After an Irish warm up (to mark the fact that it is St Patrick’s day this week), while still in a circle, we recapped slip step.
I demonstrated the foot positions, first position with heels together (every time) and 2nd position. Both these positions require good turn out from the hips. I also re-emphasised the fact that the circle’s momentum is slowed by the last step in either direction being 7 and close (rather than a full 8th step). After having practiced the slip step it was great to see the circles during the evening looking very tidy.
We moved on from 2 couple allemandes and promenades, to 3 couple ones. Both the 3 couple allemande and the 3 couple promenade start in the same way. Starting from the centre, the first step for the 1st couple is out to the right and pivot, the second across the top to face down the man’s side. On bar 3 and 4 the 1st couple dance down the side, allowing the 2s and 3s to come into a line behind them facing down the dance.
We then introduced the new dancers to Pas de Basque, setting step in quick time.
We focused on the 3 even beats and clapped the rhythm to help us feel the beat. Everyone picked up the rhythm well so we moved on to foot positions. Here is a great video to practice with Pas de Basque. We danced Espie McNabb to practice our Pas de Basque.
Everyone then danced two more challenging dances, ones that do appear on dance programmes. These were Joie de Vivre and 12 Coates Crescent, the latter being the address of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Societies headquarters in Edinburgh. Joie de Vivre is one of my favourites, we will repeat that next week to give it a little more polish.
The two dances we did for more advanced dancers were. The Minister on the Loch and Pelorus Jack. Pelorus Jack is a NZ devised dance. The tandem, alternating reels depicting dolphins playing and the name referring to a Risso’s dolphin famous for escorting ships through the Cook Straight in 1888 – 1912.