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Dancing in five-couple and seven-couple sets (was Glasgow Highlanders)

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    Iain Boyd June 15, 2006, 11:47 p.m. (Message 45568)

    Is this not a general issue though around 2 couple progression dances? If
    I have 5 couples in my class I often use 2 couple progression dances to
    allow everyone to participate. But it does mean that the couples starting
    as 1 and 5 have little chance to dance the "opposite direction" position. 
    If the number of couples reach 7 they have no chance.
    
    Campbell Tyler
    Cape Town
      Dear Campbell,
       
      With the small group I am currently teaching I use the following techniques - 
       
      Firstly, I tend to continue to dance three-couple dances.
       
      Five couples - 
       
      We form one set and I get the fourth and fifth couples to dance the
      sequence once each - ie fourth couple dances once and finishes in
      second place then the fifth couple starts.
       
      However, I must admit that this does leave the bottom two couples
      standing around doing nothing at the end of the dance.
       
      Seven couples - 
       
      We use the 'beg and borrow' concept - ie the top three couples form
      one set while the bottom four couples form the other set. When the
      first couple in the bottom set are dancing their second-time through
      the (usually) free couple at the top acts as fourth couple for the
      top set.
       
      The dancers in the top set are more active and should be the more
      able and/or fit dancers.
       
      Six couples - 
       
      I get the group to form two three-couple sets. 
       
      If the dance is suitable (ie the beginning and/or ending of the
      dance is not to frenetic) then I will ask the dancers to perform the
      dance and go to the bottom and then repeat with a new top couple. We
      usually do the dance only six times.
       
      However, if the formations do not allow for this then I will get the
      two sets to dance alternatively.
       
      The downside is that dancers are standing around watching and not
      participating but at least we can continue to do three-couple
      dances.
       
      Regards,
       
      Iain Boyd
       
    
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  • ...

    mlamontbrown June 16, 2006, 1:10 a.m. (Message 45569, in reply to message 45568)

    Ian wrote:
    
    >   Firstly, I tend to continue to dance three-couple dances.
    > 
    >   Five couples -
    > 
    >   We form one set and I get the fourth and fifth couples to dance the sequence once
    each - ie
    > fourth couple dances once and finishes in second place then the fifth couple
    starts.
    
    As one of our members pointed out, leaving the 4th couple in 2nd place while the 5th
    couple starts is particularly hard on the original 2nd couple, as they only dance
    once as 2nd couple & twice as dancing couple. It is slightly fairer for the 4th
    couple to dance once as dancing couple and then slip to the bottom, as then the
    original 2nd couple are at least involved 4 times!
    
    Malcolm
    
    
    Malcolm L Brown
    York  (UK)
  • ...

    Peter McClure June 16, 2006, 11:34 p.m. (Message 45577, in reply to message 45568)

    >
    >As one of our members pointed out, leaving the 4th couple in 2nd 
    >place while the 5th
    >couple starts is particularly hard on the original 2nd couple, as 
    >they only dance
    >once as 2nd couple & twice as dancing couple. It is slightly fairer 
    >for the 4th
    >couple to dance once as dancing couple and then slip to the bottom, 
    >as then the
    >original 2nd couple are at least involved 4 times!
    >
    
    It is usually even easier to have the couples in 3rd and 4th places 
    after the 7th time through (the original 1s and 2s) switch places as 
    the original 5th couple begins the last turn.
    
    However, since I think we're talking about classes, not a social or 
    formal dance, is it not even better to have the musician, or CD 
    player, or whatever, play the dance twice through, then stop (often a 
    good opportunity for last observations to the class), then 8 times?
    
    Peter McClure
    Winnipeg, MB

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