>people who I am sure would have difficulty with SCD. I manage to teach
>them line dancing anyway (o.k., not the most complicated line dances
>that exist, but a fair range).
>
>Hence line dancing is easier than SCD. Q.E.D.

touchee, Maghi. I'm assuming you mean "Country-Western Line Dance"
including stuff like Elvira, Electric Slide, New York New York, Achey
Breaky Heart, etc, not International Folk line dances.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but it is my impression that Country Western Line
Dancing in social situations is usually associated with a more "full
featured" dance form such as Square Dancing or Country Western Couple
Dancing (Texas Two-Step, Country Waltz, Country Swing and sometimes
Countrified West Coast Swing). Dancing by yourself for a while is OK, but
eventually most people want to dance with somebody.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Just a thought

Message 10880 · DERF · 12 Feb 1998 16:42:44 · Top

At 07:58 AM 2/11/1998 -0900, you wrote:
>Oberdan wrote:
>>Peter Hastings asks a couple of rhetorical questions:
>>
>>> Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
>>> the average ?
>>>
>>> Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
>>> dancing ?
>>
>>I sure don't know of a dance form or style that is "easier" than SCD. Each
>>dance form I have encountered has had its own degrees of complexity and
>>difficulty that are the equal of and sometimes more difficult than what we
>>do in SCD.
>
>In my experience, when one compares a dance that requires intermediate
>skills in American Square dancing or New England Contra dancing with a dance
>requiring intermediate skills of Scottish Country Dancing, both Square and
>Contra Dancing are definitely easier. There is very limited special foot
>work involved for Square or Contra dancing, and that automatically makes
>those dance forms easier, IMO.
>
>Ken McFarland
>
>--
>Ken McFarland <farlands@polarnet.com>
>
Although, I cannot speak from any great depth of experience, I can offer a
new dancers perspective.

I have Square and Ballroom danced at the beginners level, and have also
taught "folk dance" at the elementary school level ( grade 2 up to grade 8).
The thing that has struck this beginner as difficult about SCD (define
difficult please: more challenging, hence fun) is that some of the moves and
figures do not seem to flow naturally and that you must always be thinking
as you are never really, even as a post, out of a figure.

I do not recall ever coming off a left hand star into a left hand turn in
Sq. Dance. Blew this feeble little brain away the first three times we did
that in SCD. ;) I also enjoy the "It's always done this way unless ..." to
which Bev (our instructor) attaches a list as long as the Constitution.
Kind of reminds one of English Spelling where, GHOTI can be phonetically
pronounced as FISH.

I must confess that I sometimes long for the "feet thinking" of other
beginner levels of dance that I have done. I think that's why I love "Gay
Gordens" so much.

IMO. no shouting intended ;)

Just a thought

Message 10889 · Cecilia Stolzer Grote · 12 Feb 1998 23:09:00 · Top

<Hence line dancing is easier than SCD. Q.E.D.>

Okay, I'm going to give away a little more about myself than I probably
should, but... In my experience, the country line dances Maghi is refering
to are those that must be able to be done with a system full of alcohol.
Where I grew up, (east San Diego county), country-western dancing was the
big thing, and anything more difficult than "Achey Breaky Heart" (actually
a bit after my time in San Diego), was likely to result in injuries.

Personally, I drink very little alcohol before or during SCD, it tends to
erase my memory and loosen up the technique too much.

Cecilia Stolzer Grote
RSCDS San Francisco Branch

Just a thought

Message 10813 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 11 Feb 1998 05:50:14 · Top

Peter Hastings asks a couple of rhetorical questions:

> Surely there are forms and styles of dancing which _do_ pander to
> the average ?
>
> Why do most of the people on this list _not do_ these types of
> dancing ?

I sure don't know of a dance form or style that is "easier" than SCD. Each
dance form I have encountered has had its own degrees of complexity and
difficulty that are the equal of and sometimes more difficult than what we
do in SCD.

I think it is a fair bet that when we get to read the bios that will be
coming out shortly, we will find that a lot of people on this list are
involved in other forms of dance as well.

In Round Dancing (choreographed ballroom dancing), I dance most dances with
my wife. For advanced/complex dances I usually dance with my wife because
we need the floortime together to keep and improve our skills. Sometimes we
will swap with other couples for social or learning purposes, but it is
always with a couple competent at the skill level required for the dance we
are doing. In some of the dances we do very difficult things and we are
pleased when they turn out well. The probability of success and reward in
this scenario is very high.

I contrast that scenario with the occurrence of the set-to-and-turn-corners
figure (usually followed by reels of 3 with corners) which is very common
in SCD. I also assume a social setting (not a demo team). You don't get to
choose your corners. You don't get to spend a lot of time practicing the
move with these specific corners. You probably don't know whether or not
this corner is any good at doing the 2HPdB turn. Even if the other person
is very skilled, you haven't had a chance to get used to how the other
person moves in the turn. The probability of success and reward in this
scenario is NOT very high.

While I find Terry Harvey's post well-considered and thought-provoking,
there are a couple of points with which I take issue:

>>[Oberdan:]So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard.
>
>[Terry:]All aspects of Scottish dance can be called "elitist standards"...

While I do not disagree, with this statement, I think it begs the question.
I submit that the 2HPdB turn in set-to-and-turn-corners is SINGULAR. It is
substantially more difficult than anything else in SCD--partly because it
is intrinsically difficult and partly because of the random pairings of
people of varying skills. Set-to-corners-and-partner (Hello-Goodbye
setting) is also difficult, but there is no direct physical contact between
partners and corners to complicate things. The "success" of the movement is
determined primarily by one's own skill.

>[Terry:]I think the greatest enemy of set-to-and-turn-corners using PDB is
>poor teaching.

Yep, time to blame the teachers again. C'mon guys, lets pull up our socks
and get it right! Terry describes an excellent, albeit intense, teaching
approach. But the intensity of that approach adds fuel to my claim that
this is an especially difficult movement.

>[Terry:]it distresses me to hear that other teachers have chosen to
>teach something different.

Well, I haven't heard anybody say that they were ready to change how they
taught the figure, so there may be no cause for distress. This teacher in
particular has no plans to defect in the near future. What I did hear is
that some parts of the SCD world have always used the 2HSkCh turn and are
inclined to continue.

So, I guess all my ranting comes down to griping--just as I do about the
Society's corruption of the Strathspey Poussette and what seemed to be an
arbitrary change to the Ladies Chain with no apparent improvement to the
figure. I teach the "standard" forms because I want my dancers to be able
to dance anywhere, not just in our class.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Set to and turn corners

Message 10787 · Margaret Connors · 10 Feb 1998 14:00:28 · Top

At 01:05 AM 98/2/10 -0800, you wrote:

>>> Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
>>>well! >>- otherwise I'm going to feel so alone :-(

I also love dancing set to and turn corners using pas be basque, and then
to fly into the reels of three - wonderful. The times it does work more
than compensate for those times when it doesn't.

>And the potential for an "enchanting experience" is only present if both
>people are strong and skilled. Even that potential can be missed if one
>person's timing is off.

>Assuming YOU are strong and skilled ... [snip]

Apart from maintaining firm arms, I'm not so sure that strength is as
important as balance. In my experience, when both dancers are balanced
with each other the pas de basque turn is magic.

I dance a lot on the men's side, and I certainly find it easier to turn
(either as corner or dancer) giving hands UP. I have to admit to being
a poor corner when I am dancing on the women's side, I find it much more
difficult to determine the correct balance when I give hands DOWN.

Margaret Connors,
St. John's, Newfoundland
Canada

Set to and turn corners

Message 10789 · Smith, Kent · 10 Feb 1998 15:37:05 · Top

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Margaret Connors [SMTP:mconnors@morgan.ucs.mun.ca]
> Sent: February 10, 1998 7:00 AM
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Set to and turn corners
>
>
> Apart from maintaining firm arms, I'm not so sure that strength is as
> important as balance. In my experience, when both dancers are
> balanced
> with each other the pas de basque turn is magic.
>
[Kent S.] And the lift in one's step. With PdB, there is only one
opportunity per bar to travel, in the leap from the jete to the first
beat. Those who have the most difficulty and are the hardest with whom
to turn (or is it hardest to turn?) are those who step through the PdB
and who don't maintain the shape of that barrel between them and their
partner (the frame as I believe Oberdan put it once.

But, unfortunately, as one's legs age, the first thing to go is that
leap into the PdB.

In the U.S. I've never had the opportunity to do the 2-hand turn with
skip change of step, but this discussion reinforces my suspicion that
Miss Allie Anderson may have been correct in this debate. Rather like
Windows and OS/2?

Kent
(Connecticut)

Set to and turn corners

Message 10800 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 10 Feb 1998 19:23:48 · Top

To Alan Paternson's query:

>>>> Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
>>>>well! >>- otherwise I'm going to feel so alone :-(

There have been many responses like:
>I also love dancing set to and turn corners using pas be basque...

Alan, that's some closet you have. Maybe now that you've cleared out all
those dancers, you'll have room for some of your own stuff!

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Set to and turn corners

Message 10847 · Simon Scott · 11 Feb 1998 20:07:47 · Top

>From Alan Paterson

>Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque in Set
and Turn
>Corners? It is not easy. It is much simpler to use skip-change. But
skip-change feels so
>twisted when you're holding both hands - I don't like it.
>
>Pas-de-Basque feels better and it is a magical experience when your corner
can do it
>properly (If the corner is poor, then it feels horrible).
>
>Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
ell! - otherwise
>I'm going to feel so alone :-(
>
>Alan
>
>--
>Alan Paterson
>Berne, Switzerland
>
>
>--
>Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
>

I fully agree, a Pas de Basque Two handed turn (executed well) is a thrill,
as is a good Poussette.

Simon Scott
sscott@portal.ca

Set to and turn corners

Message 10856 · Richard L. Walker · 11 Feb 1998 21:21:46 · Top

I'm glad to see the poussette included. I get almost giddy when
everything clicks just right -- and the grin makes it obvious.

> I fully agree, a Pas de Basque Two handed turn (executed well) is a thrill,
> as is a good Poussette.
> Simon Scott
> sscott@portal.ca

Richard L. Walker
Pensacola FL (City of Five Flags) USA
rlwalker@granis.net

Set to and turn corners

Message 10869 · Pat Kent · 12 Feb 1998 01:07:20 · Top

Mel and Ellie Briscoe wrote:
>
> Another (small) point: I've heard it said that Miss Milligan stressed
> dancing "naturally." I think skip change must be more natural, because
> that's what most dancers will do unless and until 2HPdB turns are drilled
> into them. However, that argument would also change advance and retire
> into skip change going forward and pas de basque retiring...

Wow Ellie.... Have you opened a can of worms,?? Skip change of step is
"natural".. But to me moving on the PdeB is not... it is the most
unnatural, unellegant,(if thats a word) movement out.. Moving on the
skip change of step backwards can be taught quite successfully and with
a wider set than is normal (in this local) can flow with ease and
beauty.
Cheers from Nova Scotia
Pat Kent

Set to and turn corners

Message 10876 · S.M. Gent · 12 Feb 1998 14:12:20 · Top

> Well, we might see if you have super-strong arm muscles :-)
> Alan

Not it's a head and shoulders picy. Anyway, I tend to dance on my feet,
not my hands!

BTW John Fenningworth says hello to you and Elke.

Seonaid.

Set to and turn corners

Message 10884 · M.J.Norman · 12 Feb 1998 19:44:42 · Top

Is it too late to fling open the closet door, extend my right leg in fourth
and spring forward? I'll admit it too. I have always enjoyed the
challenge of good technique and a 2HPdB turn, if done with someone else who
can do it well, is exhilerating! (But then, I'm also a roller coaster
fanatic)
Although I've never really worried much about it before, I suppose
when I do come across people who find it difficult, I just adjust and go
on. As Brenda mentioned in another post, there are those who are "into"
the technique aspects of SCD, and those who aren't. No point in agonising
over it. Just keep dancing!

Monica

Alan said:
>Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque in
>Set and Turn
>Corners?
>
>Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
>well! - otherwise
>I'm going to feel so alone :-(
>
>Alan

Set to and turn corners

Message 11058 · Cecilia Stolzer Grote · 23 Feb 1998 23:52:03 · Top

"Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque in
Set and Turn
Corners? "

Sorry about the delay in my 2 cents' worth, but I prefer PdB too. It's the
only way you can get in a good burrel turn!!

But, honestly, I've done a PdB turn while my corner was doing SC or even
walking, and if the arms are correct, it works anyway.

Cecilia Stolzer Grote
RSCDS SF Branch

Set to and turn corners

Message 11068 · Norman Dahl · 24 Feb 1998 22:02:42 · Top

When I was a bitty lad, learning SCD at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth
(in preference to homework), we danced in a hall known as 'The
Quarterdeck' (you had to salute when you went in). This hall had columns,
presumably to stop the sky from falling on our heads.

So what, I hear you cry.

Well, when it came to set and turn corners, the objective was not to use
p-d-b or skip change of step, but to carry out the manoeuvre with such
vigour that your partner (necessarily male in those primitive days) was
flung against a column hard enough to miss the next figure.

O tempora! O mores!

-norman-

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Norman and Joan Dahl | ndahl@ozemail.com.au
Brisbane, Australia | http://www.ozemail.com.au/~ndahl/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Set to and turn corners

Message 11099 · Martin.Sheffield · 1 Mar 1998 12:52:52 · Top

Dear Ben,

A little while ago, you wrote:

>There is one strong exception that I will make and that is in Dashing White
>Sargent.
>I personally think that the way it is usually done by traditional Scots is
>the way to do it-NOT the way the society teaches.
> (...) and find that setting
>and turning by the right, followed by setting and turning by the left (as
>usually done by non-RSCDS dancers)

This is the way I have always done DWS (thought to tell the truth, I can't
even remember where or when I first learnt it), and was surprised to
discover that the RSCDS book indicated 2-hand turns (making the man in the
middle face the wrong way as he comes out of the reel !).

Yet I have also noticed young ceilidh-dancers doing 2-hand turns.

Have you any idea which version is the most commonly used, and if the
RH-then-LH version has any "authority" behind it? Some of the dancers here
in France are very strict RSCDS, and I'd like to be able to defend the
alternative styles of dancing when challenged.

In referring to 'traditional Scots' , were you thinking of Scots in GB or
in USA?

Deposits have been sent to Pinewoods, for English-Scottish + 1st SCD
session. Now waitng to see if they'll have us !

All the best,

Martin.

Set to and turn corners [DWS]

Message 11107 · Iain E. Garden Richardson · 2 Mar 1998 10:45:34 · Top

As far as I can tell there are two main variations on this that are
used at ceilidh dances in Scotland (at least in the Edinburgh and
Aberdeenshire areas):

1. Set to first partner, turn BH. Set to 2nd partner, turn BH. Reel.
As Martin says, the person in the middle has to turn round at the end
of the reel.

2. Set to first partner, turn RH. Set to 2nd partner, turn LH.
Usually followed by: turn 1st partner RH, turn 2nd partner LH, turn
1st partner RH (i.e. instead of the reel).

Version 2 tends to be done more by "strict ceilidh" dancers and
version 1 tends to be preferred by country dancers (emphasis on
"tends"). There are of course further variations and "hybrids", often
produced by a loss of memory/surfeit of beer.

Can anyone tell me - are the variations because the DWS is much older
than the "strict" guidelines of the SCD scene, or because it's become
popular at ceilidh dances & has evolved accordingly ? (I suspect the
former..)

Cheers

Iain

> Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 11:52:58 +0100
> From: martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr (M & R Sheff)
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Set to and turn corners

> Dear Ben,
>
> A little while ago, you wrote:
>
> >There is one strong exception that I will make and that is in Dashing White
> >Sargent.
> >I personally think that the way it is usually done by traditional Scots is
> >the way to do it-NOT the way the society teaches.
> > (...) and find that setting
> >and turning by the right, followed by setting and turning by the left (as
> >usually done by non-RSCDS dancers)
>
> This is the way I have always done DWS (thought to tell the truth, I can't
> even remember where or when I first learnt it), and was surprised to
> discover that the RSCDS book indicated 2-hand turns (making the man in the
> middle face the wrong way as he comes out of the reel !).
>
> Yet I have also noticed young ceilidh-dancers doing 2-hand turns.
>
> Have you any idea which version is the most commonly used, and if the
> RH-then-LH version has any "authority" behind it? Some of the dancers here
> in France are very strict RSCDS, and I'd like to be able to defend the
> alternative styles of dancing when challenged.
>
> In referring to 'traditional Scots' , were you thinking of Scots in GB or
> in USA?
>
> Deposits have been sent to Pinewoods, for English-Scottish + 1st SCD
> session. Now waitng to see if they'll have us !
>
> All the best,
>
> Martin.
>
>
> --
> M & R Sheff <martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
>
>

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Iain E. Garden Richardson
Lecturer and researcher: Multimedia Communications
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
The Robert Gordon University, Schoolhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB10 1FR
Telephone (0)(+44)1224 262428 Facsimile (0)(+44)1224 262444
Email i.g.richardson@rgu.ac.uk
World Wide Web http://www.eee.rgu.ac.uk/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11112 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 2 Mar 1998 20:32:32 · Top

Hi Folks,

Does anybody have an explanation for why our 2-hand turns are always
clockwise? This seems to be true whether we use PdB, skip change or
strathspey travelling. Except that we are accustomed to it, I cannot find a
reason in the step mechanics for this very one-sided aspect of SCD. In
fact, when starting with the right foot for all of the three of these
steps, turning counter (anti) clockwise would seem more natural. Left-hand
turns are counter-clockwise as are circles to the right. Is it the intimacy
of the 2-hand turn that makes widdershins unacceptable?

Now I suppose somebody will go off and devise a dance with reverse 2-hand
turns, but that only begs the question...

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11114 · Loren Wright · 2 Mar 1998 21:19:49 · Top

>Does anybody have an explanation for why our 2-hand turns are always
>clockwise?

Perhaps it's the same superstition that (generally) avoids starting
circles to the right. (the "witch's way") Isn't a two-handed turn a
small circle?

Loren Wright <lorenw@rwp.mv.com>
Roger Wagner Publishing
Nashua, NH, USA

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11117 · Courtney Cartwright · 3 Mar 1998 06:35:08 · Top

I also vote for the widdershins theory. The Fletts and other researchers
have found considerable evidence that in the Shetlands and Hebrides, as well
as other areas, circles were always danced to the left, and not reversed.
So eight bars of circles would be twice round, as in "My love is but a
lassie yet".

But it could be the ingrained kinesthetics, as well. I always have a battle
when teaching crown triangles. A number of dancers find it awkward to move
left with pas de basque. Some of my dancers have proudly announced that
they've discovered
if they start the figure with the left foot it feels better to them...
>Loren wrote:
>>Oberdan wrote:
>>Does anybody have an explanation for why our 2-hand turns are always
>>clockwise?
>
>Perhaps it's the same superstition that (generally) avoids starting
>circles to the right. (the "witch's way") Isn't a two-handed turn a
>small circle?
>
Courtney Cartwright
Tucson, Arizona USA
ccartwri@primenet.com

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11119 · Martin.Sheffield · 3 Mar 1998 09:56:23 · Top

No explanation.
Just more questions.

Why does a LH across only appear after a RH across?
Or a LH turn after a RH turn?
Why do we start practically every figure on R foot?
Why do ballroom-dancing couples turn clockwise as they waltz, polka etc?
Why do contra and ECD dancers always swing wih R arms?
Why do most reels start R shoulder?

Why is the majority of the population right-handed?

Setting aside references to sun worship, we have no answer, but since
right-handers do form a majority, it is hardly surprising that we should
all be expected to do things their way. They put out their R hands/arms
first, whether in greeting or in attack, so the rest of us have to conform.

I have always thought that two-handed turns must be the RSCDS
interpretation of what was once a swing, the two hands originally being
crossed, and the weight being taken on -- of course -- the stronger arm,
the right one. Today, the turn is slower, but the direction hasn't changed.

Another question:
Why does my R ghillie always wear out before my L one?

Martin,
Grenoble, France.
------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11125 · Richard L. Walker · 3 Mar 1998 18:54:12 · Top

Steps and formations almost always starting with the right? Another
answer might be that found in "Fiddler on the Roof" -- Tradition?
Minimize the risk; maximize the fun? Don't worry about the basics;
leave the risk to remembering which formation goes where?

> Just more questions.
Richard L. Walker
Pensacola FL (City of Five Flags) USA
rlwalker@granis.net

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11134 · Armin Busse · 4 Mar 1998 12:00:13 · Top

"Why does my right ghillie always wear out before the left one?"
Because your left footed? (and I'd bet right handed).
We humans learn from a few months after birth which is the dominant
hand, but since the feet tend to do everything in concert we don't notice
a difference. I didn't until I took up Highland dancing. Getting my right
foot to do what my left had done made me notice a difference.
Maybe that's why circles start to the left? It isn't the dominance of
the upper body that is the determining factor, but the dominance in the
lower body of the majority of dancers.
This is all wild speculation and Keith you are welcome to refute (or
confirm? :-) as I am certainly not an expert on physiology.
But this prejudice of right over left goes WAY back. Just consider the
words from the Latin, Dexter=Right, on the right, favorable and
Sinister=Left, unlucky, bad. Could it be because the heart is on the left
side of the body and a blow there was far more unlucky than one on the
right?
Just a wee byte of food for thought...

Coletta Busse
Bielefeld, Germany
## CrossPoint v3.02 ##

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11136 · Ian Brockbank 05-Jan-1995 0951 · 4 Mar 1998 15:31:32 · Top

Coletta wrote:

> But this prejudice of right over left goes WAY back. Just consider the
> words from the Latin, Dexter=Right, on the right, favorable and
> Sinister=Left, unlucky, bad. Could it be because the heart is on the left
> side of the body and a blow there was far more unlucky than one on the
> right?

The explanation I heard was that if you (as a right-handed soldier) came
against a left-handed soldier in battle they would be attacking you where
you didn't have a shield handy to defend yourself. Sinister.

Of course, to the left-handed soldier, most soldiers would attack them on
the undefended side. I suppose they got good at defending with their
swords as well - suggesting they would be the better swordsmen (either that
or dead).

Ian
--
Ian.Brockbank@edo.mts.dec.com Edinburgh, Scotland
Grand Chain: The Scottish Dance and Music Resource:
--- http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/

Why are 2H turns always clockwise?

Message 11147 · M.J.Norman · 5 Mar 1998 12:36:42 · Top

Martin wrote:
>Why is the majority of the population right-handed?

It _is_ a right-handed world, Martin, God knows why. But from the
rest of your message, I suspect you, like me, are left-handed...

>Setting aside references to sun worship, we have no answer, but since
>right-handers do form a majority, it is hardly surprising that we should
>all be expected to do things their way. They put out their R hands/arms
>first, whether in greeting or in attack, so the rest of us have to conform.

Am I right - I mean, correct?:) - We lefties learn to cope with the
overwhelming majority of righties so well, that I've read we even end up
being smarter - we use more of our brains!
When I took fencing for two years (never reached competition
level), I found that being left-handed _was_ an advantage. As a leftie you
are used to dealing with the attacks from a right-hander, but they are not
so used to your left-handed attacks. I often could score with my foil
under their extended right arm because they weren't expecting it.
Being left-handed, I often find I have the problem of
non-dominance, rather than left-dominance. I am so used to doing so many
things with either hand, that I often have to think which hand to use!
In diversity is strength! ;-)

Monica

Set to and turn corners - DWS

Message 11113 · Bryan McAlister · 2 Mar 1998 20:34:43 · Top

In article <v01530501b11ed6e8d5f3@[193.252.151.29]>, M & R Sheff
<martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> writes
>Dear Ben,
>
>A little while ago, you wrote:
>
>>There is one strong exception that I will make and that is in Dashing White
>>Sargent.
>>I personally think that the way it is usually done by traditional Scots is
>>the way to do it-NOT the way the society teaches.
>> (...) and find that setting
>>and turning by the right, followed by setting and turning by the left (as
>>usually done by non-RSCDS dancers)
DWS...
I have always done this as right hand turn left hand turn and cant ever
recall seeing anyone trying a two hand turn which sounds awkward in a
DWS.
Thereafter two versions are common - a Reel of three usually in Country
Dance Circles, alternatively, continue to turn right hand left hand as a
figure of eight, while partners stand still and turn on spot, usually
done at ceilidhs (This version also occurs in Eightsome Reel).
On balance the Reel of three allows everyone more continuous dancing,
the RH/LH version can be more exciting. Reels of Three are not that well
known amongst Scots outwith Country Dancing Circles.
Incidentally I usually alternate which Partner I set to first to avoid
giving a preference.
Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS, Linlithgow,Scotland
Web page http://www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
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Set to and turn corners - DWS

Message 11115 · Benjamin Stein · 3 Mar 1998 00:14:14 · Top

I have seen all three versions. 1. PDB turns with both corners followed by
left shoulder reels. 2. Turn by the right, turn by the left followed by
right shoulder reels and 3. Turn by the right, turn by the left, followed
by more turns, sometimes elbow grip. Darned if I know which came first. I
like No 2. By the way-during the American bicentnnia, some years ago,l I
taught this dance many times to "non" dancers. After all, the Dashing White
Sargent was originally an English drinking song with words by Gentlman
Johnny Burgeon (not sure of the spelling), the English commander who lost
the battle of Saratoga to we poor rebels-a turning point in our rebelion.

Ben Stein
Burlington, Vt. USA
Dancers@Compuserve.Com

Set to and turn corners - DWS

Message 11229 · Ron Mackey · 11 Mar 1998 02:42:50 · Top

> Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 14:58:12 +0000
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> From: Bryan McAlister <bryan@bryanmac.demon.co.uk>
> Subject: Set to and turn corners - DWS

a
> DWS.
Bryan wrote on this thread---
> Thereafter two versions are common - (a Reel of three usually in Country
> Dance Circles), alternatively, continue to turn right hand left hand as a
> figure of eight, while partners stand still and turn on spot, usually
> done at ceilidhs (This version also occurs in Eightsome Reel).

I have seen this happen at a Burn's Night when two non-dancers were
taken onto the floor. It was walked through with the reel version
demonstrated. However when the music started the n-ds were so
mesmerized that they could not move and the 'dancer' had no option
but to keep going and do all the dancing round his partners.
Is this how the ceilidh version started? We'll never know!
Cheers Ron :)

Ron Mackey London UK
< o +---------------------------------------------------+
`O> |EMail Ron Mackey mailto:Ron.Mackey@BTinternet.com |
/#\ | or via http://www.newone.demon.co.uk/ -----+--+---|
|> | or RMM@newone.demon.co.uk -------+-----+-----+-|
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Set to and turn corners

Message 10791 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 10 Feb 1998 16:21:29 · Top

Well I couldn't resist putting in my two cents when I saw the comment
below; I think it's going too far to call the 2HPdB an elitist standard.
Granted, the 2HPdB takes some time to master, but I don't think it's as
difficult as some of you are implying, especially if at least one of the
two dancers is relatively good at it. Honestly, I have rarely
encountered a corner that was so inept as to make the figure unpleasant. I
rather like the bounciness of it.

--Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, MN, USA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lara Friedman~Shedlov You have the right to remain silent.
laradf@alumni.si.umich.edu Anything you say will be misquoted,
then used against you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

<snip>
> So the 2HPdB turn is in fact an elitist standard. If it is your objective
> to attract only athletic dancers and to discourage those who do not measure
> up, then that is the kind of standard you want. But if you are marketing
> this dance form as suitable for the average person, then this kind of
> standard is out of place.
<snip>
> Cheers, Oberdan.
>

Set to and turn corners

Message 10794 · Benjamin Stein · 10 Feb 1998 17:52:52 · Top

I to prefer the PDB in set and turn corners. With a single hand turn the
skip change of step feels right but with a two hand turn the partners are
facing each other and a skip change of step twists the lower body and
interferes with the relationship, besides, the turn with the second corner
that often leads directly into the reel of three needs restraint and
control, often missing with the skip-change of step. HOWEVER, I don't push
it with my classes for many find the PDB turn rather difficult to do
properly and I find that I can sense in dance when my partner is
comfortable with the pas-de-basque and when not and adjust accordingly. I
must say that when I dance the Duke of Perth in a set where everyone is
doing PDB it is an absolute delight. By the way I am getting along in years
and my PDB is not what it should be but I can still fake it adequately-it
doesn't have to be that athletic.

There is one strong exception that I will make and that is in Dashing White
Sargent (which of course is not a true set and turn corners after all). I
personally think that the way it is usually done by traditional Scots is
the way to do it-NOT the way the society teaches. To do both set and turns
with two hands leads into a reel that ends the wrong way with the center
person having to turn about. I don't care what the society teaches, it just
feels wrong! I teach the dance to beginners as a way to grasp "right
shoulder reels of three on opposite sides of the set" and find that setting
and turning by the right, followed by setting and turning by the left (as
usually done by non-RSCDS dancers) leads into a natural right shoulder reel
that ends facing the proper way. If this be treason, make the most of it!

Ben Stein
Burlington, Vt. USA
Dancers@Compuserve.Com

Set to and turn corners

Message 10775 · Anselm Lingnau · 10 Feb 1998 10:26:13 · Top

Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch> writes:

> Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
> well! - otherwise I'm going to feel so alone :-(

I must say I quite like it, too. It is somewhat of a challenge but it's
good fun if it does work.

(Incidentally, there are lots of things in SCD that are fun to do but
technically quite difficult. A certain progressive figure in Strathspey
time comes to mind (one that caused a fair amount of heat on this list
when it was discussed at length a while ago, check the archive around
message 7100 or so). Of course most of them are not as prominent as the
two-handed turn in quick time, thus easier to avoid without having to
commit oneself one way or the other.)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. --- Stephen Wright

Set to and turn corners

Message 10776 · Angus Henry · 10 Feb 1998 10:53:55 · Top

>Am I the only one to confess to actually PREFER to use pas-de-basque in
>Set and Turn
>Corners? It is not easy. It is much simpler to use skip-change. But
>skip-change feels so
>twisted when you're holding both hands - I don't like it.
>
>Pas-de-Basque feels better and it is a magical experience when your corner
>can do it
>properly (If the corner is poor, then it feels horrible).
>
>Come on out of the closet and let's hear from you if you prefer it as
>well! - otherwise
>I'm going to feel so alone :-(
>
>Alan

Cheer up - you're not alone! :-) :-) :-)

But the commments made by others about "confronting" corners identify a
very real problem: sailing happily down a lively, vivacious set to suddenly
have to negotiate an unco-operative sack of potatoes in 2 bars can be
physically as well as emotionally traumatic!

Angus

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