Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hannah's Birthday Balance

Recently a dance-deserving friend of ours, Hannah Rot, had a birthday, and this is one of our gifts to her.

We are beginning to divide dance counts into correct contra divisions: A, A2, B, B2. These are to aid you in following the music. Each division is 16 counts of music and movement. They do not change how the dances are danced.

A duple minor improper contra

Division A
1-4: All honor friend
5-8: All honor partner
9-12: Balance the ring
13-16: Balance the ring

17-24: Half ladies' chain with courtesy turn
25-28: Balance the ring
29-32: Balance the ring

Division B
33-40: Star, using handshake hold
41-48: Half ladies' chain with courtesy turn

49-52: 1s (actives) turning down the set, 2s (inactives) turning up, each couple takes closest hands with each other (gent's right to lady's left) and the ones pass over the twos, thus progressing down the set
43-56: Gents holding their lady's hand high, ladies twirl once underneath, much like a twirl in a waltz
57-60: All balance into new minor set. That is to say, each couple holding hands (but not with the other couple), they take two steps forward, and two steps back
60-64: All side balance. If you have danced the Gay Gordons, you may recognize this. Still holding hands and facing up or down the set, each couple takes two sideways steps toward each other, and two away from each other.

Recommended Music: The Beauty of the North, Tracks 21, 22, 23-- Reel de Chicoutimi, Reel St. Jean, Reel Eboulement. These three elegant and cheerful tracks merge into one another for a longer time of dance and enjoyment.

Terms for the dance:

Honour--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.

Balance the Ring--a minor set move--four counts--The minor set joins hands in a circle, facing inward. Everyone takes two steps toward the center of the circle and two steps back.

Ladies Chain--A minor set move--full: 16 counts; half: 8 counts--Involves two facing couples, each with the lady on the right. The women cross over giving each other right hands, and do a left hand turn about three quarters with the opposite man to end up beside him where the other woman started from. The men can help, first by moving to their right so the women coming to them don't have so far to go, and then by swinging them round firmly in the left hand turn. The turn we use is a courtesy turn. The gent holds the lady's left hand in his and the lady puts her right hand on her waist allowing the gent to take her right in his and help her around as they turn as couple. What has just been described is a half ladies chain, to do a full the figure is repeated again and everyone ends in the same spot as when they began the figure.

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. With the handshake hold the gents hold hands across the center of the minor set, and ladies hold hands on top of them. A fun move!

(all other terms left off this list are either defined in the dance description or can be found at the dance terms page).

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