As we've been going through our various flourishes and such (by the way, please submit favorites and requests to us), we've gotten a couple of flourishes related to that two-beat "pause" in a Petronella twirl. While some people can't stand the two claps that have tended to follow it, preferring to rejoin hands and look at the other three people in the circle or do something else entirely,* we've also seen some really cute ways of eating up that time (playing pattycake with your partner -- or all three other people in the minor set -- comes to mind). Obviously there are some dances that are written to require dancers to go straight into the next figure ("The Cure for the Claps" by Bob Isaacs comes to mind, and every time it's called the room tends to stumble over not clapping for at least the first few iterations), but in the dances that don't require you to skip it, what's your favorite thing to do during those two beats?
* I actually happen to like it when most of the room does those claps (or some sort of emphasis on those beats), for the record. It's an audible check as to whether you're on time in the dance and it tends to connect the room since it's too short to do too much else before you have to move on. But I also didn't start dancing until after the claps were pretty firmly entrenched, so this probably colors my opinion.
This project has concluded as of mid-2013 (with an epilogue posted mid-2016) but we hope to see you soon on a contra dance floor! Meanwhile, head over to our Facebook page for upcoming techno contra events and other items of interest.
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I dance with abandon. I play with glowsticks. I look for music that is conducive to one or both. I play behind cameras. I write about all of the above. I'm based in Glen Echo's contra dance community outside of Washington, D.C., but I'm happy to go dance afield when I can. Lather, rinse, repeat. Always repeat.
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