strathspey Archive: Hand Signals ( was ... Anyone know? )

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Hand Signals ( was ... Anyone know? )

Message 25600 · John Sturrock · 6 Apr 2001 14:30:17 · Top

Ron Mackey wrote : -

........ I have been trying to use signals when describing
new dances. I have the feeling it needs quite a bit of thought
because what works for one leaves another looking blank.
Clearly a repeatable system is required so that the standard
movements are easily recognized.
Has anyone else got input on this??

I have been waiting for someone else to describe my system of hand
signals - and then realised that nobody on this list ever sees me recap, so
I will have to do it myself !

I cannot now remember how it began, but many years ago I started
accompanying all the key words of a recap with an appropriate motion of the
fingers, hands, or arms. It has now become completely automatic. All of
the following words, or phrases, trigger a reflex motion : -

Set / Cast off / Cast Up / Cross over / Cross back / Right hand / Left hand
/ Right Shoulder / Left Shoulder / Hands across / Hands round / Both hands /
4 hands / 6 hands / 8 hands / Advance / Retire / Back to back / Poussette /
Allemande / Promenade / 1 couple / 2 couples / 3 couples / 4 couples / First
corner / Second corner / Across the dance / Up and down the dance /
Sidelines / Lead down / Lead up / Lead through / Dance down / Dance up /
Dance through / Reel of three / Reel of four / Rights and Lefts / Diagonal /
Square / Round / Diamond / Triangle / Chase / In front of / Behind / Double
Back / Clover Leaf / Petronella / Balance in Line / Chain / Turn / Rotate /
Double Triangles / Crown Triangles / Partner / Figure of Eight / Knot /
Rondel / Tournee / Man / Woman / Men / Women / Half / Full / Step Up / Step
Down / Etc / Etc .

Used in combination, a surprising amount of information can be conveyed.

FAQs

1. Is it reproducible ? The only other teacher who regularly sees me
recap, whether aware of it or not, has adopted exactly the same mannerisms.

2. Is it appreciated ? By some, yes. Though probably not by all.
Some may even be irritated. Postings to this list point out that different
people learn, and remember, SCDs in different ways. My own feeling is that
each area's repertoire has now expanded so enormously that some form of
recapping is essential on social occasions, and anything that helps is
appreciated. Those who understand best by listening need not look, and vice
versa.

3. Does it slow things down ? No. Recapping is at normal speed.

4. Can anybody do it ? I think Ron is probably right - most will need
quite a bit of practice, in private, first. The signing must be automatic
since the words remain the primary source of information, and the recappers
concentration must be on them. It goes without saying that the recapper
cannot hold any form of aide-memoire in the hand(s) !

5. Can everyone understand it ? Pretty well, yes.

6. Does it work ? Last month, against my better judgement, I was
persuaded to MC a dance for 60 people, some of whom had only been dancing a
short time, some of whom were in their 80's, and some of whom could be best
be described - as kindly as possible - as Perpetual Beginners. The
committee had chosen far too many dances ( 22 ) for the advertised 3 hours
of dancing. They had included such difficult-for-the-inexperienced /
difficult-to-recap dances as IPFTA, Muirland Willie, The Irish Rover (!)
and Mrs Stuart Linnell (!!) The evening finished on time to the minute,
almost everybody having danced almost every dance, and with the company
having encored 10 of the 22 dances. It worked that night !

John Sturrock
Cambridge UK

John.M.Sturrock@btinternet.com

Hand Signals ( was ... Anyone know? )

Message 25603 · Marilynn Knight · 6 Apr 2001 15:38:48 · Top

John
Please give us a teaching video!!!! & I mean it sincerely!!! This
fascinates me...

-----Original Message-----
From: John Sturrock [mailto:John.M.Sturrock@btinternet.com]
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2001 6:31 AM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Subject: Hand Signals ( was ... Anyone know? )

Ron Mackey wrote : -

........ I have been trying to use signals when describing
new dances. I have the feeling it needs quite a bit of thought
because what works for one leaves another looking blank.
Clearly a repeatable system is required so that the standard
movements are easily recognized.
Has anyone else got input on this??

I have been waiting for someone else to describe my system of hand
signals - and then realised that nobody on this list ever sees me recap, so
I will have to do it myself !

I cannot now remember how it began, but many years ago I started
accompanying all the key words of a recap with an appropriate motion of the
fingers, hands, or arms. It has now become completely automatic. All of
the following words, or phrases, trigger a reflex motion : -

Set / Cast off / Cast Up / Cross over / Cross back / Right hand / Left hand
/ Right Shoulder / Left Shoulder / Hands across / Hands round / Both hands /
4 hands / 6 hands / 8 hands / Advance / Retire / Back to back / Poussette /
Allemande / Promenade / 1 couple / 2 couples / 3 couples / 4 couples / First
corner / Second corner / Across the dance / Up and down the dance /
Sidelines / Lead down / Lead up / Lead through / Dance down / Dance up /
Dance through / Reel of three / Reel of four / Rights and Lefts / Diagonal /
Square / Round / Diamond / Triangle / Chase / In front of / Behind / Double
Back / Clover Leaf / Petronella / Balance in Line / Chain / Turn / Rotate /
Double Triangles / Crown Triangles / Partner / Figure of Eight / Knot /
Rondel / Tournee / Man / Woman / Men / Women / Half / Full / Step Up / Step
Down / Etc / Etc .

Used in combination, a surprising amount of information can be conveyed.

FAQs

1. Is it reproducible ? The only other teacher who regularly sees me
recap, whether aware of it or not, has adopted exactly the same mannerisms.

2. Is it appreciated ? By some, yes. Though probably not by all.
Some may even be irritated. Postings to this list point out that different
people learn, and remember, SCDs in different ways. My own feeling is that
each area's repertoire has now expanded so enormously that some form of
recapping is essential on social occasions, and anything that helps is
appreciated. Those who understand best by listening need not look, and vice
versa.

3. Does it slow things down ? No. Recapping is at normal speed.

4. Can anybody do it ? I think Ron is probably right - most will need
quite a bit of practice, in private, first. The signing must be automatic
since the words remain the primary source of information, and the recappers
concentration must be on them. It goes without saying that the recapper
cannot hold any form of aide-memoire in the hand(s) !

5. Can everyone understand it ? Pretty well, yes.

6. Does it work ? Last month, against my better judgement, I was
persuaded to MC a dance for 60 people, some of whom had only been dancing a
short time, some of whom were in their 80's, and some of whom could be best
be described - as kindly as possible - as Perpetual Beginners. The
committee had chosen far too many dances ( 22 ) for the advertised 3 hours
of dancing. They had included such difficult-for-the-inexperienced /
difficult-to-recap dances as IPFTA, Muirland Willie, The Irish Rover (!)
and Mrs Stuart Linnell (!!) The evening finished on time to the minute,
almost everybody having danced almost every dance, and with the company
having encored 10 of the 22 dances. It worked that night !

John Sturrock
Cambridge UK

John.M.Sturrock@btinternet.com

--
"John Sturrock" <John.M.Sturrock@btinternet.com>

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