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 week we continue with our four-person move flourishes (thank you again to Julie Crow and Mike Lyons for helping us out!); this week we play with Petronella spins!
Only one caveat this week: the roll-aways will make you and your partner trade places; unless you're dancing switch, make sure there are enough Petronella turns to get you both in the places you want to be in by the end of the sequence. This one may confuse new dancers, so use with caution.
With patty-cake, however, it doesn't matter which place you're in or whether it's with your neighbor, your partner, or your shadow. It's also a fairly basic flourish that can be led on just about anyone and if it's not answered -- no harm, no foul, dance goes on, no special potential for injury (hooray!).
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But wait, there's more! Bonus Videos from Contra Sonic last Tuesday, May 24th!
This week I set up the camera and shot some bonus videos up on the Contra Syncretist YouTube channel from the Contra Sonic dance from last Tuesday night (Janine "J-9" Smith and Brian "B-Ham" Hamshar called):
Attention Boston-area Readers: I'll be traveling north to visit Boston and while my presence at the Brattleboro, VT dawn dance is looking highly unlikely (alas!), I am planning to bring my host with me to the Scout House on Monday night to dance over in Concord! Hope to see you on the dance floor!
Carry on Dancing,
Ryan, a.k.a. the Contra Syncretist
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.
The 100+ Friday Flourish videos can still be found on YouTube.
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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