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Teaching Rights and Lefts (was Modern technology in preparation forthe prelim?)

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    Loretta Holz Feb. 7, 2006, 5:32 a.m. (Message 44170)

    Iain wrote--
    > I usually teach 'rights and lefts' to beginners as follows -
    He detailed 5 steps.
    This multi-step process probably works very well but I have found a much
    quicker method of teaching rights and lefts.  Right hand across with partner
    is no problem.  It's the left along the line which confuses beginners
    because they don't know which way to turn (and may end up turning around in
    a circle).  Rather than telling them which way to turn, I have found that
    the information they need is WHOM they need to look for.
    When they are standing in the set, they need to carfully observe whom they
    are standing next to.  The simple direction is to find that same person on
    the other side and immediately give left hand to him or her.  By locating
    this person on their right or left, they have the direction established
    without thinking right or left.  This has worked very well for me.
    Warren, NJ, USA
  • ... Feb. 7, 2006, 8:01 a.m. (Message 44172, in reply to message 44170)

    I prefer the Boyd approach to the Loretta one, in that the "whom" is 
    not always so cut and dried. Before I arrived at the Boyd approach, I 
    was indictrinated by the "square" approach my my teachers, and of 
    course passed it on. It is only in a square where one has a choice of 
    turning right or left, in a circle the choice is as obvious as the next 
    free hand. Besides, there are no square movements in any dances, so why 
    waste time with an impossible concept in the first place. 
    To me, such 
    concepts are one of the reasons the Society has not caught on with the 
    population at large, because while the words say interaction with a 
    bunch of people, the hidden message, is not the set within itself, but 
    from the viewpoint of the spectator who is not a participant, e.g. 
    straight lines and right angles, when all dancing is a series of 
    While I am on the subject, I had an RSCDS moment at a 
    Mallorquí dance class last night. Remember the thing about a pdb being 
    danced in place and not side to side. Ridiculous of course as in place 
    is as impossible as straight lines and right angles, what should be 
    stressed is less side to side. Anyway, we were doing fandangos, 
    themselves an outgrowth of contry dances, and the figure was 
    "triángulos" (the double in the RSCDS is redundant, and also 
    inaccurate, since our figure has nothing to do with that found in 
    historical dances), and guess what, the teacher was saying that in this 
    figure one should not move from side to side in the setting step, but 
    do it on the spot.

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