Saturday, March 27, 2010

Woodbridge Class - 26 March 2010

Last week (19 March 2010) I had a family emergency and canceled class - they, wise people that they are, thought to call on a substitute and held class without me.

The Dances on the 19th were:
The Duchess Tree (32 S 3) J. Drewry
Maurice (32 S 2) Dunsmuir Dances (G. Thomas)
Back to Back (32 J 3) T. Glasspool
Montgomeries' Rant (32 R 3) 10/1

Tonight's dances were:
The March Hare (32 R 3) I. Boyd
Blooms of Bon Accord (32 R 4) J. Drewry
Anna Holden's Strathspey (32 S 2) 42/2
Glen Falloch (32 J 3) J. Attwood
Major Ian Stewart (32 J 3) 35/4
Dundee Whaler (32 S 4) R. Clowes


The March Hare – The hardest part of the dance is the 3rd figure - 1C, back to back in the center, set twice to 1st corner, set twice to 2nd corner. And what is so difficult about that? Nothing. Which is why I have a flat forehead, I smack it every time dancers make the figure hard on themselves, which is all too often.

You can tell them, tell them again, tell them that you told them and they will still leave enough room between themselves and their partners that a Mack truck could drive between them. It is not rocket science, it is simple geometry. The closer to the center you can stand the shorter the distance you have to travel when you move to face your 2nd corner. The closer to your corner you are the longer the distance you have to travel. So why do so many of you make it hard for yourself? For sure I dunno, and I sure don't get it.

Blooms of Bon Accord – It has been several years since I taught this. And I love it. Especially to the "wrong" music. Cocker's Roses is a nice enough tune but the only version I have includes a bunch of very campy tunes. Some people like that, I don't. But I love the set of tunes for Angus MacLeod - which are 'Angus MacLeod' and 'Pulling Bracken'. It is the set of tunes we used when I danced on the dem team, and nothing since then has felt as 'right', not even the 'proper' sets.

Anna Holden's Strathspey – A dance for control freaks, especially the first 8 bars. If you don't have the control then you better dance it big and expand the set. One way or the other it is not easy to get the cross/cast into the barn door turns to fit together smoothly. But do it and you have the key to the dance.

Glen Falloch – You tell and they don't believe you - Yes Virginia, the interleaved Reel of 3 and R&L by the corners really will work. And to watch the expressions on the dancer's faces transform from serious doubt to mixed feelings to joy is priceless.

Dundee Whaler – A simple dance, but almost nobody knows what "petronella" is these days. "Set and petronella turn" it is all they know. A "petronella" is "petronella turn and then set", four times, back to original place. And it isn't like we're neglecting our teaching. It is just that there are so very few dances that have petronella in them and so very many Drewry dances, and others, with the other.

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