Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dancing on the Heights (Friends Meeting House)

A good evening was had by all. And the all was 5 couples!

Tonight's dances:
Winter Wonder (32 H 3) J. Lataille
The Bonny Heather (32 S 2) Between the Rivers (Harry Ways)
The Merry Ploughboy (32 R 3) B. Priddey - SDArchives #132
John of Bon Accord (32 R 3) 33/5 (R. Goldring)
She’s Ower young to Marry Yet (32 S 3) 14/8

Winter Wonder - Discussed in an earlier post.

The Bonny Heather - doesn't float my boat, but the others liked it.

The Merry Ploughboy - Two big obstacles to overcome. First: finding the right music - laid back leisurely reels are an absolute necessity. I ended up using Muriel Johnstone's set for Lady Dumfries. Recommended. Second: dancers need to get over the weirdness of Half Lefts and Rights. One great suggestion from the floor - teach it and dance it as a strathspey first. Worked like a charm. Sense of the meeting - worth doing again.

Dance opens with 1C turning RH 1-1/4 round moving down to 2nd place. I have rarely seen moving turns look good - my contribution was to suggest dancing first 1/2 turn in place then 'cross' down and turn the final 1/4. The turns improved.

She's Ower Young to Marry Yet - Just two observations: The setting and circles need to look good as they are a central part of the dance. So using bars 7&8 to 'draw' the circles into lines - proper technique per the manual - makes a huge difference.
Too, getting the third figure to work smoothly requires some creative thinking. What I saw when the dancers met and started down on bar 17 it did not look good. My suggestion is for 1C to dance up and then in to meet on bar17, use bars 18-20 to dance down the middle to third place (do-able with a controled step), cross bar 21, and dance up the sides for bars 22-24. See manual for Promenade 3 Couples: there are principles in common.

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