strathspey Archive: Gay Gordons

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Gay Gordons

Message 9097 · Lnaaron · 30 Sep 1997 10:47:13 · Top

Does anyone have written instructions for Gay Gordons? The question has
arisen regarding with which foot each dancer begins. The only written
instructions at hand indicate that the man, leading his partner in allemande
position, takes four steps forward, beginning on the left foot, etc. Yet
logic suggests that the lady begins on the right foot, facilitating the
transition into polka for both.

Ellen Aaron
Campbell, CA (SF Branch)

Gay Gordons

Message 9101 · REBECCA SAGER · 30 Sep 1997 13:39:46 · Top

Lnaaron@aol.com wrote:
>
> Does anyone have written instructions for Gay Gordons? The question has
> arisen regarding with which foot each dancer begins. The only written
> instructions at hand indicate that the man, leading his partner in allemande
> position, takes four steps forward, beginning on the left foot, etc. Yet
> logic suggests that the lady begins on the right foot, facilitating the
> transition into polka for both.
>
> Ellen Aaron
> Campbell, CA (SF Branch)
>
> --
> Lnaaron@aol.com

Collins Pocket Reference has "outside foot", which if it means man's left
and lady's right, makes no sense, if you're not on the same foot you
can't pivot to go backwards. I always teach both start on right foot,
which is the outside foot for both facing traditionally counter-clockwise
round the room. The polka has no bearing because that comes after the
turn-under-in-pas-de-basque figure which both start on the right foot
anyway.
Becky

Gay Gordons

Message 9104 · briscoe · 30 Sep 1997 15:19:17 · Top

Actually, I think it is much nicer for the man to use the outside (i.e.,
left) foot for everything, completely mirroring the woman, including the
pas de basque turn-under. No problem on the turn-around in the walking
part...it is the same pivot as the woman's, since they are turning toward
each other. And the polka part is MUCH nicer if started that way.

- Mel Briscoe, Virginia, USA

On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Rebecca Sager wrote:

> Lnaaron@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > Does anyone have written instructions for Gay Gordons? The question has
> > arisen regarding with which foot each dancer begins. The only written
> > instructions at hand indicate that the man, leading his partner in allemande
> > position, takes four steps forward, beginning on the left foot, etc. Yet
> > logic suggests that the lady begins on the right foot, facilitating the
> > transition into polka for both.
> >
> > Ellen Aaron
> > Campbell, CA (SF Branch)
> >
> > --
> > Lnaaron@aol.com
>
> Collins Pocket Reference has "outside foot", which if it means man's left
> and lady's right, makes no sense, if you're not on the same foot you
> can't pivot to go backwards. I always teach both start on right foot,
> which is the outside foot for both facing traditionally counter-clockwise
> round the room. The polka has no bearing because that comes after the
> turn-under-in-pas-de-basque figure which both start on the right foot
> anyway.
> Becky
>
> --
> Rebecca Sager <bsager@bellsouth.net>
>
>

Gay Gordons

Message 9105 · The_Healys · 30 Sep 1997 15:36:30 · Top

- Mel Briscoe writes:

> Actually, I think it is much nicer for the man to use the outside
> (i.e., left) foot for everything, completely mirroring the woman,
> including the pas de basque turn-under. No problem on the turn-
> around in the walking part...it is the same pivot as the woman's,
> since they are turning toward each other. And the polka part is
> MUCH nicer if started that way.

Agree completely about both starting with outside feet BUT what's
this pas de basque doing in the Gay Gordons??

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

Gay Gordons

Message 9110 · Stefan Barthel · 30 Sep 1997 19:03:41 · Top

Jim Healy writes:
>- Mel Briscoe writes:
>
>> Actually, I think it is much nicer for the man to use the outside
>> (i.e., left) foot for everything, completely mirroring the woman,
>> including the pas de basque turn-under. No problem on the turn-
>> around in the walking part...it is the same pivot as the woman's,
>> since they are turning toward each other. And the polka part is
>> MUCH nicer if started that way.
>
>Agree completely about both starting with outside feet BUT what's
>this pas de basque doing in the Gay Gordons??

Why not pas de basque forward in dancing direction while turning the
Ladies?

But there is a problem with the turning toward each other in the walking
part: It's impossible if you are using allemande hold. But it works when
using hip/shoulder hold (don't know another name of it) and as well in
promenade hold. Maybe local variations? But they are all alive and done!

Stefan

Gay Gordons

Message 9112 · Andrew J. M. Smith · 30 Sep 1997 20:13:52 · Top

Responding to everyone's Gay Gordons postings:

Here are some opinions from printed sources (note: printed, not
authoritative!)

David & May Ewart - Scottish Ceilidh Dancing (1996)
"Both lady and gent dance the same steps (with the same foot)...(left,
right, left)"

The Ewarts have the man walking forward for bars 9-12, while the lady
turns, but they do give an alternative version where *both* lady and gent
pas de basque for four bars.

Victor Silvester - Old Time Dancing (1952)

"The lady's steps are exactly the same as the gentleman's for the first 8
bars....." Silvester has the man starting with L foot.

This version has no pdb, but has the dancers facing each other, side on
the LOD, the man doing a step-together routine while the lady turns.

In response to Jim Healy:

I have danced bars 9-12 with pdb, rather than a walk forward in Scotland,
but I now can't remember if this was how I was taught at school, or
whether this was a style we did at university (St. Andrews). I've
certainly done it both ways in Scotland.

I thought there were also some instructions in one of the Kerr music
books, but, of course, the book I want has mysteriously vanished into a
large pile of music and refuses to surface.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Smith

*******************************************************************************
Message from:
Andrew J. M. Smith
Andrew-Smith@gsu.edu
*******************************************************************************

Gay Gordons

Message 9117 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 30 Sep 1997 21:04:35 · Top

Hi Folks,

Mel Briscoe writes:

>No problem on the turn-around in the walking
>part...it is the same pivot as the woman's, since they are turning toward
>each other.

Whereas Becky Sager writes:

>Collins Pocket Reference has "outside foot", which if it means man's left
>and lady's right, makes no sense, if you're not on the same foot you
>can't pivot to go backwards. I always teach both start on right foot...

Hmmm...curiouser and curiouser. Could it be that Mel does the Gay Gordons
with a Promenade hold (so you can turn toward each other on the pivot),
while Becky does it with an Allemande hold (both pivot in the same
direction). I think turning toward each other with an Allemande hold
requires some fancy arm work. In our area we do it with an Allemande hold
and we pivot in parallel (without releasing hands and keeping the arms
attached to the bodies at all times).

I don't think it matters which foot you start on for either case. I find I
can easily do a right-turning pivot while stepping onto either the right
foot or the left foot. As long as my partner and I pivot at the same time
(usually on the fourth step) we don't have a problem. To do a polka
successfully, however, your footwork must mirror your partner's (assuming
you are facing each other in closed [ballroom] position). The polka is a
lot like doing a skip change, turning (to the right) on the second half of
each step so the first step of each skip change is toward line of dance. As
you finish the polka, you both have the outside foot free, so if you're not
both starting with the outside foot, somebody has to do a little shuffle.
Mel's suggestion of using mirrored footwork throughout avoids all foot
changes.

The Gay Gordons is one of the traditional "Olde Tyme" dances that never
went out of fashion and was never in danger of being lost, as were the
longways country dances. I think it has been the subject of a "Folk"
process that has resulted in local variations. While some folks have
written down instructions for it, I think it is doubtful that there is a
universally accepted formal definition for the dance. Sometimes it is even
done progressive (progressing during the lady's turn) which is nice mixer.

Since it is a couple dance, it is really up to the couple how they manage
the details as long as they don't interfere with other couples (e.g. please
take 8 steps toward line of dance, then 8 steps toward reverse line of
dance, turn the lady as many times as she likes [very skilled spinners can
do up to 4], and polka toward line of dance).

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

Gay Gordons

Message 9118 · Kent Smith · 30 Sep 1997 21:50:22 · Top

At 10:08 AM 9/30/97 -0700, Oberdan Otto wrote:
>Hi Folks,
>
>Mel Briscoe writes:
>
>>No problem on the turn-around in the walking
>>part...it is the same pivot as the woman's, since they are turning toward
>>each other.
>
>Whereas Becky Sager writes:
>
>>Collins Pocket Reference has "outside foot", which if it means man's left
>>and lady's right, makes no sense, if you're not on the same foot you
>>can't pivot to go backwards. I always teach both start on right foot...
>
>Hmmm...curiouser and curiouser. [snip]
>In our area we do it with an Allemande hold
>and we pivot in parallel (without releasing hands and keeping the arms
>attached to the bodies at all times).
>
I like doing it as Oberdan describes, and with both the man and woman
starting with the outside foot to avoid the woman's having to make two
weight changes. There's also something nice about starting back with both
inside feeting pointing forward next to each other.

However, I have known Scottish transplants to the US and Canada who are
adamant that BOTH start with the right foot, with the woman changing at
least for the polka and then back again.

I don't have the book with me, but I recall that Ruth Jappe's old time
collection has both starting on the right and has a step-close step-close
in line of direction at some point, I believe replacing 2 of the polka
steps. I've never seen anyone else do it as she describes, and when I've
tried it, my partners and I have agreed that it lacks the spirit of the
"traditional" way.

>
>The Gay Gordons is one of the traditional "Olde Tyme" dances that never
>went out of fashion and was never in danger of being lost, as were the
>longways country dances. I think it has been the subject of a "Folk"
>process that has resulted in local variations.

How true!
Kent

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Kent W. Smith <kent.smith@trincoll.edu>
/^_/#\_^\ Institutional Research Telephones:
|#||#||#| Trinity College Work: 860-297-5195
|TRINITY| 300 Summit St. Home: 860-313-0215
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|#|(^)|#| USA ^^^^
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Gay Gordons

Message 9119 · briscoe · 30 Sep 1997 21:58:21 · Top

Mea Culpa, Oberdan. The turning toward each other comment I made was
irrelevant to the Gay Gordons; sorry for the confusion. It arose because
I always dance with my outside foot, have never had a problem changing
direction, and jumped to the quick (and incorrect) conclusion that it was
because I was turning the mirror direction with the mirror foot. My point
should simply have been that Becky's fear that pivoting would be hard if
the man is on the opposite foot from the woman doesn't seem to be borne
out in practice.

Also, I had responded privately to Jim Healy re his tongue-in-cheek query
as to how had the pas de basque gotten into the Gay Gordons? (He was, of
course, referring to the many variations in styles of the Gay Gordons.)
Jim suggested my tongue-in-cheek private response should have been to the
group: here it is. "I have always assumed the purpose of the pas de
basque was to make the dance inaccessible to all those folks who really
ought to be out there doing it instead of watching it...."

One of the best things about the Gay Gordons is that it IS a folk dance
without special rules and with regional variations, and it is done by real
people with real shoes on.

- Mel Briscoe
Alexandria, Virginia

Gay Gordons

Message 9120 · ERBRUNKEN · 30 Sep 1997 23:15:23 · Top

In a message dated 97-09-30 11:06:28 EDT, you write:

<< Why not pas de basque forward in dancing direction while turning the
Ladies?

But there is a problem with the turning toward each other in the walking
part: It's impossible if you are using allemande hold. But it works when
using hip/shoulder hold (don't know another name of it) and as well in
promenade hold. Maybe local variations? But they are all alive and done!
>>

If the men are doing PdB and the women are doing walking turns it makes it a
bit jerky! There is no problem with the Allemande hold, and the walking
turn? You don't turn towards each other.... I think you both pull right
shoulder back?

Elaine

Gay Gordons

Message 9122 · JMcColl526 · 30 Sep 1997 23:19:53 · Top

I had a good chuckle when I read Jim Healy's comment re-pas-de-basque in this
dance. When I came to the US many moons ago, I said the same thing.

When I learnt the dance in the late forties, both men and women started with
the LEFT foot, as if one was marching. The men continued marching while the
woman did four pivot turns under the man's right arm. They would then join
in a ballroom hold, not for a polka type step, but for a waltz step made into
a two step rhythm, the secret being to keep the shoulders level with the
floor at all times. The MAN has the foot change.

To this day, if I can find a partner who will indulge me to dance the Gay
Gordons this way, I will dance it. Otherwise, I prefer the sidelines!

Jeanetta McColl <JMcColl526@aol.com>

Gay Gordons

Message 9123 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 30 Sep 1997 23:30:00 · Top

Mel writes:

>Mea Culpa, Oberdan. The turning toward each other comment I made was
>irrelevant to the Gay Gordons; sorry for the confusion.

Actually, Mel, I took your posting as quite reasonable, because I know of a
Gay Gordons variant in which the partners are mirrored. I picked it up
about 20 years ago while visiting in the area of Sydney, Australia. I think
I have told this story before, so apologies to those that have already
heard it.

We were spending a week in a beach town named Mollymook which is right next
to the somewhat larger town of Ulladulla. Vanessa and I were looking for
some kind of dancing in town and saw a posting at the Ulladulla community
hall for "Old Time Dancing". It wasn't at all what we were expecting. They
were doing what we now identify as "Round Dancing"--Ballroom (couple)
dancing in which everyone dances the same pre-choreographed sequences.
Today Vanessa and I are avid round dancers, but then it was novel to us.
They were very friendly and did their best to include us.

One of the dances on their program was "Gay Gordons, Country Style". We
thought "OK! We know the Gay Gordons. We can do this". We were right (that
we could do it), but it was a great simplification and included a
progression. I now use it regularly as a warmup exercise in my weekly
class. [We also learned that they used a video camera in their classes to
help them improve their technique--this was 20 years ago!]

The dance starts with the couple facing line of dance, nearer hands joined,
outside foot (neither Allemande nor promenade hold). Walk forward, pivoting
toward your partner on step 4 to face reverse line (changing hands!),
continue walking (backwards) 4 steps toward line of dance. Do the same
toward reverse line. Facing line of dance, nearer hands joined, balance
away, together, away, and together (a very understated PdB). Gentleman
marks time, drawing the Lady across in front of him. She takes his free
(left) hand in her right and releasing the other hand, passes under his
left arm to progress to the man behind. That's it! No PdB with Lady
twirling and no Polka. Much better as a warmer-upper, very social, and
(Hey, Jim!) very accessible.

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

Gay Gordons

Message 9130 · REBECCA SAGER · 1 Oct 1997 03:33:58 · Top

Goodness! What a lot of opinions and variations inside 15 hours! Isn't
SCD great (and the Internet!!). I still like right foot and pas-de-basque
but am fascinated by all the other versions. Look forward to seeing Mel
and Ellie demonstrate in Atlanta in less than three weeks - at the Tartan
Ball if not at the RSCDS Gala.
Incidentally, I'm English and our military certainly march left, right,
left, right, same as the Americans, only better. Dancers start with the
right foot.
Becky

Gay Gordons

Message 9132 · Martin Mulligan · 1 Oct 1997 03:56:41 · Top

I have not seen mention of one other variation of Gay Gordons which
took me by surprise when I moved from Boston to Pittsburgh many years
ago. The tradition then in Pittsburgh was to dance skip change of
step instead of walking during the first 8 bars. Exhausting! I
cannot now remember, though, whether one changed direction to dance
backwards during those 8 bars.

Here in St. John's, Noreen McLennan has mentioned the variation which
sounds very much like the one that Jeanetta prefers. I think that I
have thought of it as a sort of two step. It works just fine and is
in many ways preferable when teaching beginners - the couple rotates
in a much more controlled fashion which our new dancers find less
confusing.

Martin Mulligan
St. John's (Newfoundland)
mulligan@morgan.ucs.mun.ca

Gay Gordons

Message 9133 · Hanny D. Budnick · 1 Oct 1997 04:28:32 · Top

Hi Ellen -
your mom danced with me this morning...
Gie Gordons: the walking part starts for M and L on their LEFT foot, the
pivot is on the fourth step
The two-wtep starts LEFT for the man, RIGHT for the lady.
_@_ {)/'
/\ /\_._,<_/
' \ /_\
/> /< Hanny

Gay Gordons

Message 9134 · Hanny D. Budnick · 1 Oct 1997 04:28:35 · Top

It works, if both folks do the walking part starting with the left foot. In
the two-step M starts left, L right. Since promenade and allemande position
get so often confused: if you do the varsouvienne position, i. e. the lady
raises both arms and the gent reaches for her hands behind and above her
shoulders, then a simple 'stretching' of the bent arms and 'bending' of the
straight arms makes for an easy transition to facing the opposite
direction.
Hanny Budnick

Gay Gordons

Message 9141 · Martin.Sheffield · 1 Oct 1997 14:25:21 · Top

Oberdan's Australian "Gay Gordons" is danced in France under the title "la
Capelloise" and is quite definitely a FRENCH DANCE
:-)
(add a smiley to indicate I don't actually believe what I'm quoting, and
hope no-one is offended)

Yours, Martin,
Grenoble, France.
---------------- http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/

Gay Gordons

Message 9142 · Maghi King · 1 Oct 1997 14:34:39 · Top

You know, I find it seriously hard to believe tgat we are spending a lot
of time and energy discussing the correct way to do the Gay Gordons,
which as one of the dnaces that's danced at evry Ceilidh, surely surely
has to be accepted in whatever form it comes?

Maghi
--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

Gay Gordons

Message 9145 · Kate Gentles · 1 Oct 1997 14:47:50 · Top

For me, one of the fascinating things about this discussion is that is
_hasn't_ been about the right and wrong way to do the Gay Gordons, but a
discovery, and acceptance, of the numerous variations.

At 12:34 01/10/97 +0200, you wrote:
>You know, I find it seriously hard to believe tgat we are spending a lot
>of time and energy discussing the correct way to do the Gay Gordons,
>which as one of the dnaces that's danced at evry Ceilidh, surely surely
>has to be accepted in whatever form it comes?
>
>Maghi
>--
>Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
>Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
>ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
>54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
>CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86
>
>
>

Gay Gordons

Message 9146 · Stefan Barthel · 1 Oct 1997 15:08:57 · Top

Oberdan Otto wrote:

>The dance starts with the couple facing line of dance, nearer hands joined,
>outside foot (neither Allemande nor promenade hold). Walk forward, pivoting
>toward your partner on step 4 to face reverse line (changing hands!),
>continue walking (backwards) 4 steps toward line of dance. Do the same
>toward reverse line. Facing line of dance, nearer hands joined, balance
>away, together, away, and together (a very understated PdB). Gentleman
>marks time, drawing the Lady across in front of him. She takes his free
>(left) hand in her right and releasing the other hand, passes under his
>left arm to progress to the man behind. That's it! No PdB with Lady
>twirling and no Polka. Much better as a warmer-upper, very social, and
>(Hey, Jim!) very accessible.

And Martin Sheffield wrote:
>Oberdan's Australian "Gay Gordons" is danced in France under the title "la
>Capelloise" and is quite definitely a FRENCH DANCE...

Yes, I know the dance "La Chapelloise" as well. It's quite popular at
many "Bal Folk" events in Germany and known as a french dance - and yes,
it's much fun. But (again) it's slightly different to Oberdan's
description above...

The first part is the same as Oberdan's walking part. But then: balance
together, away, man drawing the Lady across in front of him to his left,
changing hands. Then again: balance together, away and the woman passes
under the man's left arm to progress to the man behind.

Stefan

--------------------------------------------------------
Stefan Barthel email: sb@impuls.de
Spardorfer Strasse 40a
D-91054 Erlangen ++49 / 9131 / 20 66 11 (p.)
++49 / 911 / 688 667 71 (d.)

http://nuernberg.netsurf.de/User/barthel
--------------------------------------------------------

Gay Gordons

Message 9147 · Stefan Barthel · 1 Oct 1997 15:13:30 · Top

Maghi King wrote:

>You know, I find it seriously hard to believe tgat we are spending a lot
>of time and energy discussing the correct way to do the Gay Gordons,
>which as one of the dnaces that's danced at evry Ceilidh, surely surely
>has to be accepted in whatever form it comes?

I believe, we all do. But it's nice to hear about all the variations!

Stefan

Gay Gordons

Message 9149 · Richard L. Walker · 1 Oct 1997 20:27:42 · Top

I'm documenting as it progresses.

> ...For me, one of the fascinating things about this discussion is that is
> _hasn't_ been about the right and wrong way to do the Gay Gordons, but a
> discovery, and acceptance, of the numerous variations...
Richard L. Walker
Pensacola FL (City of Five Flags) USA
rlwalker@granis.net

Gay Gordons

Message 9136 · Anselm Lingnau · 1 Oct 1997 10:59:39 · Top

Here's an omnibus reply to some of the Gay Gordons postings that came up
recently.

Oberdan Otto <ootto@tvt.com> gives a description of a Gay-Gordons-like
dance he picked up in Australia:

> The dance starts with the couple facing line of dance, nearer hands
> joined, outside foot (neither Allemande nor promenade hold). [...]
> Much better as a warmer-upper, very social, and (Hey, Jim!) very
> accessible.

To me this sounds a bit like the `Gay Gordons Two-Step' that I've seen
used occasionally for warm-ups. I don't have a description for that,
so can't compare them in detail.

Rebecca Sager <bsager@bellsouth.net> writes:

> I'm English and our military certainly march left, right, left,
> right, same as the Americans, only better. Dancers start with the
> right foot.

One of the dancers in our group played in a pipe band before taking up
country dancing. He found it very difficult to adjust to the fact that,
in SCD, he was supposed to begin with the right foot, where he had been
trained to march left-foot-first in the band.

And Martin Mulligan <mulligan@morgan.ucs.mun.ca> says:

> The tradition then in Pittsburgh was to dance skip change of step
> instead of walking during the first 8 bars.

I've seen that done by some of the (very energetic) folks from a
University group in another German town -- they put their nearer arms
around their partner's waists, do two skip-change of step, pivot towards
each other, and do two skip-change of step backwards etc. It looked
uncanny, at least the bits I could see from behind the piano (in a
darkish room), but then of course it was New Year's at about half past
one in the morning ...

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
What I want to see is `Intel Inside' toilet seat covers. --- Tim Smith

Gay Gordons

Message 9173 · Keith Grant · 3 Oct 1997 07:37:33 · Top

------------------------
From: Oberdan Otto <ootto@tvt.com>
Subject: Re: Gay Gordons
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 12:33:01 -0700
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de

>
> The dance starts with the couple facing line of dance, nearer hands
> joined, outside foot (neither Allemande nor promenade hold). Walk
> forward, pivoting toward your partner on step 4 to face reverse line
> (changing hands!), continue walking (backwards) 4 steps toward line
> of dance. Do the same toward reverse line. Facing line of dance,
> nearer hands joined, balance away, together, away, and together (a
> very understated PdB). Gentleman marks time, drawing the Lady across
> in front of him. She takes his free (left) hand in her right and
> releasing the other hand, passes under his left arm to progress to
> the man behind. That's it! No PdB with Lady twirling and no Polka.
> Much better as a warmer-upper, very social, and
> (Hey, Jim!) very accessible.
>

What Oberdan describes is a very common mixer done in the S.F. Bay
Area Scandinavian dance community as Alleman's March. It's one of
several easy mixers for beginners to pick up that gets interspersed
among significantly harder couple turning dances. I have to be
vigilant when doing Gay Gordons that my ingrained Scandia kinesthetic
habit doesn't start me balancing away instead of together.

...Keith

+---------------------------------------+
I Keith Eric Grant I
I <keg@strathspey.llnl.gov> I
I---------------------------------------I
I Over the hills, but not too far away I
I from the San Francisco East Bay I
+---------------------------------------+

Gay Gordons

Message 9154 · Bryan McAlister · 2 Oct 1997 02:22:09 · Top

In article <970930024705_-1262971457@emout20.mail.aol.com>,
Lnaaron@aol.com writes
>Does anyone have written instructions for Gay Gordons? The question has
>arisen regarding with which foot each dancer begins. The only written
>instructions at hand indicate that the man, leading his partner in allemande
>position, takes four steps forward, beginning on the left foot, etc. Yet
>logic suggests that the lady begins on the right foot, facilitating the
>transition into polka for both.
>
>Ellen Aaron
>Campbell, CA (SF Branch)
>
>--
>Lnaaron@aol.com
>
As with most old time dances that I am aware of the man starts with the
left foot, the lady with the right.
This means that if they take up ballroom hold and mve forwards or
backwards (i.e not sideways) they will be using the complimentary feet,
like a poussette or a two/three step in Country Partner Dancing.
--
Bryan McAlister B. Arch RIBA ARIAS MaPS, Linlithgow,Scotland
Web page http://www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
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Gay Gordons

Message 9174 · Donald V. and Linda W. Gertz · 3 Oct 1997 07:53:24 · Top

Mel and Ellie Briscoe wrote:
>
> Actually, I think it is much nicer for the man to use the outside (i.e.,
> left) foot for everything, completely mirroring the woman, including the
> pas de basque turn-under. No problem on the turn-around in the walking
> part...it is the same pivot as the woman's, since they are turning toward
> each other. And the polka part is MUCH nicer if started that way.
>
> - Mel Briscoe, Virginia, USA
>
> On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Rebecca Sager wrote:
>
> > Lnaaron@aol.com wrote:
> > >
> > > Does anyone have written instructions for Gay Gordons? The question has
> > > arisen regarding with which foot each dancer begins. The only written
> > > instructions at hand indicate that the man, leading his partner in allemande
> > > position, takes four steps forward, beginning on the left foot, etc. Yet
> > > logic suggests that the lady begins on the right foot, facilitating the
> > > transition into polka for both.
> > >
> > > Ellen Aaron
> > > Campbell, CA (SF Branch)
> > >
> > > --
> > > Lnaaron@aol.com
> >
> > Collins Pocket Reference has "outside foot", which if it means man's left
> > and lady's right, makes no sense, if you're not on the same foot you
> > can't pivot to go backwards. I always teach both start on right foot,
> > which is the outside foot for both facing traditionally counter-clockwise
> > round the room. The polka has no bearing because that comes after the
> > turn-under-in-pas-de-basque figure which both start on the right foot
> > anyway.
> > Becky
> >
> > --
> > Rebecca Sager <bsager@bellsouth.net>
> >
> >
I have to agree with Mel. I learned the Gay Gordons as a folkdancer way
back and we always began with our outside foot since it's so much easier
for transitions.
Don Gertz, Portland OREGON

Gay Gordons

Message 9176 · Courtney Cartwright · 3 Oct 1997 10:43:56 · Top

At 10:08 AM 9/30/97 -0700, Oberdan Otto wrote:
>The Gay Gordons is one of the traditional "Olde Tyme" dances that never
>went out of fashion and was never in danger of being lost, as were the
>longways country dances. I think it has been the subject of a "Folk"
>process that has resulted in local variations.

This is so true. I once went to a weekend fnternational folkdance workshop
and saw that Gay Gordons was listed on the program (as a mixer). I asked a
newish dancer to dance with me, having spent a good deal of time with
Country Dance I knew I could get her through this -- even the mixer version
as described by Oberdan Otto. To my utter horror and amazement, the entire
room struck up a dance that I had never seen before, or since, come to think
of it. Apparently, one of the local teachers had gone to a Christmas
workshop at Berea College and had brought this dance back with her. It was
supposed to have been observed and recorded in an Appalachian community.
What did I do? I just danced my partner out of the dance floor and we
continued the more well known version on the side, picking up a few converts
along the way...

Courtney Cartwright
Tucson, Arizona USA
ccartwri@primenet.com

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