Three of the dances I taught deserve comment.
Lapton Reel - 32 R 2C (Barry Priddey - SDA #69) is essentialy an 8 bar set up, 8 bar half fig. eight, 10 bar half petronella and 6 bar closer. 2 bar phases followed by setting. On my initial reading I commented that there seemed to be some interesting interactions and that it seemed simple enough. I was half right.
There is an underlying pattern but it is broken up by the setting and not easy for most dancers (in my class any way) to discern. It was also rather difficult to teach coherently. I found lots of demonstration and lots of repetition were necessary. The teaching took so much time I thought the response would be negative. Wrong - it was mostly positive. I wasn't able to get in it, but the report is : very aerobic. For them to actually say it has to be so. This one gets a thumbs up from the class and they are a tough sell.
Langholm Fair - 32 S 3C/3C set (Jean Attwood - Alexander Dances 3)
This is the third time I have taught the dance since early this past summer and the response has been unanimous - "It's a good one." Not that I am surprised. This is from the same person who wrote The Falls of Rogie. The dance is inherently simple but there is one tricky (not hard) piece: a half promenade that requires very controlled traveling steps. I have short listed this dance.
Gordon of Straloch -32 S 3C (one of my still unpublished efforts).
The music is critical to this dance (in my opinion). The dance wrote itself to Liz Donaldson's set of strathspey airs on her CD Waverley Station : First Stop. The fourth tune in the set is from the Straloch Lute Book (1627) where the A phrase doesn't stop at 8 bars. The dance tries to follow the music and there should be no "break" between bars 8 and 9, between the diamond poussette and the lead down. I find too that there is no one proper moment where the dancers should change feet. (I do it when it is convenient for me and not necessarily when I said it should be done). I have consistently gotten positive responses to this dance which is not surprising given the extraordinary music.
I promise: I will be posting the dance on Eight by Thirtytwo soon.
5 Nov 2009 - Update
Gordon of Straloch is now posted on Eight by thirtytwo.