Friday, February 12, 2016

3 February 2016 - Westchester

This week was again mostly ball prep. with a experiment as well.

Last week I taught a dance brought to my attention by one of my dancers (Swirling Snow - 32 S 3 set) which was well received by the class. I brought it to the attention of the teachers on the NY Branch dance list committee and they liked it enough that they put on the list for 2016-17.

And that brought another dance to my attention, one proposed as a beginner friendly jig, Beach Dancer (32 J 3) by Eddy West. It did not get onto the list mainly because none of us had ever danced it and it had this moment we deemed potentially unfriendly.

I was curious so I taught it and now we know - it is a good dance, liked by the dancers who would willingly dance it again, but it is not for beginners. It just isn't tolerant enough of a late start into the chase, a six bar distance with only four bars of music, and a skip change that doesn't fly.

I had a lot of fun teaching Caberfei. I took a slightly different approach this time. I built up to the half set and travel for three. I started with extension (jeté) of the right leg, hop left into the skip change a perfectly normal move. I then had them extend the left leg and hop on the right into a skip change. Also perfectly normal but not as a starting step. But they showed they could. I then had them wait a bar and start with the left on bar two. Most did it just fine. A few had muscle memory issues they just couldn't over ride. I then had them saying "pas de basque (without the doing) and HOP…"

With a little practice most could hold on bar one and start skip change on bar two. I then added the actual pas de basque to the exercise. It worked better than anything else I have tried.

Dance taught this week:-

A Wee Nothing  – (32 J 2)  – E. Brunken
Beach Dancer  –  (32 J 3)  –  Eddy West
Gramachie  –  (32 S 3)  –  MMM
Caberfei  –  (32 R 3)  –  18C
Reel of the 51st  –  (32 R 3)  –  13/10

Gloria's Wee Jig  –  (32 J 2)  –  McMurtry
Asilomar Romantic  –  (32 S 3)  –  Cuthbertson
Highland Rambler  –  (40 R 3)  –  Goldring