Thomas G. Mungall, III June 9, 2006, 5:59 p.m. (Message 45488)
Re: Regarding Dance Technique and Etiquette
Sophie, this is an excellent explanation. I have been doing some more research since I posted and noted that it is in particularly American Contra and Australian Bush dance tradition that will utilize the thumb turn while both English and Scottish Country traditions utilize the hand shake hold. I think since our vintage class attempts dances from other traditions such as Scottish, English and French, they should utilize the correct traditions that originate from those dance styles. I think your point is well taken regarding the use of a thumb hold in a march type of dance, such as the "Lancer's Quadrille", as being inconsequential but in reels and jigs it is a matter of safety. Tom ----- Original Message ----- From: "Sophie Rickebusch" <firstname.lastname@example.org> I would tend to agree with you and not let pass something which is potentially dangerous. Most of the dancers in my class came to SCD through american barn-dancing or international folk dancing and they do have a tendency to use the thumb hold. Most of them quickly get the point when I explain why I do not want to see that in the SCD class. It may not be of much consequence in sedate, march-type dances, but in reels or jigs, where there is a risk that someone might slip while doing a fast turn, it's a different matter. If you take shake-hand hold and the other person stops supporting their own hand, you find yourself holding it up by the hand itself, which is fairly solid. Do the same with a thumb hold and you're left holding their thumb... just imagine what that would give if they slipped at full speed and you tried to hold them back! The other option being of course to drop hands if they slip, on the assumption that the fall will be less damaging than ripping out their thumb, but that wouldn't be very gentlemanly and my guess is they wouldn't thank you for it! Maybe a diplomatic way to approach this could be that you wouldn't like to risk causing THEM an injury - then demonstrate the point as explained above.