By Bernie Bell
“Ya dancin’?” “Ya askin’?” “Am askin’.” “Am dancin’”…
The Gay Gordon’s
Hands held across shoulders. Go forward for three steps, turn round to go backwards for three steps, kind of twisting arms round. It’s hard to describe this manoeuvre so, maybe best watch someone doing it, then have a go.
Repeat what you’ve just done. Then, side–step……….. out–in, out-in, and a quick waltz round. And start again.
If you want to practice this, it works well to hum the tune for ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus.’
St. Bernard’s Waltz
Stand in ‘Ballroom hold’, which means, as though you’re going to start waltzing. Maybe I should describe that? Stand facing each other. For ease, once again, I’ll say the ‘lady’, who will be standing facing the centre of the room, puts her left hand on the right shoulder of the ’man’, while the ‘man’, puts his right hand on the waist of the ‘lady’.
Hold out your un-occupied arms, and join hands. When we first started to learn, we repeatedly got snarled up, trying to do this, but then, the teacher realised what was wrong. I went to an all-girls school, and for some reason, had mostly been told to be the ’man’ when learning dances, so, I automatically took the mans stance. Mike had never danced, so he just tried to do the same thing – it didn’t work. So, from then on, I put my hand on his shoulder, he put his hand on my waist, and…it worked. A lot of confusion before we worked it out, though!
Back to the dance…………….
Stand in Ballroom hold. Step sideways along the line of the dance, one step, two steps, then, on the third step, heels down. Then, back, the way you came, one step, two steps, on the third step, ’lady’ steps forward towards centre the room, with her right foot – man steps backwards towards the centre of the room, with his left foot. Then, do that in reverse, which brings you back to the line of dance. Then, step forward along the line of dance, with your outer foot ( both of you) then bring your inside foot, round, and quick waltz.
For that matter, having read these, and maybe got a basic idea, it might be a good idea to watch people, for a bit, then have a go.
You’ll begin to notice, that a general rule is…if you do something in one direction, you then repeat it, in the opposite direction. Remembering that, can help you to remember what to do next!
There is a ‘language’ of dance, too, and once you become aware of that, you get an instinct for what is likely to follow.
I noticed that I hadn’t written ‘Strip The Willow’ in my book. That’s because I find it impossible to describe! That really is one, where it’s best to watch and pay attention, then next time, have a go. It’s not a difficult dance to learn , or do, it’s just difficult to describe. Watching, helps a lot, and, also, usually the people in the dance with you are happy to, let’s say, point you in the right direction if you go astray!