To all who showed up and danced their hearts out: Thank You, a thousand times Thank You.
To the New Haven Friends for their generosity in opening their Meeting House for us - a thousand times Thank You as well.
We were given nine dances to test. There was a nice mix; some were simple, some were sweet, and some were monsters and one was worthy of the title "Massacre on Elm Street".
First Category: Strathspey (four dances).
Taking last place in the category was Dance No.64 - Watching it danced I thought it deserved better. The swapover half reel into 1L leaving and going her own way for 4 bars was a lovely move. One person commented negatively on how asymmetric the dance was; not always a problem in my opinion.
First Runner-Up was Dance No. 78- a medley, 64S+64R square set, it both looked and danced better than it read or walked. One comment was that the sequence was more interesting in quick time.
Taking "First" in the category but not Best of Show, winning my heart and status as my favorite dance of the day, was Dance No. 39. It is simple, it is sweet, it is not a world changer but it is a keeper.
In the Jig category (2 dances):
First runner up was Dance No. 65. Nice concept but the Half Rondel was just not enough to overcome the yawn factor.
So, even though we never quite got the dance to work (we were on a tight schedule and there just wasn't enough time to work out all the kinks) the winner of the Jig category, and taking home a check of $0.00, was Dance No.83 with an Espagnole and promenade half reels of three on the sides.
With three entries the final category - Reels:
Winner of the "Monster of the Day" award was Dance No 49, the one we ended up calling "Massacre on Elm Street." An 80 bar reel square set, it had, by far, the most interesting and original choreography of the day. The dance is ALL about the transitions, the sheer number and variety of them being its downfall. Additionally, given the time constraints, the Schiehallion Reels and the double wide wheels needed far more practice than we could give them. In the end it came down to this - there simply wasn't enough social value in the dance to adequately reward the effort expended in perfecting it. A shame, because it clearly came from a crooked mind (and I love minds like that).
And now the moment we have all been waiting for: winner of its category and Grand Champion of Batch No.5 - Dance No. 95! Short form (in 3 words or less) – the most fun!
No. 25 – 32 S 4
No. 39 – 32 S 3 set
No. 49 – 40 R 3
No. 64 – 32 S 3
No. 65 – 32 J 3
No. 71 – 80 R 4 square set
No. 78 – (64S+64R) square set
No. 83 – 32 J 4 (3C 4C improper)
No. 95 – 40 R 4 (2C 4C improper)