In a message dated 2/16/2011 9:12:26 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
Rosemary Coupe wrote -
Years ago the corners danced for 4 bars, allowing a bit more flexibility
the phrasing of the turns, given the fact that dancing couple are
from the sidelines.
We here in New Zealand always (at least from the 1960s until relatively
recently) danced the turns in four bars. I continue to do so.
Someone (in the old hierarchy) at sometime obviously decided that the
instructions were ambiguous and needed clarification. Thus, taking the
instruction to mean 'turn for two bars and pass for two bars'. Okay for
couple, but, not very nice for corners!
I have to agree with both Iain and Rosemary in a sense. I started dancing
in the late seventies and teaching not too long thereafter, and though I
have to admit, perhaps unlike these two, to having, as best I can recall,
always thought of a two-bar turn for corners in this circumstance as the
RSCDS default unless a four-bar turn was prescribed in the instructions, I have
nonetheless always found the four-bar turn to make more sense and to be
more danceable. The two-bar turn makes the corner feel like he/she is being
rather flung around with limited opportunity to do proper steps (on the
dance floor it sometimes alas degenerates into not much more than a corner
pivot). If it is doable when prescribed, as in the Earl of Mansfield, I have
often wondered why it could not be done this more satisfying and graceful
way by default, rather than the reverse. John Drewry's dance The Hazel Tree
comes also to mind, in which the same corners turn one of the dancing
couple RH and then immediately turn the other LH, and it is apparent that it so
much better having corners turn RH 4 bars and then turn LH back four bars
than having them turn 2, wait two, and turn 2 again.
I realise that this subject has been done to death, but as it gradually drifted into
a discussion on 2 bar versus 4 bar turns I thought I would point out the Technique
Section of the RSCDS website, which sometime proves useful in answering this and
From: mlamontbrown [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 20 February 2011 15:14
Subject: RE: General Stuart redux redux
I realise that this subject has been done to death, but as it gradually
drifted into a discussion on 2 bar versus 4 bar turns I thought I would
point out the Technique Section of the RSCDS website, which sometime proves
useful in answering this and similar queries.