strathspey Archive: Another perspective on extra twiddles

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Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17785 · Alan Paterson · 28 Jun 1999 16:30:46 · Top

We have discussed the pros and cons of such things many times on this list, but I am going
to take the risk of boring you with it again, in order to underline why I think such
things should be discouraged.

I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at least 2 other
List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps not).

It is first important to state two important generalisations of the attendees at this
ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30, perhaps less. This
is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY variable. A fair
number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete beginners.

Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in wherever they
feel they should but...

Elke and I get on the floor for Gothenburg's Welcome. I really like this dance and I was
looking forward to doing it with my favourite partner. Uh-Uh - two pairs of trousers in
this set and the one in the kilt looks a bit wild (no, not me!). Still, one can but hope.
Off we go. A total disaster! We perhaps made it as far as the diagonal reels 3 times out
of eight. OK. We acknowledge one another and, with a sigh of relief, prepare to leave the
floor when the encore is announced. With great joy (for some!), our set starts off again.
However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle in the middle (in
my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure) and get even more lost.

Anyway, this wasn't what I started to write about.

A few dances later I got up for General Stuart's Reel. At last, a decent looking set. This
should be fun. We were 4th couple. 1st couple danced their twice through and a good time
was had by all. 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's this? The original
1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3 couple dance? Why are you
shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always move from 3rd to
4th place. Hmmm. All well and good. It does, of course work, BUT - since we were not aware
of this (local?) custom we were not prepared for it, and, by the time I had figured out
where I was, I had missed my cue to start dancing as 3rd man. Result: one grumpy Alan who
had the potential pleasure of dancing a great dance with a good set massively reduced.

OK. OK. My fault. I shouldn't be so fussy. But it did spoil it for me.

So. Conclusion? I don't know. Sometimes the extra embellishments work and sometime they
don't. My experience would say that they cause more distress than pleasure, but perhaps
I'm just a grumpy old dinosaur.

Alan

Alan Paterson
Berne, Switzerland

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17786 · Maghi King · 28 Jun 1999 17:37:36 · Top

At least you got to dance!

One of my worst dance memories ever is of a dance also in Germany (no,
I'm not going to say where) where the programme was pinned up on the
wall, people formed sets before the dance was announced, and it took me
a good hour to figure out what was going on. Even then, as an honoured
guest(!) I had been given a seat on the stage, which made it almost
impossible for me to get near anybody physically quickly enough to get
myself a partner whilst there were still some left. I think I danced two
dances all night - and they were full of unexpected twiddles.

Now don't let this start a thread: such bad behaviour is fortunately
very rare, and I'm sure it's not a general German habit, but Alan's
message brought the memory back to me so vividly that I couldn't help
having a moan.

Thanks for listening!

Maghi

Alan Paterson wrote:
>
> We have discussed the pros and cons of such things many times on this list, but I am going
> to take the risk of boring you with it again, in order to underline why I think such
> things should be discouraged.
>
> I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at least 2 other
> List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps not).
>
> It is first important to state two important generalisations of the attendees at this
> ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30, perhaps less. This
> is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY variable. A fair
> number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete beginners.
>
> Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in wherever they
> feel they should but...
>
> Elke and I get on the floor for Gothenburg's Welcome. I really like this dance and I was
> looking forward to doing it with my favourite partner. Uh-Uh - two pairs of trousers in
> this set and the one in the kilt looks a bit wild (no, not me!). Still, one can but hope.
> Off we go. A total disaster! We perhaps made it as far as the diagonal reels 3 times out
> of eight. OK. We acknowledge one another and, with a sigh of relief, prepare to leave the
> floor when the encore is announced. With great joy (for some!), our set starts off again.
> However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle in the middle (in
> my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure) and get even more lost.
>
> Anyway, this wasn't what I started to write about.
>
> A few dances later I got up for General Stuart's Reel. At last, a decent looking set. This
> should be fun. We were 4th couple. 1st couple danced their twice through and a good time
> was had by all. 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's this? The original
> 1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3 couple dance? Why are you
> shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always move from 3rd to
> 4th place. Hmmm. All well and good. It does, of course work, BUT - since we were not aware
> of this (local?) custom we were not prepared for it, and, by the time I had figured out
> where I was, I had missed my cue to start dancing as 3rd man. Result: one grumpy Alan who
> had the potential pleasure of dancing a great dance with a good set massively reduced.
>
> OK. OK. My fault. I shouldn't be so fussy. But it did spoil it for me.
>
> So. Conclusion? I don't know. Sometimes the extra embellishments work and sometime they
> don't. My experience would say that they cause more distress than pleasure, but perhaps
> I'm just a grumpy old dinosaur.
>
> Alan
>
> Alan Paterson
> Berne, Switzerland
>
> --
> Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>

--
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

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17787 · Dewdney Andrew · 28 Jun 1999 19:00:34 · Top

Alan Paterson wrote.
> I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at
> least 2 other
> List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps
> not).
>
well, as a list member who was at a Ball in Southern Germany last
Saturday that happened to include Gotherbergs and Gen Stu. I guess I was at
the same Ball?

I really enjoyed the enthusiasm, the keenness to dance and the
relative youth of the dancers compared to, lets say, "somewhere in Southern
England".
And I guess that's my main point!

But oh dear, I do 'twiddles': neither do I know every dance
perfectly..... however I also ask beginners to dance and derive great
pleasure from helping them.... although naturally I don't twiddle with them.

I really don't think that someone should be held responsible for
inducing twiddles in other sets!

'local customs' add excitement, well, experienced dancers from other
regions should be able to adapt!

Andrew Dewdney Erlangen DE

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17788 · RuddBaron · 28 Jun 1999 19:14:14 · Top

Perhaps it is my Baroque musical background, but I periodically add
embellishments. I do avoid certain ones when I know there are beginners in
the set that might get confused. I see no reason why a compotent dancer
should be thrown off because another dancer adds a twirl/twiddle in the
middle of a reel. Likewise, a twirl at the end of 6 or 8 hands round should
not bother anyone as well. If it is done in the middle, however, before the
last four bars, it can be surprising.

Other embellishments are highland steps. Again...no reason why those should
throw off anyone unless, as an example, you are leading down the middle and
back and you are doing the highland strathspey travel step but your partner
is not. That looks ridiculous and is awkward since the hops come at different
times. Besides...that is a solo step.

There's my opinion.

s/RBJ

In a message dated Mon, 28 Jun 1999 9:38:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Maghi
King <Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch> writes:

> At least you got to dance!
>
> One of my worst dance memories ever is of a dance also in Germany (no,
> I'm not going to say where) where the programme was pinned up on the
> wall, people formed sets before the dance was announced, and it took me
> a good hour to figure out what was going on. Even then, as an honoured
> guest(!) I had been given a seat on the stage, which made it almost
> impossible for me to get near anybody physically quickly enough to get
> myself a partner whilst there were still some left. I think I danced two
> dances all night - and they were full of unexpected twiddles.
>
> Now don't let this start a thread: such bad behaviour is fortunately
> very rare, and I'm sure it's not a general German habit, but Alan's
> message brought the memory back to me so vividly that I couldn't help
> having a moan.
>
> Thanks for listening!
>
> Maghi
>
>
>
> Alan Paterson wrote:
> >
> > We have discussed the pros and cons of such things many times on this
list, but I am going
> > to take the risk of boring you with it again, in order to underline why I
think such
> > things should be discouraged.
> >
> > I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at
least 2 other
> > List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps
not).
> >
> > It is first important to state two important generalisations of the
attendees at this
> > ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30,
perhaps less. This
> > is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY
variable. A fair
> > number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete
beginners.
> >
> > Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in
wherever they
> > feel they should but...
> >
> > Elke and I get on the floor for Gothenburg's Welcome. I really like this
dance and I was
> > looking forward to doing it with my favourite partner. Uh-Uh - two pairs
of trousers in
> > this set and the one in the kilt looks a bit wild (no, not me!). Still,
one can but hope.
> > Off we go. A total disaster! We perhaps made it as far as the diagonal
reels 3 times out
> > of eight. OK. We acknowledge one another and, with a sigh of relief,
prepare to leave the
> > floor when the encore is announced. With great joy (for some!), our set
starts off again.
> > However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle
in the middle (in
> > my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure) and get even more
lost.
> >
> > Anyway, this wasn't what I started to write about.
> >
> > A few dances later I got up for General Stuart's Reel. At last, a decent
looking set. This
> > should be fun. We were 4th couple. 1st couple danced their twice through
and a good time
> > was had by all. 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's
this? The original
> > 1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3 couple dance?
Why are you
> > shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always
move from 3rd to
> > 4th place. Hmmm. All well and good. It does, of course work, BUT - since
we were not aware
> > of this (local?) custom we were not prepared for it, and, by the time I
had figured out
> > where I was, I had missed my cue to start dancing as 3rd man. Result: one
grumpy Alan who
> > had the potential pleasure of dancing a great dance with a good set
massively reduced.
> >
> > OK. OK. My fault. I shouldn't be so fussy. But it did spoil it for me.
> >
> > So. Conclusion? I don't know. Sometimes the extra embellishments work and
sometime they
> > don't. My experience would say that they cause more distress than
pleasure, but perhaps
> > I'm just a grumpy old dinosaur.
> >
> > Alan
> >
> > Alan Paterson
> > Berne, Switzerland
> >
> > --
> > Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
>
> --
> 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
>
> <tr><td><pre>
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> <br>Subject: Re: Another perspective on extra twiddles
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Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17789 · Anselm Lingnau · 28 Jun 1999 19:27:31 · Top

RuddBaron@aol.com writes:

> I see no reason why a compotent dancer
> should be thrown off because another dancer adds a twirl/twiddle in the
> middle of a reel.

IMHO there is nothing wrong with embellishments (within reason). The
difficulties arise when people who can't do the plain vanilla version of
a figure, for example, `Dance to each corner and set', feel compelled
(for whatever reason) to try out the embellished version.

I was at the same ball as Alan and Andrew last Saturday, and while I
agree with Andrew that considerable fun was had by most of the dancers
(beginners and experienced dancers alike), I must say that Alan has a
point about the embellishments. I was in the fortunate position of not
having any dances spoiled by overembellishing (other than the fair share
of mist^H^H^H^Hunintentional embellishments that we are all permitted)
but I have heard from others in the hall that various people really went
over the top at times, with mixed results. (I doubt that this is a local
phenomenon.)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
We are lucky we don't have as much government as we pay for! -- Will Rodgers

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17791 · RuddBaron · 28 Jun 1999 20:35:39 · Top

> IMHO there is nothing wrong with embellishments (within reason). The
> difficulties arise when people who can't do the plain vanilla version of
> a figure, for example, `Dance to each corner and set', feel compelled
> (for whatever reason) to try out the embellished version.
>
--- Yes, I agree with you on this. If people try the embellishments and
disrupt the flow of the dance, that would be annoying. I have had that happen
on a rare occasion.

Part of being a compotent dancer, I think, is knowing when to try new
embellishments. There are some I (and others) have picked up in the middle of
a dance, and others that required work.

s/RBJ

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17790 · Miriam L. Mueller · 28 Jun 1999 20:32:40 · Top

A very fine dancer in our class set a standard for "twiddles" that I
follow to this day - he used them only when it would confuse no-one. I
personally use the following standard:
The first time through do it by the book if there is ANY question that
someone in the set may be inexperienced or unfamiliar with the dance.
Then you can play with it IF it will not interrupt the flow or
positioning for anyone else, and you know it won't throw your partner. I
don't consider this a rule - I think of it as good manners.
Miriam
(San Francisco)

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17792 · Frans Ligtmans · 28 Jun 1999 21:54:47 · Top

To Alan,
I want to tell you, that I totally agree with your disapproval of the extra
twiddles and other so called "embellishments". It will be very difficult
though, to convince "dancers", that you can also have lots of fun without
changing the Duke of Perth into the 100 m hurdles. For lots of twirling and
twiddling there is the figure skating.
What really alarms me is the idea, that experienced dancers from elsewhere
should be able to adapt to local German customs. This is the world upside
down: experienced German dancers should be able to adapt to the Scottish way
of doing Scottish dances.
Go on dancing and have lots of fun, Frans Ligtmans.
-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
Aan: Strathspey <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Datum: Monday, June 28, 1999 2:27 PM
Onderwerp: Another perspective on extra twiddles

>We have discussed the pros and cons of such things many times on this list,
but I am going
>to take the risk of boring you with it again, in order to underline why I
think such
>things should be discouraged.
>
>I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at
least 2 other
>List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps
not).
>
>It is first important to state two important generalisations of the
attendees at this
>ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30,
perhaps less. This
>is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY
variable. A fair
>number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete
beginners.
>
>Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in
wherever they
>feel they should but...
>
>Elke and I get on the floor for Gothenburg's Welcome. I really like this
dance and I was
>looking forward to doing it with my favourite partner. Uh-Uh - two pairs of
trousers in
>this set and the one in the kilt looks a bit wild (no, not me!). Still, one
can but hope.
>Off we go. A total disaster! We perhaps made it as far as the diagonal
reels 3 times out
>of eight. OK. We acknowledge one another and, with a sigh of relief,
prepare to leave the
>floor when the encore is announced. With great joy (for some!), our set
starts off again.
>However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle in
the middle (in
>my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure) and get even more
lost.
>
>Anyway, this wasn't what I started to write about.
>
>A few dances later I got up for General Stuart's Reel. At last, a decent
looking set. This
>should be fun. We were 4th couple. 1st couple danced their twice through
and a good time
>was had by all. 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's this?
The original
>1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3 couple dance? Why
are you
>shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always move
from 3rd to
>4th place. Hmmm. All well and good. It does, of course work, BUT - since we
were not aware
>of this (local?) custom we were not prepared for it, and, by the time I had
figured out
>where I was, I had missed my cue to start dancing as 3rd man. Result: one
grumpy Alan who
>had the potential pleasure of dancing a great dance with a good set
massively reduced.
>
>OK. OK. My fault. I shouldn't be so fussy. But it did spoil it for me.
>
>So. Conclusion? I don't know. Sometimes the extra embellishments work and
sometime they
>don't. My experience would say that they cause more distress than pleasure,
but perhaps
>I'm just a grumpy old dinosaur.
>
>Alan
>
>Alan Paterson
>Berne, Switzerland
>
>
>--
>Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
>

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17794 · RuddBaron · 28 Jun 1999 23:26:32 · Top

And you can play Bach's fugues without embellishments as well, and probably
have just as much fun, but it really is quite plain.

s/RBJ

In a message dated Mon, 28 Jun 1999 1:57:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "Frans
Ligtmans" <Frans.Ligtmans@hetnet.nl> writes:

> To Alan,
> I want to tell you, that I totally agree with your disapproval of the extra
> twiddles and other so called "embellishments". It will be very difficult
> though, to convince "dancers", that you can also have lots of fun without
> changing the Duke of Perth into the 100 m hurdles. For lots of twirling and
> twiddling there is the figure skating.
> What really alarms me is the idea, that experienced dancers from elsewhere
> should be able to adapt to local German customs. This is the world upside
> down: experienced German dancers should be able to adapt to the Scottish way
> of doing Scottish dances.
> Go on dancing and have lots of fun, Frans Ligtmans.
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
> Aan: Strathspey <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
> Datum: Monday, June 28, 1999 2:27 PM
> Onderwerp: Another perspective on extra twiddles
>
>
> >We have discussed the pros and cons of such things many times on this list,
> but I am going
> >to take the risk of boring you with it again, in order to underline why I
> think such
> >things should be discouraged.
> >
> >I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at
> least 2 other
> >List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps
> not).
> >
> >It is first important to state two important generalisations of the
> attendees at this
> >ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30,
> perhaps less. This
> >is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY
> variable. A fair
> >number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete
> beginners.
> >
> >Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in
> wherever they
> >feel they should but...
> >
> >Elke and I get on the floor for Gothenburg's Welcome. I really like this
> dance and I was
> >looking forward to doing it with my favourite partner. Uh-Uh - two pairs of
> trousers in
> >this set and the one in the kilt looks a bit wild (no, not me!). Still, one
> can but hope.
> >Off we go. A total disaster! We perhaps made it as far as the diagonal
> reels 3 times out
> >of eight. OK. We acknowledge one another and, with a sigh of relief,
> prepare to leave the
> >floor when the encore is announced. With great joy (for some!), our set
> starts off again.
> >However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle in
> the middle (in
> >my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure) and get even more
> lost.
> >
> >Anyway, this wasn't what I started to write about.
> >
> >A few dances later I got up for General Stuart's Reel. At last, a decent
> looking set. This
> >should be fun. We were 4th couple. 1st couple danced their twice through
> and a good time
> >was had by all. 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's this?
> The original
> >1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3 couple dance? Why
> are you
> >shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always move
> from 3rd to
> >4th place. Hmmm. All well and good. It does, of course work, BUT - since we
> were not aware
> >of this (local?) custom we were not prepared for it, and, by the time I had
> figured out
> >where I was, I had missed my cue to start dancing as 3rd man. Result: one
> grumpy Alan who
> >had the potential pleasure of dancing a great dance with a good set
> massively reduced.
> >
> >OK. OK. My fault. I shouldn't be so fussy. But it did spoil it for me.
> >
> >So. Conclusion? I don't know. Sometimes the extra embellishments work and
> sometime they
> >don't. My experience would say that they cause more distress than pleasure,
> but perhaps
> >I'm just a grumpy old dinosaur.
> >
> >Alan
> >
> >Alan Paterson
> >Berne, Switzerland
> >
> >
> >--
> >Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
> >
>
>
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Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17795 · Richard L. Walker · 29 Jun 1999 00:25:44 · Top

Wasn't the initial topic about not knowing the dances AND tossing in a few
embellishments? Seems like we pretty much know who does and does not
embellish -- but to embellish while not even knowing the dance is really
difficult to justify -- not that some might not try.

I do like the idea of doing the dance once correctly (to give those not
knowing it a glimpse of how it should be done) prior to embellishing. Of
course this will bring out the "they should have learned it in class" crowd
from dance populated areas not realizing, nor caring, that some areas try to
get along without many resources -- including teachers with certificates.

Richard L Walker
Pensacola, FL 32504-7726 USA
rlwalker@granis.net

embellishments (was Another perspective on extra twiddles)

Message 17812 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 29 Jun 1999 18:34:02 · Top

>I do like the idea of doing the dance once correctly (to give those not
>knowing it a glimpse of how it should be done) prior to embellishing.

I like the idea of doing a dance 8 times correctly. In fact, doing a dance
correctly (and well) even once can be quite a challenge, even for very
basic dances.

The more I try to make the dance fun for my partner and my set members, the
less inclined I am to embellishment. If I use embellishments at all, I
usually save them for an encore (not including unintended embellishments),
after I am satisfied that I have fully derived the enjoyment of doing the
dance well.

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

embellishments (was Another perspective on extra twiddles)

Message 17824 · ron.mackey · 30 Jun 1999 03:04:24 · Top

> >I do like the idea of doing the dance once correctly (to give those not
> >knowing it a glimpse of how it should be done) prior to embellishing.
>
> I like the idea of doing a dance 8 times correctly. In fact, doing a dance
> correctly (and well) even once can be quite a challenge, even for very
> basic dances.
>
> The more I try to make the dance fun for my partner and my set members, the
> less inclined I am to embellishment. If I use embellishments at all, I
> usually save them for an encore (not including unintended embellishments),
> after I am satisfied that I have fully derived the enjoyment of doing the
> dance well.
>
> Cheers, Oberdan.

Well said Oberdan. It is always nice to hear someone else say
things better than you can yourself ! :)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17802 · Anselm Lingnau · 29 Jun 1999 10:42:45 · Top

Frans Ligtmans <Frans.Ligtmans@hetnet.nl> writes:

> This is the world upside down: experienced German dancers should be able
> to adapt to the Scottish way of doing Scottish dances.

Be careful what you say, Frans -- some of the Scots I had the good
fortune to dance with were among the wildest twiddlers that I have ever
seen. (And they were about your age, too.)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as
bad as they say when you lose. -- Lou Holtz

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17797 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 29 Jun 1999 04:48:56 · Top

On Mon, 28 Jun 1999, Miriam L. Mueller wrote:

> A very fine dancer in our class set a standard for "twiddles" that I
> follow to this day - he used them only when it would confuse no-one. I
> personally use the following standard:

> The first time through do it by the book if there is ANY question that
> someone in the set may be inexperienced or unfamiliar with the dance.
> Then you can play with it IF it will not interrupt the flow or
> positioning for anyone else, and you know it won't throw your partner. I
> don't consider this a rule - I think of it as good manners.
> Miriam
> (San Francisco)

Beautifully said! Social dancing is, after all, consideration for others.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17799 · Andrew Peterkin · 29 Jun 1999 06:28:52 · Top

ron.mackey@post.btinternet.com wrote:

> Why should anyone have to adapt when someone deliberately makes a
> mess of a dance? Dance instructions are published so that all can
> learn the dance and to do it any other way is an imposition. You are
> forcing others to do the dance the way YOU want it. The thing which
> makes SCD different is that we are taught to dance 'with' others.
>

One of the precepts I have been taught about SCD is that, deliberate or not,
things happen in a dance to mess it up sometimes. Recovery is everything! I
cannot see dancing as a rigid form, taught for it's perfection, so that the fun
of the dance is only in that perfection of form. I come prepared to dance and
adapt to the social aspects presented and to enjoy the diversity of the dancers
I meet. If this were the perfect world some would like, then many of the
dancers who cannot, through no fault of their own, perform the foot movements
or patterns to some high ideal would spend most of the dances sitting on the
sidelines.

As an aside to this note, I do agree that bad examples do happen in SCD, as I
believe they do everywhere. I believe teachers need to address the possibility
of these problems occurring at our dances. Given forewarning of such events,
and the fact that they will happen, like it or not, most of these things can
be overlooked and the particular dance in question be enjoyed anyway.

Andrew :-)

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17803 · Stefan Barthel · 29 Jun 1999 12:04:08 · Top

>From: Alan Paterson <alanp@paranor.ch>
>I attended a ball in Southern Germany last Saturday evening (I know of at
>least 2 other
>List-Members who were present. Perhaps they will agree with me, perhaps
>not).

Not in all points.

>It is first important to state two important generalisations of the
>attendees at this
>ball: Firstly the average age was pretty low - I would think about 30,
>perhaps less. This
>is fairly common in Germany. Secondly, the technical standard was VERY
>variable. A fair
>number of excellent dancers and a goodly number of apparently complete
>beginners.
>
>Now, I really truly believe that beginners deserve to be able to join in
>wherever they
>feel they should but...

Well, this is especially a ball where new dancers (not really total
beginners) are welcome. And I think this is known at least to most
attendees, so you know you have to exspect that there are less experienced
dancers in your set. If you don't wan't that, choose another ball, there are
many over the year. I like the mixture of experience as well as I like a
good set. On the other hand: If one is a beginner, he/she should maybe
attend the dayschool, but dance only the easy dances of the evening
programme and watch the rest. But that is not so easy, if you are asked by
someone who says he'll get you through...

>Gothenburg's Welcome:
Well, this is not a beginners dance. So maybe one to sit out if you are not
sure about it. But he 'Dance to each corner and set' has been practiced in
the dayschool before.

...However, this time, having watched some other sets, they try to twiddle
in the middle (in my opinion, a complete violation of a wonderful figure)

I think the same. A twiddle in a reel of four might be fun sometimes (if
done well and not at every possible time, it's getting boring then), but in
the 'Dance to each corner and set' its much more fun to pass very close
shoulder to shoulder and eye to eye...

General Stuarts Reel: 2nd couple start off (set, cast, set...) but - what's
this? The original 1st couple do the same!!! Hey! don't you know this is a 3
couple dance? Why are you
>shoving me about here? Oh, the answer comes, this is the way we always move
>from 3rd to 4th place.

Maybe in that group. This is a thing I saw at another ball as well, and even
worse - where the local group told us they would like us to do a different
ending (like the one you desribed) to get the former dancing couple to the
bottom. I wasn't happy with it and after giving it a try I strongly refused
to do it. Keep the end easy and the focus on the new dancing couple! But I
didn't see it at this ball last weekend.

My Conclusion: I had fun, and it was a nice ball for me. No problems with
the breaking down of sets, confusing extra movements, and so on as you had.
But maybe I just had better luck? The others of our group were happy as
well.

------------------------------
Stefan Barthel <bast@net24.de>

______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17810 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 29 Jun 1999 16:54:18 · Top

On Mon, 28 Jun 1999, Andrew Peterkin wrote:

> I come prepared to dance and adapt to the social aspects presented and
> to enjoy the diversity of the dancers I meet.

Good point!

The question each of us should ask ourselves is "Do I adapt to others as
much as I am asking them to adapt to me?"

What about beginners you ask -- As a beginner, the other dancers are doing
the adapting, but when that beginner learns, does he or she continue to
demand the adapting from others or does this beginner learn how to make
the dancing more enjoyable for others?

Thoughtfulness and consideration can not be taught, but the lack of these
traits certainly can be observed by others.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17796 · ron.mackey · 29 Jun 1999 00:56:56 · Top

> I really don't think that someone should be held responsible for
> inducing twiddles in other sets!
Why should you not be held responsible? It is a regular occurrence
for those not sure of a dance to watch other sets for guidance. Most
bad habits are copied from others.

> 'local customs' add excitement, well, experienced dancers from other
> regions should be able to adapt!

Why should anyone have to adapt when someone deliberately makes a
mess of a dance? Dance instructions are published so that all can
learn the dance and to do it any other way is an imposition. You are
forcing others to do the dance the way YOU want it. The thing which
makes SCD different is that we are taught to dance 'with' others.

If there is any spare energy around try a couple of Foursomes and an
Eightsome on the programme where there is room for over-exuberance.
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17807 · Bryan McAlister · 29 Jun 1999 16:18:09 · Top

In article <E10yiSO-0004I0-00@carbon.btinternet.com>,
ron.mackey@post.btinternet.com writes
>
>> I really don't think that someone should be held responsible for
>> inducing twiddles in other sets!

IMHO something is getting missed here - twiddles are fun, provided you
dont screw up the dance. They should therefore be done in their proper
context i.e. not a beginner's set, and should be executed within a
figure in such a way that doesn't obscure the start and finish of the
adjoining figures for others.

If a teacher has an appropriate responsibility it is not to teach
moronic adherence to a robotic routine but to ensure that everyone has
some sort of etiquette for twiddles so they and others can enjoy them
without screwing up, or confusing anybody. Most twiddles are not hard
after all, they are as repetitive as the ordinary figures, e.g. like
turning during a reel of 4, and dancers get used to them after a while.
Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
Mobile phone 07801 793849

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17809 · Dewdney Andrew · 29 Jun 1999 16:52:43 · Top

well, that was my point, I said I don't in a beginner set, I was questioning
whether my twiddling in the presence of a beginner, SOMEWHERE in the hall,
was a "crime"!
I find that criterion somewhat restrictive!
As an experienced display dancer, I know about split second timing, the
options on how to start and finish p-de-bs etc, let alone just covering etc.
But sometimes, when I'm not on display, I like to try a small amount of free
expression, compatible with the danceform. True free dance is not within my
personality, but a little exuberance is permissible, surely?
Andrew Dewdney

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bryan McAlister [SMTP:Bryan@bryanmac.demon.co.uk]
> Sent: 29 June 1999 14:18
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Another perspective on extra twiddles
>
> In article <E10yiSO-0004I0-00@carbon.btinternet.com>,
> ron.mackey@post.btinternet.com writes
> >
> >> I really don't think that someone should be held responsible for
> >> inducing twiddles in other sets!
>
> IMHO something is getting missed here - twiddles are fun, provided you
> dont screw up the dance. They should therefore be done in their proper
> context i.e. not a beginner's set, and should be executed within a
> figure in such a way that doesn't obscure the start and finish of the
> adjoining figures for others.
>
> If a teacher has an appropriate responsibility it is not to teach
> moronic adherence to a robotic routine but to ensure that everyone has
> some sort of etiquette for twiddles so they and others can enjoy them
> without screwing up, or confusing anybody. Most twiddles are not hard
> after all, they are as repetitive as the ordinary figures, e.g. like
> turning during a reel of 4, and dancers get used to them after a while.
> Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
> Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
> Mobile phone 07801 793849
>
> --
> Bryan McAlister <Bryan@bryanmac.demon.co.uk>

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17823 · ron.mackey · 30 Jun 1999 03:04:23 · Top

>
> If a teacher has an appropriate responsibility it is not to teach
> moronic adherence to a robotic routine but to ensure that everyone has
> some sort of etiquette for twiddles so they and others can enjoy them
> without screwing up, or confusing anybody.

Do I take the implication that to do a dance correctly one is
indulging in moronic behaviour ?
If a dance is not exciting enough, don't dance it; just wait for one
that is. If you do not find one perhaps bungy jumping will provide
the kick you seek ? :)

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17833 · Pia · 30 Jun 1999 11:40:27 · Top

Hi Ron and others

At a class yesterday someone uttered this wonderful sentence which I felt
should be shared with fellow dancers:

"SCD is an art - not a science"

have a nice summer

Pia

----------
> From: ron.mackey@post.btinternet.com
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Another perspective on extra twiddles
> Date: 30 June 1999 01:03
>
>
> >
> > If a teacher has an appropriate responsibility it is not to teach
> > moronic adherence to a robotic routine but to ensure that everyone has
> > some sort of etiquette for twiddles so they and others can enjoy them
> > without screwing up, or confusing anybody.
>
> Do I take the implication that to do a dance correctly one is
> indulging in moronic behaviour ?
> If a dance is not exciting enough, don't dance it; just wait for one
> that is. If you do not find one perhaps bungy jumping will provide
> the kick you seek ? :)
>
> Cheers, Ron :)
>
> < 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
> 'O> Mottingham,
> /#\ London. UK.
> l>
> Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com
>

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17855 · ron.mackey · 1 Jul 1999 02:22:28 · Top

> Hi Ron and others
>
> At a class yesterday someone uttered this wonderful sentence which I felt
> should be shared with fellow dancers:
>
> "SCD is an art - not a science"

I like the definition and it is the basis of my attitude. Many
seem to want to turn it into a sport. Even a contact sport !

> have a nice summer
>
> Pia

Also to you. If any parties are in the offing we'll try to make
contact.

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Another perspective on extra twiddles

Message 17857 · Valerie L. Hill · 1 Jul 1999 08:16:20 · Top

"SCD is an art - not a science"

I find the distinctions made between art & science are mostly artificial,
if not mythical. Speaking as a medical scientist with some training in
music, it seems to me that no artist is a stranger to the method and
discipline necessary to practice his art, and good science is a
profoundly creative and imaginative activity. Personally, I think SCD is
both a science and an art, like any human activity worth doing.

Sorry, but that pushed one of my buttons.

Valerie L. Hill
Frederick, MD
___________________________________________________________________
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Twiddles

Message 17877 · Ian McHaffie · 3 Jul 1999 04:55:49 · Top

There are clearly some twiddlers out there - and perhaps more still who
might admit to having enjoyed the occasional twiddle in an actual set -
especially when it worked.

Three suggestions:

1. Maybe the non-twiddlers need to have a better idea of precisely what
twiddles other people are doing (well!) & enjoying.

2. Perhaps experienced twiddlers wcould describe their favourites -
preferably in terms that are precise enough for someone to replicate from
the written description. (The twiddle in the middle of the Mairi's Wedding
reels seem like a good place to start - I have seen them but have not been
able to replicate them reliably!)

3. Once several of these are gathered, perhaps some creative soul could
suggest ways to string them together (as I think was already suggested)
into a dance that preserves enough of the tradition to make it recognisably
SCD and yet is different enough to be distinctive.

Ian McHaffie
ianmch@inforamp.net

Twiddles

Message 17893 · Dewdney Andrew · 5 Jul 1999 13:20:49 · Top

Twiddle training used to be part of the initiation of dancers into the
advanced group during my University days. It was considered vital and also
increased the enjoyment levels reached by the trainee at social dances. We
have also practiced the twiddle-clap-clap manouvre in reels of 4 here, in
guess where? Germany!
As an experienced dem dancer, I like doing it properly, but not everyone
wants/can do it. Dancing is a social event for social pleasure, dancing is
an expression of life and one of the high points of many societies. In
modern jargon, it has a high 'feel-good' factor and rigidly sticking to
rules for such a pastime is largely against the essence of the art form.
There SHOULD always be well trained dancers for all forms to maintain the
highest standards, but I think we shouldn't lose sight of the origins of
dance: social interaction!

Twiddle training lowers the chaos at a dance, maybe people should wear a
badge to show their twiddlability?

Andrew Dewdney

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian McHaffie [SMTP:ianmch@inforamp.net]
> Sent: 03 July 1999 02:56
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Twiddles
>
> There are clearly some twiddlers out there - and perhaps more still who
> might admit to having enjoyed the occasional twiddle in an actual set -
> especially when it worked.
>
> Three suggestions:
>
> 1. Maybe the non-twiddlers need to have a better idea of precisely what
> twiddles other people are doing (well!) & enjoying.
>
> 2. Perhaps experienced twiddlers wcould describe their favourites -
> preferably in terms that are precise enough for someone to replicate from
> the written description. (The twiddle in the middle of the Mairi's Wedding
> reels seem like a good place to start - I have seen them but have not been
> able to replicate them reliably!)
>
> 3. Once several of these are gathered, perhaps some creative soul could
> suggest ways to string them together (as I think was already suggested)
> into a dance that preserves enough of the tradition to make it
> recognisably
> SCD and yet is different enough to be distinctive.
>
>
>
> Ian McHaffie
> ianmch@inforamp.net
>
>

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