strathspey Archive: John McAlpin- a question

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John McAlpin- a question

Message 21034 · Loretta Holz · 14 Apr 2000 18:45:58 · Top

We did John McAlpin last evening and had a question about the first few bars.
It starts with advance and retire, torching right hands. (no problem)

Then the directions say--Cross by the left hand (bars 3,4). I always go all the
way across to my partner's place and them come from there to lead down.
My friend was taught a different way-- She crosses by the left hand dancing
slightly above first position and remaining in the center. Facing down change
hands to RH in RH, ready to lead down to second position.

Key issue--She does NOT go out to the other side to her partners place but stays
in the center. I believe you should cross over to your partner's place.
Does anyone have an opinion?

Loretta Holz loretta@varisys.com

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21035 · Jack Pollock · 14 Apr 2000 19:03:32 · Top

I prefer crossing all the way over on 3-4, then dancing in a bit on 5 and
leading down the middle on 6. Much easier to phrase.

The problem with staying in the middle is that first couple tends to lead
too far down on 5-6 and wind up between third couple instead of in second
place.

Jack Pollock
Waynesville, North Carolina, USA
-----Original Message-----
From: Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: Friday, April 14, 2000 10:47 AM
Subject: John McAlpin- a question

>We did John McAlpin last evening and had a question about the first few
bars.
>It starts with advance and retire, torching right hands. (no problem)
>
>Then the directions say--Cross by the left hand (bars 3,4). I always go
all the
>way across to my partner's place and them come from there to lead down.
>My friend was taught a different way-- She crosses by the left hand dancing
>slightly above first position and remaining in the center. Facing down
change
>hands to RH in RH, ready to lead down to second position.
>
>Key issue--She does NOT go out to the other side to her partners place but
stays
>in the center. I believe you should cross over to your partner's place.
>Does anyone have an opinion?
>
>Loretta Holz loretta@varisys.com
>
>
>
>
>

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21036 · Anselm Lingnau · 14 Apr 2000 19:04:50 · Top

Loretta Holz <loretta@varisys.com> writes:

> Key issue--She does NOT go out to the other side to her partners place but
> stays in the center. I believe you should cross over to your partner's
> place. Does anyone have an opinion?

This dance is one of the local favourites that no one has ever seen the
original instructions of.

We usually do cross over to the other side, but some time ago I was at a
workshop with a much-respected teacher from the UK who taught us to stay
in the middle after the crossing (or half turn). Actually, what she told
us was indeed to move up a bit during the `crossing' in order to have
more room for the leading down into 2nd place. I must admit I quite like
this (at 6'5" I often find it difficult to `stretch my legs', anyway),
but I don't know what the book says (if anything) or what Hugh Foss
intended (if anything).

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said,
`Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough.
Let's go west.' -- Richard Jeni

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21037 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 14 Apr 2000 19:54:33 · Top

Greetings, Loretta.

> Then the directions say--Cross by the left hand (bars 3,4).
> Does anyone have an opinion?
>

I have just looked up the Galloway Album which says

bars 3 - 4: Then giving left hands, cross over and turn left about

bars 5 - 6: 1st couple, taking right hands, lead down to 2nd place,
centre of the dance (2nd couple move up), and

bars 7 - 8: Turn by the left hand ...

I have always been taught to dance a half turn giving left hands moving
up as Anselm said. I was first taught it about 30 years ago.

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

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21038 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 14 Apr 2000 20:13:17 · Top

On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) wrote:

> I have just looked up the Galloway Album which says
>
> bars 3 - 4: Then giving left hands, cross over and turn left about
>

Does this really mean that both the man and the woman turn left about? It
makes sense for the man, because crossing over by the left would leave him
facing up and he needs to turn to lead down. For the woman, however,
crossing by the left naturally finishes with her facing down, more or less
ready to lead down the set.

--Lara

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Thwart not the librarian!"
ldfs@bigfoot.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21040 · Oberdan Otto · 14 Apr 2000 22:14:53 · Top

> > I have just looked up the Galloway Album which says
> >
> > bars 3 - 4: Then giving left hands, cross over and turn left about
> >
>
>Does this really mean that both the man and the woman turn left about? It
>makes sense for the man, because crossing over by the left would leave him
>facing up and he needs to turn to lead down. For the woman, however,
>crossing by the left naturally finishes with her facing down, more or less
>ready to lead down the set.

No need to get all tangle up in this. The terminology by today's
standards is a bit stilted, but basically it means "cross over giving
left hands, ending facing partner". It is possible to cross over and
end facing out of the set, to be ready to cast for example. I think
the "turn left about" was meant to be a clarification to have the
couple end up facing each other using a natural movement rather than
facing away from each other or ending facing each other using an
unnatural "turn right about" (pulling the right shoulder back). By
today's terminology "giving left hands, cross over" is sufficient--it
doesn't need the "and turn left about" clarification. In this case
the clarification has confused things.

Of course, one can always wonder about the original intent of the
deviser. However, once the deviser has put words on paper, I normally
take those words at face value. To me "cross over" means "cross over"
(to the other side). It does not mean "turn half", or "cast off" or
any of the other dozens of movements we know in SCD.

If you do a "turn half" you have to fix the problem you have created
(by not crossing over) by drifting up so you can do a reasonable lead
down. While this works, I consider it both peculiar and unnecessary.
I prefer the following method because it does not require any tiny
mincing steps and does not introduce the odd "drifting up the set
before leading down":

1-2 Advance touching right hands and Retire.

3-4 Cross over to opposite sides giving left hand (end facing partner).

5-6 Lead down as follows: Instead of the usual diagonal entry,
advance directly toward partner to give right hands, then lead down
one place and turn inward to face partner, releasing the right hands
(2nd couple steps up).

7-8 Turn partner left hand to face first corners.

I like this method because: (1) it is consistent with the dance
description, and (2) I can use a strong urging Strathspey step on
every bar.

Sometimes there is virtue in keeping things simple.

Cheers, Oberdan.

184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611 USA
Voice: (805) 389-0063, FAX: (805) 484-2775, email: ootto@ootto.com

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21043 · Kent Smith · 14 Apr 2000 22:34:32 · Top

Oberdan's approach is what I'm used to doing and seeing done in the Easter
US, although I don't think there is a specific effort to reach the other
side and dancers probably are usually slightly in from the sides. However,
the intent is the same, to have enough distance between the first woman and
man so that they can dance forward toward each other and then down, as
Oberdan explains.

Kent Smith, Connecticut

-----Original Message-----
From: Oberdan Otto [mailto:ootto@ootto.com]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 2:17 PM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Subject: Re: John McAlpin- a question

[snip]

5-6 Lead down as follows: Instead of the usual diagonal entry,
advance directly toward partner to give right hands, then lead down
one place and turn inward to face partner, releasing the right hands
(2nd couple steps up).

7-8 Turn partner left hand to face first corners.

I like this method because: (1) it is consistent with the dance
description, and (2) I can use a strong urging Strathspey step on
every bar.

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21046 · Shengzhang Tang · 15 Apr 2000 01:17:10 · Top

On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Smith, Kent wrote:
> Oberdan's approach is what I'm used to doing and seeing done in the Easter
> US, although I don't think there is a specific effort to reach the other
> side and dancers probably are usually slightly in from the sides. However,
> the intent is the same, to have enough distance between the first woman and
> man so that they can dance forward toward each other and then down, as
> Oberdan explains.
Kent and others,
What Oberdan explained is exactly how I learned and is how exactly I
prefer to dance it strongly. I felt it makes more sense in geometry (if one
assumes the set width is about twice of the distance between 1st and 2nd
couples), but I am not going to get into that. My experience in observing
others, however, quite different from Kent's in that I have seen more
people dance it as Oberdan explain in California (giving that is limited
exposure) and quite a few people, particularly the long time dancers, in
both South-East and East Coast dance half turn and remain in the top
center of the set. I have always been wondering what is the devisor's
original intention, even though I felt pretty sure he meant to cross:)
Does anyone on the list knew or heard anything coming from the devisor?
Shengzhang Tang
Pittsfield, MA, USA

> From: Oberdan Otto [mailto:ootto@ootto.com]
> Sent: Friday, April 14, 2000 2:17 PM
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: John McAlpin- a question
>
> [snip]
>
> 5-6 Lead down as follows: Instead of the usual diagonal entry,
> advance directly toward partner to give right hands, then lead down
> one place and turn inward to face partner, releasing the right hands
> (2nd couple steps up).
>
> 7-8 Turn partner left hand to face first corners.
>
> I like this method because: (1) it is consistent with the dance
> description, and (2) I can use a strong urging Strathspey step on
> every bar.
>

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21047 · ron.mackey · 15 Apr 2000 02:42:53 · Top

) and quite a few people, particularly the long time dancers, in
> both South-East and East Coast dance half turn and remain in the top
> center of the set. I have always been wondering what is the devisor's
> original intention, even though I felt pretty sure he meant to cross:)
> Does anyone on the list knew or heard anything coming from the devisor?
> Shengzhang Tang
> Pittsfield, MA, USA


As Hugh Foss was one of the first to encourage people to devise
their own dances and try things upside down and inside out I'm sure
that he would be quite happy with any modern developement, whether it
was what he envisaged or not. He would, surely, have moved with (or
ahead of) the times.
Cheers, Ron :)

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

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21052 · SMiskoe · 16 Apr 2000 23:30:45 · Top

>From a social point of view, John McAlpin is a real turn-on, you are dancing,
flirting with one person most of the time. Why go to the other side when you
are touching hands and about to move down together?
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21053 · Keith Eric Grant · 17 Apr 2000 00:11:57 · Top

SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
>
> From a social point of view, John McAlpin is a real turn-on, you are
> dancing, flirting with one person most of the time. Why go to the other
> side when you are touching hands and about to move down together?
> Cheers,
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>

The only reason I can think of is to occasionally do this to add a bit of
Latin styling and more drama to the dance -- I'm just going to touch and
cruise by totally unaffected by you and ... the hell I am (pivoting
quickly).

...Keith

--

+--------------------------------------+-----------------------------------+
I Keith Eric Grant I We must remember that everything I
I <keg@ramblemuse.com> I is ordinary and extraordinary. It I
I http://www.ramblemuse.com/ I is our minds that either open or I
I--------------------------------------I close. Details are not good or I
I Over the hills, but not too far away I bad. They are details. -- Natalie I
I from the San Francisco East Bay I Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones I
+--------------------------------------+-----------------------------------+

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21061 · Oberdan Otto · 18 Apr 2000 09:55:20 · Top

>SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > From a social point of view, John McAlpin is a real turn-on, you are
> > dancing, flirting with one person most of the time. Why go to the other
> > side when you are touching hands and about to move down together?
> > Cheers,
> > Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
> >
>
>The only reason I can think of is to occasionally do this to add a bit of
>Latin styling and more drama to the dance -- I'm just going to touch and
>cruise by totally unaffected by you and ... the hell I am (pivoting
>quickly).
>
>...Keith

Are you going to get the Latin hip action into this as well? It is
rather intriguing what the Latin hip action does to the wearers kilt!
It greatly amplifies the not-so-subtle action. More the pity the kilt
is not common wear for Latin dancers.

Cheers, Oberdan.

184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611 USA
Voice: (805) 389-0063, FAX: (805) 484-2775, email: ootto@ootto.com

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21054 · Richard L. Walker · 17 Apr 2000 00:47:33 · Top

I like the big sweeping movements along with flirt touching, flirt crossing,
flirt returning, flirt dancing down the center slowly -- hmmm, maybe I
overdue it.

-----Original Message-----
From: SMiskoe@aol.com [mailto:SMiskoe@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2000 2:30 PM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Subject: Re: John McAlpin- a question

>From a social point of view, John McAlpin is a real turn-on, you are
dancing,
flirting with one person most of the time. Why go to the other side when
you
are touching hands and about to move down together?
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

--
SMiskoe@aol.com

John McAlpin- a question

Message 21044 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 15 Apr 2000 00:21:07 · Top

On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Loretta Holz wrote:

> We did John McAlpin last evening and had a question about the first few bars.
> It starts with advance and retire, torching right hands. (no problem)
>
> Then the directions say--Cross by the left hand (bars 3,4). I always go all the
> way across to my partner's place and them come from there to lead down.
> My friend was taught a different way-- She crosses by the left hand dancing
> slightly above first position and remaining in the center. Facing down change
> hands to RH in RH, ready to lead down to second position.
>
> Key issue--She does NOT go out to the other side to her partners place but stays
> in the center. I believe you should cross over to your partner's place.
> Does anyone have an opinion?

It's the middle of a continuous phrase: why do you want to go over to the
sideline?

Personally, I dance this as my partner wishes; just the two of us are
moving. If my partner takes direction from me, and it's a narrow set, I
may reach the sideline. I concentrate on dancing with my partner and
honestly can't say where I finish bar 4.

As a matter of fact, the only memory I have ofa particular time that I
danced that phrase, my partner was kent Smith and we did bar 1 as a
fencing-style lunge toward each other.

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

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