Our step practice for the evening was advance and retire in skip change. It is more challenging going backwards – the rhythm is still the same -hop right close right, hop left close left. Extend your leading leg behind as straight as possible on the retire. We concentrated on perfecting rights and lefts. Remember that it is the woman in 2nd place and the man in 1st place who turn into place. This is the only position that there is a “twiddle”.
We also looked at figures of 8 across the dance. Another 8 bar formation r – 2 to cross, 2 to dance up or down the side, 2 to cross and 2 to dance up or down the side to original places. You did well with this as you need to be confident in which couple you are – 1s are crossing down to begin and 2s are crossing up. The figure of 8 is a basis for several formations that we will cover as we build up our knowledge.
We danced the following;
Through the Garden Gate
This was to practice courtesy or polite turns that we do in right and lefts. Not quite the same in the formation but gave you the feeling of the half turn required for 2 of the 4 dancers
The Highland Fair
Casting off behind the lines and back, a new progression using lead down the middle and back. This time 1s lead and the twos dance up for 1 bar and then follow them down for 3 steps, 2s lead back and finish in 1st place, with 1s in 2nd place, and our formation for the evening – rights and lefts.
The Atholl Reel
Introduction of advance and retire. 1st man and 2nd woman began (4 bars) followed by 1st woman and 2nd man. Again it is important to remember what number person you are. Then formations you are familiar with – leading down the middle and back and rights and lefts
The Oban Reel
Introduction of figures of 8 across the dance.
The rest of the formations were repeats. 1st couple followed by 2nd couple who dance up the side lead down the middle, 2s lead back and the dance finished with rights and lefts.
Another good week. I hope the building up of formations is helpful, as are the repeats of those you have already learnt.
See you next Monday.