strathspey Archive: Minuet steps

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Minuet steps

Message 7439 · Benjamin Stein · 20 Apr 1997 19:26:22 · Top

In the 1920's to 1940's Henry Ford (yes-THAT Henry Ford) supported a "revival"
of Old Time Dances and published a book called Good Morning: Music, Calls and
Directions for Old-time Dancing as revived by Mr and Mrs Henry Ford. It was
written by his personal dance master Benjamin B. Lovett (who, like Henry Ford,
was an SOB in many ways, but a knowladgeable dance master). The book was
primarily a collection of square and contra dances (many derived from Scottish
Country Dancing) but also included a number of couple dances (some like the
Valeta and the Highland Schottische would be very familiar to scots) and a full
page description of the "steps of the Minuet".
I have a copy of the fourth edition, dated 1943 and will quote the Minuet
decription. Warning-it is alengthy direct quotation. What Gerry Grey quoted was
really only part of it.


The steps are somewhat compicated and require a great deal of practice.
It will be found desireable to obtain instructions from a dancing master or
other person thoroughly familiar with the movements.


Slow, grave step-Stand in fifth position (right foot in front) and bend
both knees, count 1:
Rise on both toes, count 2:
Drop wieght on left heel, count 3:
Repeat, stepping forward with right foot, etc., count 4-5-6,


March step-A simple smooth walking step, a step to each beat in the
measure. In walking, the front part of the foot should touch the floor first and
the heel last:


Balance step-This step may be used as a balance forward or backware, and
is sometimes used as a progressive movement.
To balace forward: Step forward upon right foot, count 1: and extend toe
of left foot to left side, weight is still on right foot, count 2-3.
To balance backwards: Step back on left foot and extend toe of right foot
to right side, count 4-5-6,
If used as a progressive movement: Step forward on right foot, count 1:
Slide toe of left foot to left side, count 2: Draw left foot to right: count 3
(weight is on right foot during all 3 counts):
Step forward on left foot: count 4: Toe of right foot to side, count 5:
Draw right to left, count 6 (weight is on left foor during last 3 counts).


Minuet step-start from fifth position (right foot in front) bend both
knees, rise and glide the toes of right foot to right side, count 1:
Transfer weight to right foot and extend left foot to side, heel raised,
count 2:
Bend right knee and draw left foot, with slightly bent left knee, to back
of right, count 3
Rise to full height on both toes, stretching both limbs, and transfer
weight to left foot, count 4 (right foot is in fifth position):
Glide right foot to right side, count 5:
Draw left foot back of right, left knee bent, count 6:
To move to left side: Start with left foot in fifth position front:


Place right foot back of left (both knees slightly bent) and then step to
left side with left foot. Repeat with right foot as long as desired. If moving
to right, place left foot back of right.


Turning step-Step to right side with right foot, bring left foot in front
and around to rear of right foot, and in this position turn on both toes.


Bring the feet together, either in first or fifth position.


Slide the toe of the right foot back of left foot and bend both knees,
count 1:
Slide ball of the left foot to left side, count 2:
Slide right foot forward in fifth position, count 3:
Continue as long as desired. to move to the right, reverse the movements.

If you find some confusion in the directions please forgive me but this
is a direct quote from "Good Morning".

Ben Stein

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