Friday, April 20, 2007

Minor set figures

This is a little bit of housekeeping, getting our terms organized. The following are figures involving the whole set.

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.

Circle (minor set) --a minor set move--8 counts-- All dancers in the minor set join hands and circle in the direction given in the call. Left is more common than right, and if both are done, left will occur first.

Circle Hey-- a minor set move-- 16 counts-- In the minor set, face across center of hall, and pass right shoulders with your partner/friend/neighbor (the person across from you), then turn 90 degrees back into the set, and pass left shoulders with the other person, turn 90 degrees again, pass right shoulders with the first person you pass right shoulders with, then turn 90 degrees again and pass left shoulders with the first person you passed left shoulders with before. This is just like the right-and-left-through, without using hands.

Dixie Twirl --minor set move--(we use it in 8 counts)--In a line of four dancers, the center pair arches. The extreme right person leads through the arch (taking the one on their left along for the ride) while the left person walks to the right. This results in an inverted line now facing the other way.

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.

Petronella Turn (also called just a "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. This movement is adapted from the eponymous dance "Petronella," a traditional contra dance derived from a Scottish country dance of the same name. As an embellishment, you may add a "clap-clap" of hands on beats 3.5 and 4 of the 4-beat movement. It is Han's favorite move.

Right and Left Through-- a minor set move-- 16 counts-- This figure starts with two dancers facing another pair, frequently facing across the set to your partner, but sometimes facing up and down the set. Facing as directed you change places with the one you are facing giving right hands as you pass, then turn to your neighbour (90 degrees) and change places with them giving left hands, ending up holding left hands and both facing back in to the set (someone will have to turn; avoid twisting anyone's arm). A right and left is so frequently followed by a second that it is dangerous to describe it as such: usually what has been described is called `a half right and left through', and two in succession `a full right and left through'.

Stars--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 genereally 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. Another way is simply to "stack" all the hands in the center. A third way is to have the gents hold hands, and ladies hold hands on top of them. (In a proper...In an improper you can hold your corners hand) A fun move!

These terms taken from our dance terms page.

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