strathspey Archive: Square Set Bow and Curtsey

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Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8543 · Greg Reznick · 15 Aug 1997 19:11:01 · Top

Is there any concensus as to whom one should bow or curtsey to at the
beginning and end of a dance in a square set? The practice in our class
is that you bow to your partner at the first chord, and bow to the set
during the final chord. The theory is that you don't know the set yet at
the first chord, but after dancing with them you are ready to
acknowledge them. I find this a bit uncomfortable. I would prefer to
greet the set at the start of the dance and thank my partner with a bow
to her during the chord at the end.

Overriding all, I think, is that this is not one of those things that
gets decided between you and your partner, as not being available for
greeting when expected (i.e. looking at my partner when the couple
opposite is attempted to bow & curtsey our way) would be quite
unsociable. So I'm happy to go with whatever is the standard, if there
is one.

--
Greg Reznick
Pleasanton, CA

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8545 · RSCDSSD · 15 Aug 1997 23:09:27 · Top

Greg,

I can't find any comment on this in the latest RSCDS Manual, "Won't You Join
the Dance", or Allie Anderson's "Complete Guide to SCD", so what follows is
my personal opinion unsupported by the authorities . . .

In a longwise set you bow and curtsey to your partner at the beginning and at
the end of a dance. My personal practice, and what I teach my classes, is
to do the same in a square set. It's polite to acknowledge and thank the
other members of the set for an enjoyable dance, but the traditional
courtesies of b&c's are,I believe, reserved for one's partner.

I must admit that attempting to offer b&c's to the entire longwise set at the
end of the dance conjures up some amusing images.

Marjorie McLaughlin
RSCDS SD@aol.com
San Diego, CA

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8547 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 16 Aug 1997 03:09:55 · Top

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997 RSCDSSD@aol.com wrote:

> In a longwise set you bow and curtsey to your partner at the beginning and at
> the end of a dance. My personal practice, and what I teach my classes, is
> to do the same in a square set. It's polite to acknowledge and thank the
> other members of the set for an enjoyable dance, but the traditional
> courtesies of b&c's are,I believe, reserved for one's partner.

In any American or German squares, quadrilles, or lancers i've done or been
taught, the bow & curtsey was to one's partner. If the American square
caller wanted other acknowledgements, he/she said to bow to your corner,
then opposite, and then the one on your left. I've not heard of bowing
to anyone other than one's partner in the other traditions although quick
smiles are often slipped in. Same thing happens at the end of a dance as
at the beginning -- in each tradition.

happy bows & curtseys,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8546 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 16 Aug 1997 02:22:58 · Top

Hi Greg,

I never gave this much thought, so I have just taught what I thought to be
the "common" practice, which is the REVERSE of what you described! [I have
taught: start by bowing to the person across the set (as we do in longways
dances) but end bowing to the partner). However, I think Marjorie makes a
good point about bowing to your partner both times. But what does any of
this say about your corner? Chopped liver? Chances are you dance as much
with you corner as with your partner. I agree with your point that
sociability suggests that everyone should be doing the same thing--it is a
bit offputting to be acknowledging somebody who is not acknowledging you in
return.

Perhaps we can borrow some ideas from square dancing where all the dances
are square. As a square forms it is common for all the gentlemen to greet
each other (with a handshake) and the other ladies (with a hug). If there
is an acknowledgement (it is up to the caller), it is usually "bow to you
partner", which is sometimes followed by "bow to your corner", but I have
never heard "bow to the square". Sometimes the caller will catch you off
guard with "bow to your honey, ... and bow to your partner too!".
Sometimes a dance will end with "swing your partner" or "bow to your
partner". After a "tip" is over (usually 2 dances--a hash call and a
singing call), everybody in the square will take hands in a circle and bow
to the middle with a rousing "Thank-YOU!", follow by more hand shaking and
hugs. Embarrassments during acknowledgement are rare because the caller is
guiding you.

So, there you are! I think we are very far from having a standard. When you
travel, watch carefully (or ask!) and do as the Romans do.

Cheers, Oberdan Otto.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8548 · Rosemay Coupe · 16 Aug 1997 05:13:33 · Top

Our practice, based on practicality and not sanctioned by any tradition,
is to bow across the set at the beginning (acknowledging the set) and to
our partners at the end. We do it in this order because the transition
into the dance is usually easier if one is facing directly into the set;
we'd start by bowing to partners in a dance like "Rothesay Rant." In the
many square set dances which end with a circle, we normally retain nearer
hands with our partners and turn slightly towards them for the final
bow. So we don't quite have a consensus, Greg!

Rosemary Coupe
Vancouver


Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8550 · Jennifer_Sawin · 16 Aug 1997 07:59:07 · Top

Greg Reznick wrote: >>Is there any concensus as to whom one should bow
or curtsey to at the beginning and end of a dance in a square set? The
practice in our class is that you bow to your partner at the first
chord, and bow to the set during the final chord. The theory is that
you don't know the set yet at the first chord, but after dancing with
them you are ready to acknowledge them. I find this a bit
uncomfortable. I would prefer to greet the set at the start of the
dance and thank my partner with a bow to her during the chord at the
end.<<

I have always curtseyed to my partner in both cases, unless there are
two opening chords, in which case the second curtsey honors my corner.

BUT! Here's a thought: Given we have had so many recent discussions
about "dancing as a set", "covering versus phrasing" and general
teamwork, and given that these all apply to both longways and square
sets, if Greg's group's theory is correct, shouldn't we be honoring a
longways set, too, on that final chord? Shouldn't we now be ready to
acknowledge them?

Note to Elaine and many others: Unless, of course, they have been
misbehaving and twiddling and twirling shamelessly in front of
distracted and panicked beginners, in which case we may consider more
appropriate things to do to them than "acknowledge"... ;)

Jenn Sawin
(somewhere, wandering aimlessly, outside Princeton NJ)

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8552 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 16 Aug 1997 17:13:06 · Top

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997 Jennifer_Sawin@pcmailgw.ml.com wrote:

{snip}

> BUT! Here's a thought: Given we have had so many recent discussions
> about "dancing as a set", "covering versus phrasing" and general
> teamwork, and given that these all apply to both longways and square
> sets, if Greg's group's theory is correct, shouldn't we be honoring a
> longways set, too, on that final chord? Shouldn't we now be ready to
> acknowledge them?

Personally, I'm happiest with the spontaneous group hug at the end of a
great dance experience. On the other hand: Should the band play a coda
for the hug? Should it go in The Manual? How would one teach it?
(Height of arms? foot positions?)

> Jenn Sawin
> (somewhere, wandering aimlessly, outside Princeton NJ)

But still with good footwork and phrasing beautifully, I'm sure. . .

hoping no one thinks I'm serious,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8560 · The_Healys · 18 Aug 1997 17:56:40 · Top

Marjorie McLaughlin wrote on this
> In a longwise set you bow and curtsey to your partner at the
> beginning and at the end of a dance. My personal practice, and
> what I teach my classes, is to do the same in a square set.

I would agree completely with Marjorie's view and practice and it
is certainly what I have found in most places where I have danced.
The only regular variation would be when a short (e.g. 80/88 bars)
dance that ends with a circle is encored, the encore will often end
with all retaining hands in the circle, dancing into the centre on
the last bar and all raising the arms aloft with appropriate sound
of approbation - aka a heuch!

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8563 · Eric Clyde · 18 Aug 1997 19:22:56 · Top

Anselm Lingnau wrote:

> Jennifer_Sawin@pcmailgw.ml.com writes:
>
> > BUT! Here's a thought: Given we have had so many recent
> discussions
> > about "dancing as a set", "covering versus phrasing" and
> general
> > teamwork, and given that these all apply to both longways and
> square
> > sets, if Greg's group's theory is correct, shouldn't we be
> honoring a
> > longways set, too, on that final chord?
>
> I don't know what the ancients had to say about the *end* of a dance,
> but
> we over here in Germany certainly bow and curtsey to our partners
> rather
> than the person opposite or the set in general. I have yet to see it
> done
> otherwise.
>
> Anselm
>

In Ottawa and in many other places that I have danced, we normally
thankall of the other members of the set at the end of the dance.

Eric

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8565 · LindaSuzan · 18 Aug 1997 21:42:42 · Top

It seems socialble and is customary for us here in Iowa to thank the entire
set at the end of a dance, but the bow and curtsey is reserved for your
partner, unless there are two chords or instructions otherwise.

Linda

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8580 · Colleen Putt · 19 Aug 1997 19:35:30 · Top

At 11:21 18/08/97 -0400, you wrote:

>In Ottawa and in many other places that I have danced, we normally
>thankall of the other members of the set at the end of the dance.

Ca va sans dire, as the French say.
In California, I experienced the "group hug" at the end of a dance.
Apparently, this is quite common, and is accompanied with stamping of the
feet if the dance has been particularly enjoyable. Comments from the West Coast?

Cheers,
Colleen

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8590 · McBride, Ann · 20 Aug 1997 04:06:22 · Top

Dear Colleen:

I am adding my 2cents worth on this -- I do believe in being polite in
thanking everyone in the set at the end of a dance. I am a Southern
Californian by adoption (Northern Irish by birth, New Zealand by intro
to SCD) -- all this being beside the point -- however, I am not a
"huggy" sort of person - and I don't care for the habit - to me a
genuine smile and a "thank you" are all that are necessary. Well,
there, I've said it and probably ostracized a lot of my "huggy" friends.

Several years ago we in the Los Angeles Branch, on our dance programs
would have asterisks by certain dances - this meant that they were
"Ladies choices" - thank goodness those days are gone.

Ann McBride
Los Angeles

>----------
>From: Colleen Putt[SMTP:cputt@people.kayhay.com]
>Reply To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
>Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 1997 8:34 AM
>To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
>Subject: Re: Square Set Bow and Curtsey
>
>At 11:21 18/08/97 -0400, you wrote:
>
>>In Ottawa and in many other places that I have danced, we normally
>>thankall of the other members of the set at the end of the dance.
>
>Ca va sans dire, as the French say.
>In California, I experienced the "group hug" at the end of a dance.
>Apparently, this is quite common, and is accompanied with stamping of the
>feet if the dance has been particularly enjoyable. Comments from the West
>Coast?
>
>Cheers,
>Colleen
>
>--
>Colleen Putt <cputt@people.kayhay.com>
>
>

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8595 · Simon Scott · 20 Aug 1997 09:38:24 · Top

> Marjorie McLaughlin wrote on this
> > In a longwise set you bow and curtsey to your partner at the
> > beginning and at the end of a dance. My personal practice, and
> > what I teach my classes, is to do the same in a square set.

As Jim Healy has done, I agree completely with Marjorie.

I believe that the person you have invited to dance with you, or who has
excepted your invitation, is very important and is always the person to
acknowledge during that delightful opportunity at the beginning and end of
the dance. It is part of the dance and a wonderful part.

The others in the set are dancers whom you have joined on the floor, but
your partner has been chosen. I think that thanking the rest of the set
once the dance, and last chord, is finished is a part of ballroom courtesy
rather than part of the dance.

Simon Scott
Vancouver
sscott@portal.ca

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8605 · Alan Twhigg · 20 Aug 1997 21:17:47 · Top

Speaking from the 'hotbed of hugginess' in response to Colleen's prompting:

>Ca va sans dire, as the French say.
>In California, I experienced the "group hug" at the end of a dance.
>Apparently, this is quite common, and is accompanied with stamping of the
>feet if the dance has been particularly enjoyable. Comments from the West
>Coast?
>
>Cheers,
>Colleen

It is true that the above behaviour does occur on occasion at the end of a
particularly exuberant dance, but it is by no means institutionalized or
required. I would say at the average dance evening one or two dances on the
programme will elicit this response on the part of 3 or 4 sets of dancers.
And we do try to be cognizant of visitors who may not be comfortable with
the local social norms. Either longwise or square sets can produce group hugs,
although a square because of its regular shape lends itself quite naturally
to the phenomenon.

with tongue firmly in cheek,

Alan Twhigg
San Francisco Branch

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8608 · Richard L. Walker · 21 Aug 1997 00:58:33 · Top

Unless there happens to be a wild man with a cow bell -- which
happens at one of my favorite little gatherings. Caught me by
surprise -- fun! (English Mountain)

> ...I would say at the average dance evening one or two dances on
> the programme will elicit this response on the part of 3 or 4 sets
> of dancers...

Richard L. Walker
Pensacola FL (City of Five Flags) USA
rlwalker@granis.net

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8609 · Todd Pierce · 21 Aug 1997 01:25:53 · Top

As an extra note on the square set discussion, we here in Baton Rouge will bow/curtsey to our partner at the start and end of the dance, for the reasons mentioned before (you ask your partner to dance, but the other dances in the set just join in). We do try to thank the set when done.

What we usually do at the end of the dance, though, is this: the men will curve the ladies round into the middle so all ladies finish back to back, in a cross formation, then we do the bow/curtsey with right hands joined. We find this makes for a nicer effect in demos. It's easy to do when you're finishing the dance with a turn (as in 1314) but a little harder to do if the dance ends in a circle - in which case, we don't do it.

Todd Pierce
Baton Rouge, LA

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8557 · Anselm Lingnau · 18 Aug 1997 10:25:12 · Top

Jennifer_Sawin@pcmailgw.ml.com writes:

> BUT! Here's a thought: Given we have had so many recent discussions
> about "dancing as a set", "covering versus phrasing" and general
> teamwork, and given that these all apply to both longways and square
> sets, if Greg's group's theory is correct, shouldn't we be honoring a
> longways set, too, on that final chord?

In the old days, country dances would begin with `two beks (i.e., bows)
and a kiss'. This particular convention seems to have fallen into disuse,
but it appears reasonable to me to assume that one would want to extend
this form of greeting to the person that one asked to dance
(mothers-in-law notwithstanding) rather than the person happening to
stand on the opposite side of a square set.

I don't know what the ancients had to say about the *end* of a dance, but
we over here in Germany certainly bow and curtsey to our partners rather
than the person opposite or the set in general. I have yet to see it done
otherwise.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Who says MS-DOS isn't multitasking? You just need one box per task!
--- Mike Meyer

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8607 · Keith Grant · 20 Aug 1997 21:49:04 · Top

--- On Wed, 20 Aug 1997 10:15:25 -0700 Alan Twhigg <alant@net.com> wrote:

>
> Either longwise or square sets can produce group hugs, although a square
> because of its regular shape lends itself quite naturally to the
> phenomenon.
>

Perhaps this is one more reason that "covering" is not identical with
phrasing.

...Keith ;-?

+-----------------------------+-------------------------------------------+
I Keith Eric Grant I Common sense and a sense of humor are the I
I I same thing, moving at different speeds. I
I Atmospheric Science Div I A sense of humor is just common sense, I
I P.O. Box 808, L-103 I dancing. ... Clive James I
I Lawrence Livrmr Natn'l Lab I I
I EMail: keg@llnl.gov I (or perhaps dancing is just common sense) I
I FAX: (510) 422-5844 I I
+-----------------------------+-------------------------------------------+

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8611 · Bryan McAlister · 21 Aug 1997 22:24:21 · Top

In article <Chameleon.872099118.keg@equinox>, Keith Eric Grant
<keg@strathspey.llnl.gov> writes
>
>--- On Wed, 20 Aug 1997 10:15:25 -0700 Alan Twhigg <alant@net.com> wrote:
>
>>
>> Either longwise or square sets can produce group hugs, although a square
>> because of its regular shape lends itself quite naturally to the
>> phenomenon.
>>
>
>Perhaps this is one more reason that "covering" is not identical with
>phrasing.
>Isn't covering the term used by farmers when mating horses, cows, etc.
>...Keith ;-?
>
> +-----------------------------+-------------------------------------------+
> I Keith Eric Grant I Common sense and a sense of humor are the I
> I I same thing, moving at different speeds. I
> I Atmospheric Science Div I A sense of humor is just common sense, I
> I P.O. Box 808, L-103 I dancing. ... Clive James I
> I Lawrence Livrmr Natn'l Lab I I
> I EMail: keg@llnl.gov I (or perhaps dancing is just common sense) I
> I FAX: (510) 422-5844 I I
> +-----------------------------+-------------------------------------------+
>

--

Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS
Linlithgow , Scotland

You are cordially invited to visit my/our web page at
___
http://www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk /___\
IIIII_____IIIIII___________under construction
============================= but growing

Square Set Bow and Curtsey

Message 8618 · Andrew Patterson · 23 Aug 1997 00:32:19 · Top

In-Reply-To: <199708200538.WAA21079@kefron.portal.ca>
Simon Scott writes:
>
> I believe that the person you have invited to dance with you, or who
has
> excepted your invitation, is very important and is always the person
to
> acknowledge during that delightful opportunity at the beginning and
end
> of
> the dance. It is part of the dance and a wonderful part.
>

Except in My Heather Hills. At least, that is how I interpret Derek
Haynes instructions "1st and 3rd men start in each others places but
bow to the opposite woman". Which is fine if everyone knows the score,
but can result in some odd looks if not.

> The others in the set are dancers whom you have joined on the floor,
but
> your partner has been chosen. I think that thanking the rest of the
set
> once the dance, and last chord, is finished is a part of ballroom
> courtesy
> rather than part of the dance.
>
It is good to see that so many messages encourage the practice of
thanking the rest of the set at the end of the dance, but I regret that
it is not very common in the UK. Often, the best you can do is turn to
the couple next to you as those further away beat a hasty retreat.
Perhaps it would help if dances were held at a more relaxed pace so
that people are not tempted to rush off and find a partner for the next
dance.

Andy London(UK)

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