Another night with light attendance. I had 3 couples so, once again, mostly 2C and 3C set dances.
Sage and Salsa (16S+16R) 3C set - Still Enough to Dance
It's Nae Bother (32 J 2) - 4th Carnforth Collection
The Spirit of the Dance (32 S 3) - Paterson, leaflet
The Red Baron (32 R 2) - Katherine's Book
Clydebank Strathspey (32 S 2) - Graded & Social Dances 2
Maurice (32 S 2) - Dunsmuir Dances
Sage and Salsa – I like this dance! It is the first medley (other than 1314 and Schiehallion) that I have ever liked. Following the brief setting in Double Triangles formation, the petronella turn into the sidelines into cross and cast is what lifts this dance out of the morass of the mundane. Why? How? I don't know. Magic? Feels like it. Oh! Right! That dash of hot salsa. Jane Lataille, you deserve a gold medal for this one.
It's Nae Bother – by Derek Haynes. For beginners. In all other situations a throwaway.
The Spirit of the Dance – Another trial of the Tourbillon (the new way). Another success.
The Red Baron – Yes, I know, it's a children's dance - but I have always had a thing for Snoopy and his shot up doghouse (and the French bar maid). And for shadowing a partner.
The Clydebank Strathspey – A pleasant but unexceptional 2C strathspey from Roy Goldring.
Maurice – by Gary Thomas, published in the Dunsmuir collection, is one of the most beautiful dances I have ever seen and there is more than enough redeeming social value to payback all the effort needed to learn and perfect it. I just wish I had a better handle on how to teach it.
Bars 17-24 is a meanwhile figure and tonight I realized I have been making it harder than it really is. I deconstructed it too far, broke it down into too many details and confused my dancers.
1M 2L dance a diagonal back to back- meanwhile 1L 2M circulate clockwise around outside to end facing partner ready for a diagonal half reel of four.
There are wonderful opportunities for interacting with partner during that 4 bar phase and I was stressing those relationships, the covering and the eye contact, at the expense of the pattern. No wonder I was getting raggedy-andy dancing. My bad.
I am also struggling with the very odd transition from that reel into the poussette right round. I have not yet found a good way of teaching it. What I have been doing has been barely adequate and I do not want to be reduced to "we will keep practicing it until you get it right."
Sandra Bethray made the comment tonight that the dancers who seem to have trouble were those with a weak sense of space and position. After contemplating the situation I must say she is dead on right and that may be the key I've been missing.