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Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Jenny Evans and Amy Beshara.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

25 August 2015 – Summer Dance New Haven

Well, the last class of the summer is done and with it my chance to experiment with new dances.
It was a mix of the old and the new and the so new it's untried.

Dances taught:

The Pawling Mermaid  -  (32 J 3)  - Price
Orpington Caledonians  -  (32 R 3)  - Bk 49/2
Richard the Third  -  (32 S 3)  - Glasspool
Hunter's Moon  -  (32 J 4)  -  Drewry
Land of the Heather Hills  -  (32 S 4)  - Priddey
Red House  -  (40 R 2)  - Bk 7/2
Woodland Assembly  -  (64 J 4 square)  - Priddey


The Pawling Mermaid :- Another Beta Test of an untried dance.  It worked, received reasonably good reviews from the dancers on the floor. That makes it two out of three. Now I just need to get the strathspey to work and I will have a set of Mermaid dances.

Orpington Caledonians :-  A repeat from last week, a check to be sure that I wasn't off my rocker. I wasn't. Still simple, easy and nice. Definitely worth short listing for the Kilts and Ghillies Tea Dance in May of next year.

Richard the Third :- I last taught this dance in 2009 as it was on that year's Kilts and Ghillies dance. My memory, 6 years out from the date, is that it is a good dance. To my mind it deserves a Golden Ghillie. It didn't get one. But it is [still] loverly. Still on my to 10 list.

Hunter's Moon :- Quicktime La Baratte. Into prom. hold into Bees of Maggieknockater reels. Nice.
Sandra suggested it for the K&G. I had to see it. Shades of several other John Drewry's dances. A bit of Bees, a bit of Blooms, a bit of ...

The one quirky bit is the exit from La Barratte (a left hand turn) into promenade hold - 2M with 3L (2L with 3M) - the lady is on the man's right and that, naturally, is where his attention goes - to his right, so that has to be the way the reel starts, to his right, right?

Wrong! - the reel has a left shoulder start. I can almost hear John up there snickering a quiet "Gotcha" - as if he ever would.

Land of the Heather Hills :- a repeat from 2 weeks ago. Some new dancers so a bit more teaching than I had hoped just before the break. But again a very positive response.  Still a keeper.

Red House :- A golden oldie that has come around to being new again for the current generation of dancers. Me, I am still jaded from the last round, but Deborah has only danced it once before and needs to really know it if she is going to be prepping classes for NY's JC Ball.

We talked it over on the way home and cleared up one "issue" for me. I had not realized that the Rd House reels are really 10 bar figures danced to an eight bar phrase.

For example: 2nd man (in the middle of the reel) has to dance a complete reel and pass 1st man one more time - a 8 bar reel plus an extra pass. 1st man, similarly, dances a full reel and then an extra pass to end in 2nd place. 1st lady, has 2 bars to cross down - dances out & up, dances in & up, dances out & down to 2nd place, and then needs 2 bars to cross back to her own sides - a 10 bar movement that has to be danced in an 8 bar phrase of music. And we wonder why this is so hard to teach.

Woodland Assembly :- The is a problem here. What I have written down as the directions for the last 8 bars doesn't work. My crib says RH turn, then LH turn. The flow of the dance clearly asks for LH turn followed by a RH Turn. Barry Priddey wouldn't make that kind of mistake so the error is probably mine. I need to go back and check my card against the original.

Barry wrote this after several people complained that the song "Teddy Bear's Picnic" didn't have its own dance. Not bad but not his best effort. I will probably keep this in my card file for a specialty moment or for a children's or beginner's class.

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