Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Tuesday evening practice

So, what do we do on a Tuesday evening, when we get together for practice?

Well, obviously, we practice, but exactly what we practice depends on whether we are expecting to dance out soon. In the winter we spend much more time learning new dances ready for the summer. When we are going to be dancing out the following weekend we practice the dances we will be doing, with the people who will be dancing that weekend in the likely positions that they will dance.

Last night we spent time going through all the dances that we know from last year, with as many dancers as possible in as many different positions as possible - so the musicians got to play the same tunes lots of times. It may not be obvious, but you don't just have to know a particular dance, because very often it is danced slightly differently in a different position.  If the person who normally leads off isn't there, then other dancers need to know how to do that - which bar of music they set off on and which direction they dance.  People on the corners of a set of dancers often have different moves to those in the middle of a row of people. If you are on the other side of a set of dancers, which side of your partner do you pass, right or left? Go the wrong way and you will likely crash into someone else.

The band plays on
After a short break for tea and coffee David got to learn Worcester Monkey - which we learned from Wicket Brood - and which he's seen before, but not danced.   We've only known this a little while, and we need to work on this to get our lines straighter, but this VIDEO shows some of the problems with how to manage complex moves and paces when your dancers vary in height by more than a foot.  Squire Martin gets over enthusiastic with stick bashing!

Then Chris was taught 'Moonshine'.  Finally, we practiced our new dance for eight dancers, a small bit of which can be seen here - HARVEST MOON. This section needs more work to get right, but it is beginning to come together.

A great evening, loads of fun.

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