Friday, June 09, 2006

The Bob and Wheel

We just finished reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. A great story and very nifty poetry. At the end of each stanza, there is a rhyme structure called the Bob and Wheel. We got the idea that would be a neat name for a dance, and we just wrote it. Enjoy!

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The Bob and Wheel

A duple minor proper contra

(Since this dance starts with a petronella, it is helpful to call a Hands Four from the Top before beginning)

1-4 Petronella (4 counts)
5-8 Honor your partner (4 counts)
9-12 Petronella (4 counts)
13-16 Honor your partner (4 counts)

17-20 1st corner half allemande-right hands (4 counts)
21-24 Honor your corner all (4 counts)
25-28 2nd corner half allemande-right hands (4 counts)
29-32 Honor your corner all (4 counts)

33-36 1 and 2 gents half allemande while 1 and 2 ladies half allemande (4 counts)
37-40 Honor your partner (4 counts)
41-44 Balance with your partner (4 counts)
45-48 Swing your partner (4 counts)

49-56 Star right -(in this dance, the wagon wheel star should be used) with new minor set (8 counts)
57-64 Star left (8 counts)

No recommended music as of yet... will be researched and this post edited later.

Terms for the Dance

-Petronella--a minor set move--4 counts--Four dancers, equally spaced around a small ring (or square), move into the position of the dancer on their right in four steps while rotating (spinning) individually clockwise 3/4. As an embellishment, you may add a "clap-clap" of hands on beats 3.5 and 4 of the 4-beat movement.

-Honor----a still-standing move-- 4 counts (during a dance)-- You don't actually move on this one! Facing your partner or friend, the ladies curtsey and the gents bow. You've seen this done before many different ways-- pick a way you like.

-Half Allemande-- a turn--4 counts-- In traditional contra dancing, a right allemande would be performed by two people joining right hands and walking around each other in eight counts (a left allemande would be to join left hands, obviously). Hence, a half-allemande takes 4 counts, and the couple travels only halfway around each other, thereby switching places. If the allemande is a move performed by a lady and a gent, a shake-hand hold may be used.

-Balance--partner/friend move--4 counts-- The couple faces each other with both hands joined (less commonly with one hand joined) and takes two steps toward each other, and then two steps apart.

-Swing-- A turn-- 4 counts (often twice in 8 counts)-- Two dancers stand side by side facing in opposite directions, they then hold each other while moving forwards; the result is that they move together in a tight circle, and if they know what they are doing they can move rapidly and smoothly.The simplest instruction is to stand beside your partner right shoulder to right shoulder, take half a step back, and then put your right feet in so the feet are adjacent. To swing you simply walk round keeping each foot on its circle, taking your weight on the inner foot, and using the outer foot to push you round like working a scooter. Remember to pick the inside foot up to move it round the circle - some people tend to keep their inner foot nailed to the ground. The standard hold is a Ballroom hold, however in this dance it would be appropriate to simply hold hands as the swing directly follows a balance.

-Star--A minor set move-- 8 counts-- Stars are turns for (usually) four people. In your minor set, you reach into the center with one arm (a right arm for a right star, a left arm for a left star) and hold hands, then walk in a complete circle once. A right star generally goes first, and is usually followed by a left star. There are many ways to hold hands in the center. Our favorite way is to have each person hold the wrist of the person ahead of them-- this is often called a Wagon Wheel hold and is to be used in this dance (unless it's too confusing!)

Some of the definitions and instructions have been shortened, for further information look here.