strathspey Archive: perfect dances

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perfect dances

Message 15166 · Martin.Sheffield · 15 Dec 1998 19:44:41 · Top

> Nobody has ever written,
>devised or otherwise put together the perfect dance.

I can think of plenty of perfect dances.
If they are not on every programmes, it may be because they have been set
to less than inspiring music. I am convinced that the success of a dance
depends on the music more than on the figures.

For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and JB Milne.
I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.
That's only the beginning of the list.

Although I like Montgomeries' Rant, it is less than perfect for the women.
(Have you noticed? -- you can always tell when the dance was devised by a man?)

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

perfect dances

Message 15169 · Jack Pollock · 15 Dec 1998 20:37:37 · Top

Martin Sheffield wrote:
>
>For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and JB
Milne.
>I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.
>That's only the beginning of the list.

Great dances, both, but I often see second and fourth couples stepping up on
bars 7-8 in the former, or "goodbye - hello" setting by the corners in the
latter. Both variants are common around here, and really mess up a set
when some couples dance them as above, and some as written. In JB Milne,
you wind up setting to someone's shoulder.

Jack Pollock
Waynesville, North Carolina, USA

perfect dances

Message 15172 · Ken McFarland · 15 Dec 1998 21:11:55 · Top

Martin wrote:
>Although I like Montgomeries' Rant, it is less than perfect for the women.
>(Have you noticed? -- you can always tell when the dance was devised by a
man?)

I've both tuaght it and danced it from the women's side, and don't remember
it being less satisfying from that position. We agree to differ perhaps.

Also, the dance as we dance it was most likely - probably? - interpreted by
a woman Martin....let's see who could that have been? ;) (What year did Mrs.
Stewart head for South Africa?)

Ken McFarland

perfect dances

Message 15176 · Pauline · 16 Dec 1998 01:38:18 · Top

At 01:37 PM 12/15/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Martin Sheffield wrote:
>>
>>For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and JB
>Milne.
>>I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.
>>That's only the beginning of the list.

I totally agree with you about Polharrow Burn, but I would substitute
"Australian Ladies", devised by Bob Campbell, (instead of JB Milne, which is
similar) but the music played by "Harp and Claymore" makes this a amemorable
dance [in my humble opinion].

Pauline Foster

< 0
`;>
/#\
|>

Pauline Foster (Brisbane, Australia) pfoster@gil.com.au











perfect dances

Message 15179 · Ron.Mackey · 16 Dec 1998 02:47:57 · Top

> > Nobody has ever written,
> >devised or otherwise put together the perfect dance.
>
> I can think of plenty of perfect dances.
> If they are not on every programmes, it may be because they have been set
> to less than inspiring music. I am convinced that the success of a dance
> depends on the music more than on the figures.
>
> For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and JB Milne.
> I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.
> That's only the beginning of the list.
Hi,
One that I would put at the top of the list is John D's Belle of
Bon Accord. Music as played by Craigellachie. Georgious.
Or else, Sugar Candie, music probably by Jim MacLeod or Bobby Crowe.
Saltire Society Reel is hard to criticise.etc. etc.
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

perfect dances

Message 15184 · Dianna Shipman · 16 Dec 1998 07:14:57 · Top

This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
after the second repetition you finished in third place and them stepped out
and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the dance
(unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
most common in different parts of the world in general?
Thanks,
Dianna Shipman
Houston, Texas
-----Original Message-----
From: Ken McFarland <farlands@ptialaska.net>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 1998 1:37 PM
Subject: Re: perfect dances

>Martin wrote:
>>Although I like Montgomeries' Rant, it is less than perfect for the women.
>>(Have you noticed? -- you can always tell when the dance was devised by a
>man?)
>
>
>I've both tuaght it and danced it from the women's side, and don't remember
>it being less satisfying from that position. We agree to differ perhaps.
>
>Also, the dance as we dance it was most likely - probably? - interpreted by
>a woman Martin....let's see who could that have been? ;) (What year did
Mrs.
>Stewart head for South Africa?)
>
>Ken McFarland
>
>
>--
>"Ken McFarland" <farlands@ptialaska.net>
>
>

perfect dances

Message 15186 · George Gates · 16 Dec 1998 07:23:46 · Top

Dianna,

I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.

George

Dianna Shipman wrote:
>
> This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
> taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
> after the second repetition you finished in third place and them stepped out
> and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the dance
> (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
> bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
> most common in different parts of the world in general?
> Thanks,
> Dianna Shipman
> Houston, Texas
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ken McFarland <farlands@ptialaska.net>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
> Date: Tuesday, December 15, 1998 1:37 PM
> Subject: Re: perfect dances
>
> >Martin wrote:
> >>Although I like Montgomeries' Rant, it is less than perfect for the women.
> >>(Have you noticed? -- you can always tell when the dance was devised by a
> >man?)
> >
> >
> >I've both tuaght it and danced it from the women's side, and don't remember
> >it being less satisfying from that position. We agree to differ perhaps.
> >
> >Also, the dance as we dance it was most likely - probably? - interpreted by
> >a woman Martin....let's see who could that have been? ;) (What year did
> Mrs.
> >Stewart head for South Africa?)
> >
> >Ken McFarland
> >
> >
> >--
> >"Ken McFarland" <farlands@ptialaska.net>
> >
> >

perfect dances

Message 15192 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 16 Dec 1998 20:30:09 · Top

On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, George Gates wrote:

> Dianna,
>
> I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
> finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
> down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
> dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.
>
> George
>
> Dianna Shipman wrote:
> >
> > This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
> > taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
> > after the second repetition you finished in third place and them stepped out
> > and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the dance
> > (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
> > bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
> > most common in different parts of the world in general?

You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

perfect dances

Message 15197 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 17 Dec 1998 00:21:51 · Top

Martin wrote;

> For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and
> JB Milne.
> I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.

I'm glad to see that you are not tempted to change JB Milne, unlike
the many other people who dance it; presumably as a 2nd or 3rd
couple you set to partner, set to non-partner, set to partner,
set to partner as it says in the instructions, but what sort of
turns do you do when you change places moving round the square;
as in rights and lefts, or with "polite turns" ? (And who is
to say which is correct?)

Malcolm

--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
|_| _|_| Connecting via NETCOM Internet Ltd
|_|

perfect dances

Message 15198 · Dianna Shipman · 17 Dec 1998 00:43:37 · Top

I'm still confused - is everyone saying that RSCDS doesn't have a position
on this and it's teacher's option?
Thanks,
Dianna
-----Original Message-----
From: Priscilla M. Burrage <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 1998 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: perfect dances

>On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, George Gates wrote:
>
>> Dianna,
>>
>> I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
>> finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
>> down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
>> dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.
>>
>> George
>>
>> Dianna Shipman wrote:
>> >
>> > This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was
always
>> > taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) -
that
>> > after the second repetition you finished in third place and them
stepped out
>> > and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the
dance
>> > (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
>> > bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on
what's
>> > most common in different parts of the world in general?
>
>You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.
>
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
>(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
>
>
>

perfect dances

Message 15199 · Ron.Mackey · 17 Dec 1998 02:08:19 · Top

> I'm still confused - is everyone saying that RSCDS doesn't have a position
> on this and it's teacher's option?
> Thanks,
> Dianna
>
Not really Dianna. What it boils down to is that it is your opinion
that matters! :)

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

perfect dances

Message 15203 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 17 Dec 1998 02:37:40 · Top

Hi Diana,

>[Diana:] I'm still confused - is everyone saying that RSCDS doesn't have
>a position on this and it's teacher's option?

>>> [George:]I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been
>>> taught to
>>> finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
>>> down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
>>> dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.

>>> >[Diana:] This series of messages is interesting and surprising -
>>> >here I was always taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four
>>> >couple set) - that after the second repetition you finished in third
>>>place
>>> >and them stepped out and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the
>>> >1st cpl started the dance (unless the printed directions specified
>>>another >>> >way to get to the bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS
>>>convention -- any >>> >feedback on what's most common in different parts
>>>of the world in general?

>>[Priscilla:] You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.

Diana and George have been taught according to my own preference. But as
far as I know, it is my preference and does not derive from an official
RSCDS position. There are some issues such as progressing to 4th place and
the details of step transitions that the RSCDS in it wisdom(?) has not
taken a position, leaving it to people/groups to work out for themselves.
However, some RSCDS teachers, including some examiners, have very strong
opinions on these issues and have acted as though their own opinions were
the view of the RSCDS, much to the confusion of the rest of us.

Part of the reason I hold this preference is that I believe it is widely
held, if not around the world then at least in our neck of the woods. This
means the dancers get a consistent story from most of our teachers and they
dance together well. However, if I felt the approach had a serious defect
(which I do not), it wouldn't matter to me how widely held a preference it
was.

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

perfect dances

Message 15200 · Ron.Mackey · 17 Dec 1998 02:08:23 · Top

> Martin wrote;
>
> > For perfect dances with good music, I'd vote for Polharrow Burn and
> > JB Milne.
> > I have never been tempted to change or "improve" either of these.
>
> I'm glad to see that you are not tempted to change JB Milne, unlike
> the many other people who dance it; presumably as a 2nd or 3rd
> couple you set to partner, set to non-partner, set to partner,
> set to partner as it says in the instructions, but what sort of
> turns do you do when you change places moving round the square;
> as in rights and lefts, or with "polite turns" ? (And who is
> to say which is correct?)
>
> Malcolm

Hi, Guys
Wonderful how tastes differ! I am making no effort to answer Malcolm
because, unlike Martin, for me J.B.M. is a loo dance!
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

perfect dances

Message 15201 · eclyde · 17 Dec 1998 02:29:48 · Top

Priscilla:

While it may be true nowadays that the methods described are not used
by some teachers, that is most certainly the way that Jean Milligan
taught the finish, and her word certainly used to be regarded
as gospel!

Eric

Priscilla M. Burrage wrote:
>
> On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, George Gates wrote:
>
> > Dianna,
> >
> > I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
> > finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
> > down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
> > dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.
> >
> > George
> >
> > Dianna Shipman wrote:
> > >
> > > This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
> > > taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
> > > after the second repetition you finished in third place and them stepped out
> > > and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the dance
> > > (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
> > > bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
> > > most common in different parts of the world in general?
>
> You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
> (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
>

perfect dances

Message 15204 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 17 Dec 1998 04:33:42 · Top

On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Eric Clyde wrote:

> Priscilla:
>
> While it may be true nowadays that the methods described are not used
> by some teachers, that is most certainly the way that Jean Milligan
> taught the finish, and her word certainly used to be regarded
> as gospel!

You surprise me. I distinctly remember her telling us to use right hands
when we led down crossing from third place in some dances.

I was rather surprised to hear teachers adamant on the 'no finishing in
fourth place' approach in the '70s.

Personally I feel that Oberdan's five step summary of when and how to
finish the second round is just right.

> Priscilla M. Burrage wrote:
> >
> > On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, George Gates wrote:
> >
> > > Dianna,
> > >
> > > I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
> > > finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
> > > down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
> > > dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.
> > >
> > > George
> > >
> > > Dianna Shipman wrote:
> > > >
> > > > This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
> > > > taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
> > > > after the second repetition you finished in third place and them stepped out
> > > > and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started the dance
> > > > (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
> > > > bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
> > > > most common in different parts of the world in general?
> >
> > You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
> > (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
> >
>
>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

perfect dances

Message 15206 · Steve Wyrick · 17 Dec 1998 07:50:47 · Top

This whole thread surprises me, because, like George and Dianna, I naively
assumed this was a non-issue! If there's really so much disagreement on this
issue throughout the larger SCD community, I'm surprised the RSCDS doesn't
choreograph dance endings (ie in the form of a short description of how to
end the dance the 2nd time through). What gives? Why ISN'T uniformity in
dance endings enforced by the RSCDS (or is it, and we're just hearing in
this thread from the renegades)? I agree, I like Oberdan's "5-step summary"
& have printed it out to stick in the back of my Collins Pocket Reference!
-Steve

Priscilla wrote (assuming I haven't lost track of this thread):
>On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Eric Clyde wrote:
>
>> Priscilla:
>>
>> While it may be true nowadays that the methods described are not used
>> by some teachers, that is most certainly the way that Jean Milligan
>> taught the finish, and her word certainly used to be regarded
>> as gospel!
>
>
>You surprise me. I distinctly remember her telling us to use right hands
>when we led down crossing from third place in some dances.
>
>I was rather surprised to hear teachers adamant on the 'no finishing in
>fourth place' approach in the '70s.
>
>Personally I feel that Oberdan's five step summary of when and how to
>finish the second round is just right.
>
>
>> Priscilla M. Burrage wrote:
>> >
>> > On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, George Gates wrote:
>> >
>> > > Dianna,
>> > >
>> > > I have been only dancing for two years, but I have always been taught to
>> > > finish in third aknowledge you partner perhaps with a nod and then step
>> > > down and then thank them across the set. Of course there is always a
>> > > dance where you might finish in fourth as the other couple steps up.
>> > >
>> > > George
>> > >
>> > > Dianna Shipman wrote:
>> > > >
>> > > > This series of messages is interesting and surprising - here I was always
>> > > > taught that in all the three couple dances (in a four couple set) - that
>> > > > after the second repetition you finished in third place and them
>stepped out
>> > > > and down while the fourth couple stepped up as the 1st cpl started
>the dance
>> > > > (unless the printed directions specified another way to get to the
>> > > > bottom) -- this was taught as an RSCDS convention -- any feedback on what's
>> > > > most common in different parts of the world in general?
>> >
>> > You are both defining which RSCDS teachers you were taught by.
>> >
>> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> > Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
>> > (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
---
Steve Wyrick <sjwyrick@earthlink.net>

"If fiddling be music, we've had enough of it!" - Roderick Morrison, one of
the last great Scottish Harper-Poets, 1700s

"A Scotsman comes into an assembly-room as he would into a field of
excercise, dances until he is literally tired, possibly without ever looking
at his partner, or almost knowing who he dances with...They give you the
idea that they could with equal glee cast off round a joint stool or set to
a corner cupboard." -Major Edward Topham, 1775

perfect dances

Message 15219 · Martin.Sheffield · 17 Dec 1998 22:05:39 · Top

Malcom wrote:

>I'm glad to see that you are not tempted to change JB Milne, unlike
>the many other people who dance it; presumably as a 2nd or 3rd
>couple you set to partner, set to non-partner, set to partner,
>set to partner as it says in the instructions,

I suppose I should own up: I have probalby never seen the written
instructions for JBM. It's a dance I have done so often -- in many differnt
places, and with everyone doing it the swame way -- that I just assumed I
had the right instructions in my feet and head.

So perhaps the dance has been improved on, without my realizing it. I have
always seen polite turns used, followed by pas de basque as one moves to
face the next person, acknowleding first the person you have just passed
then the person you are about to pass. That doesn't sound too much like
Malcom's description.

So, if this is wrong, I'll have to take JBM off my perfect dance list!

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

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15213 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 17 Dec 1998 14:02:33 · Top

>[Priscilla:] I distinctly remember her [Miss Milligan] telling us to use
>right hands when we led down crossing from third place in some dances.

Did she really say that?

Without question, using right hands to lead my partner to my left side is
about the most awkward thing I can think of. It distorts the body lines and
dance paths of both dancers and shortens the time they can spend together.

There are many dancers who use the right hand exclusively, perhaps because
they have learned that it is "correct". I think on this one the RSCDS does
specify using the right hand when the word "lead" appears. Sorry folks, but
my baloney filter says that this is fundamentally wrong. Good dance
technique requires using LEFT hands when crossing someone from your right
side to your left and RIGHT hands when crossing someone from your left side
to your right.

Common cases where LEFT hands should be used:

1. Crossing down to 4th place from reels of 3 with corners.
2. Leading up to corners as in the Reel of the 51st.

The Rondel is a curious case. It specifies use of nearer hands which means
that one person in the couple is always using the wrong hand for crossing
over. ALL of the crosses are awkward. I have for a long time disliked this
formation because of the awkward handing. However, I have recently come to
an accomodation with the Rondel with a new teaching technique which avoids
the handing problem. In all cases you have nearer hands joined with someone
(both facing the same direction). Then you FOLD toward that person so that
you are facing each other. Then you release hands and pass right or left
shoulders as the situation requires.

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

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15220 · Ron.Mackey · 17 Dec 1998 22:15:25 · Top

> Did she really say that?

Oh, Yes and often too.

> Without question, using right hands to lead my partner to my left side is
> about the most awkward thing I can think of. It distorts the body lines and
> dance paths of both dancers and shortens the time they can spend together.
>
>
Remember that pre-war (if you understand that phrase?) Gentlemen
walked on the outside (nearest the traffic) and got splashed or hit
by the runaway horse before the lady. One always removed the hat
before shaking hands. One used the right hand to assist a lady off a
step or stair. The left hand did not exist, even to write ! Oh, I
forget, one could carry the handkerchief in the left hand !
Hence the reluctance to use the left (sinister) hand for crossing.
The Rondel is possibly the last of these relicts.
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15226 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 18 Dec 1998 10:53:11 · Top

>> [Oberdan:] Did she really say that?
>[Ron:] Oh, Yes and often too.

> Remember that pre-war (if you understand that phrase?) Gentlemen <snip>
> Hence the reluctance to use the left (sinister) hand for crossing.

Thanks Ron for the reminder for how things were, not so very long ago.

However, the left hand is not an idle appendage in SCD. We do left hand
turns; we cross with left hands; we dance left hands across; in reels we
pass left shoulders. So while the context of an old-fashioned form of male
gallantry might explain how exclusive use of right hands for "lead"
appeared, it does not justify its continued use.

Oberdan.

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

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15228 · Peter Hastings · 18 Dec 1998 12:39:30 · Top

> So while the context of an old-fashioned form of male gallantry might
> explain how exclusive use of right hands for "lead" appeared, it does
> not justify its continued use.

No, but its continued use does - unless there is an overwhelming advantage
in abandoning it. It's called tradition (as in living).

Peter Hastings
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15232 · Smith, Kent · 18 Dec 1998 15:29:58 · Top

My knowledge was not first hand, but I also have heard that Miss Milligan
and others taught by her stressed always using the right hand. It,
therefore, has amused me to note that John Drewry wrote a left-hand turn,
lead, and cross in "Miss Milligan's Strathspey." A little quite
commentary?

Kent Smith (Connecticut, USA)

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron.Mackey@post.btinternet.com
Subject: Re: Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

> Did she really say that? [use right hand to cross woman from right side to
left side]

Oh, Yes and often too.

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15235 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 18 Dec 1998 16:42:27 · Top

On Fri, 18 Dec 1998, Smith, Kent wrote:

> My knowledge was not first hand, but I also have heard that Miss Milligan
> and others taught by her stressed always using the right hand. It,
> therefore, has amused me to note that John Drewry wrote a left-hand turn,
> lead, and cross in "Miss Milligan's Strathspey." A little quite
> commentary?

Not only that but the Knot is an up-side-down version of the allemande as
it is danced in a 1930's movie demonstrating technique.

Chalk it up to the rebellious '70s.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15253 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 19 Dec 1998 16:52:34 · Top

Greetings;

Miss M seems to get blamed for a lot, and it is quite obvious that
some of the simple "rules" she stated, which she probably formulated
to help people (like reels of 3 are R Sh, unless you have turned a
corner), have been taken a bit too literally. However I have my
doubts as to how seriously she took some of these rules, especially
as regards hands for leading; if you listen to the Society's tape
of her at summer school, you can hear her teaching Maxwell's Rant.
She instructs the dancing couple to lead through the 3rd couple, and
then goes on to explain why it should be nearer hands.
However I don't think it is always a clear cut decision. Which hands
would you use in the following?
1) Lead down the middle & up into an Allemande
2) Lead down the middle & up to top place
3) Lead down for 3, up for 3, cross & cast off
4) Lead down for 3, up for 3, and cast off
5) Lead down for 4, up for 4, and finish nearer hands joined facing 2s

Malcolm

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Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15268 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 21 Dec 1998 02:01:57 · Top

Malcolm's checklist:

This is the way Oberdan would like to dance it:

First for any lead down & up I like to use Right hands, although for some
dances nearer hands works better. I feel incompetent leading linearly with
the left hand. I think it is simply a matter of training/practice. It is in
crossing someone in front of me from the right side to the left side where
a left handed lead is superior to a right handed lead.

>1) Lead down the middle & up into an Allemande
Right hands (automatic transition to Allemande)
>2) Lead down the middle & up to top place
Right hands as the default action. Otherwise it is don't care.
>3) Lead down for 3, up for 3, cross & cast off
Down & Up with right hands, change to left hands for the cross.
Changing hands is not a problem if you practice it a bit. Its a
lot better than the body squash both dancers experience with a
right-handed cross.
>4) Lead down for 3, up for 3, and cast off
Right hands as the default action. Otherwise it is don't care.
>5) Lead down for 4, up for 4, and finish nearer hands joined facing 2s
Don't care, nearer hands or right hands. Its very easy for the
lady to change hands from a right hand lead to nearer hands.

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

Which hand to use (was perfect dances)

Message 15264 · Ron.Mackey · 21 Dec 1998 00:51:16 · Top

> >> [Oberdan:] Did she really say that?
> >[Ron:] Oh, Yes and often too.
>
> > Remember that pre-war (if you understand that phrase?) Gentlemen <snip>
> > Hence the reluctance to use the left (sinister) hand for crossing.
>
> Thanks Ron for the reminder for how things were, not so very long ago.
>
> However, the left hand is not an idle appendage in SCD. We do left hand
> turns; we cross with left hands; we dance left hands across; in reels we
> pass left shoulders. So while the context of an old-fashioned form of male
> gallantry might explain how exclusive use of right hands for "lead"
> appeared, it does not justify its continued use.
>
> Oberdan.

Oh yes, I forgot to say, I'm left-handed ! :)

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

perfect dances

Message 15221 · Ron.Mackey · 17 Dec 1998 22:15:29 · Top

> From: "Priscilla M. Burrage" <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu>


>
> You surprise me. I distinctly remember her telling us to use right hands
> when we led down crossing from third place in some dances.
>
> I was rather surprised to hear teachers adamant on the 'no finishing in
> fourth place' approach in the '70s.
>
> Personally I feel that Oberdan's five step summary of when and how to
> finish the second round is just right.
>
>
> Priscilla M. Burrage
Agreed, a very good summary :)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

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