I was talking to another contra dancer early this week and they mentioned that there seemed to be some moves that were easier to finesse with flourishes than others. In particular, the dancer referred to this flourish on a square-through
(that is, taking hands with your partner next to you on the side of the set and forming an arch for the person across from you to duck under). Another dancer remarked that frequently the dancers are concentrating on their own steps through it and sometimes don't respond to the offer of a hand to make an arch (or don't duck under the arch for similar reasons).
I certainly advocate dancers paying attention to the basics before they add the flourishes, but I'm still curious: to other flourishy dancers -- what makes a flourish easier or harder for you to lead? Is it the partner you attempt to pull the flourish on? Is it the other folks in the minor set? Is it the frequency of the call you're trying to pull a flourish on (e.g., most modern dances have partner swings; some have square-throughs, but I know at Glen Echo they're not done as often)? Is it something else? A combination?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!