Steve said at one point that what contra dance needs is a GAP commercial, like the one that helped bring swing dancing to a more mainstream audience. I wonder if maybe I should be writing to Felicia Day -- yes, the one from The Guild and Dr. Horrible -- and suggesting she do contra on her Flog vlog. (Just, please, can we get her some better teachers than she got for swing? The Click Heard Round the World blogger -- who swing dances and occasionally has some interesting insights into social dance -- made a few comments that I rather agree with that disagreed loudly with some of how this was taught....I kind of want to send the studio our Hamish Ascot entry from the other week, since it seems to apply here too. There is more to being a good follow than just lying back, closing your eyes, and thinking of England...being present in the dance, for one.)
This week's flourish is a little something you can do when going from a gypsy into a swing, and a way to add a little momentum to your partner before you sweep them into a swing. Take a look:
You, too, can have your flourishes featured! Drop me a line!
Happy Friday to all!
This week's flourish is a neat little back lead that we originally saw in a video from the Scout House with Nor'easter playing (filmed by frankhsieh; thanks for pointing us to it, klmabon!)
The neat thing about this flourish is that it's actually a combination of two flourishes linked together into a back lead (a turn-under and a ripcord twirl -- wow has it really been ten months since we posted that last one?). As with all ripcord twirls, be careful of your partner's shoulders and do not yank their arms.
Dancers are, as usual, Ryan Holman (a.k.a. your friendly techno contra blogger) and Steven Roth (the guy with the ponytail).
Send us your flourishes! They might be featured here!
P.S. Like the "Dance with who's comin' atcha/dJ improper" shirts? Friend of the site Penelope Weinberger is in charge of those as her own project. If you'd like to get one, message me and I'll pass on her info!
Today's (fixed!) flourish was originally caught on video by Kevin Mabon (user klmabon on YouTube) the other week at Glen Echo's Friday Night Dance and was done in that video by Jen Buffington and Steve Terleski. Thi is probably one of our most challenging flourishes to date, but don't let the need for persistence stop you from having fun trying it out:
You could have your flourishes featured here as well! Send them to me through this site or send them through YouTube to user ContraSyncretist!
Have a fabulous weekend!
Carry on Dancing,
Before I get to the Friday Flourish for today, I wanted to draw your attention to a post on caller and musician Jeff Kaufman's blog from earlier this week talking about a musician's POV when playing for a dance and how it differs from playing a concert, which I thought was especially interesting in light of my post from Wednesday about music's relationship to dancers from a dancer's POV. (For those of you who DJ crossover events, you might want to read that too, as I think there are some applicable tidbits to think about when planning set lists for a contra gig and it echoes some points DJ Gaga made in Monday's article.)
Anyway, onward! This week's flourish takes the skaters' hold variant on a promenade that we discussed last week and pulls it into a swing variant. As one might expect, you can generate a lot of centrifugal force, so be prudent about doing this with people who have sore shoulders and the like.
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.
Comments are welcome; spam-bots and disrespectful behaviors are not. Please do (nicely) point out errors if they are found.