Usually the first class after a ball is going to be on the small side, and tonight was no exception. I am not sure I was all there either as I am definitely suffering from post ball depression. After exhilarating highs come the Death Valley lows.
Tonight there were only four dances:
The March Hare (32 R 3) I. Boyd
Gypsy Dreams (32 S 2) T. Glasspool
St. Patrick’s Day (24 J 2) Herbold & Price
Phyllis’ Fancy (32 S 2) B. Priddey
The March Hare – This was in my section of warm up dances and that was a mistake. No way no how should this be a warm up dance. Not a bad dance actually, kind of a bunny hop thing. Kind of fluffy.
Gypsy Dreams – Another home run from Terry Glasspool. The first three figures of the dance are inspired, one might say pure dead brilliant. There is a but though. The dance has one minor flaw - the Tournée. However, of all the dances that have the Tournée, this dance comes closest to making it palatable.
I taught this dance to this group in 2005, and tournée was a problem for them then and it was still a problem now. But definite progress was made tonight. I took a slightly different tack. Usually the figure is described as 1 bar to come in, 2 bars of rotation, and then, on bar 4, you turn your partner with one hand or the other to put you in position for the barn door turns that follow.
What I see is: 1 bar in, 2 bars to rotate and 5 bars of barn door turns. And that means that at the end of bar 3 couples need to be facing correctly and there is no time to ponder the situation.
The upper couple turns with upper hands/lower couple turns with lower hands - that began to get through and seems to have made a difference with at least 2 dancers, both of whom have severe right/left challenges.
But the teaching/learning process is so ugly. The figure is completely devoid of helpful clues. It is rote memorization and repetition. And when done right it is a pretty thing. But is it worth the effort?
St. Patrick's Day – Not the RSCDS version which is an abortion and not worth the effort. Instead the version that Bruce Herbold and I came up with.
Society says: Right Hands Across half round in four bars. Then poussette back to place in four bars. That is - out and turn, move and turn, into the middle and fall back. Oh, and one more thing, make it look elegant …Righhht!
I say: Right Hands Across half way in the [otherwise] standard two bars, then you have six bars to poussette - out on 3, turn on 4, move on 5, turn on 6, into the middle on 7, fall back to place on 8.
The rest of the dance is Bruce's: Down the middle for 4, change places with partner with a California Twirl (woman under joined hands, man across below ptnr), and lead up to 2nd place.
Dance RHA with 2C, 1C turn RH x 1_1/2 to own sides.
Phyllis' Fancy – From the pen of Barry Priddey but not one of his greatest. It is a 'safe' dance: no risk so only slight reward. I'd put it on a program when a mental breather is needed.