By Bernie Bell
“Come and dance” – “My sweetie may not let me” – “Come and dance” – “Why don’t you come and get me” – from ‘The Broadway Melody of 1938’
The Britannia Two-Step
Three people in a row – the ’man’ in the middle of the two ‘ladies’. All do – left foot, heel-toe, heel-toe, then side –step left along the line of dance, twice.
Then, right foot, heel-toe, heel-toe, then side step right, along the line of dance, twice. Dance forward two steps, back two steps. The ’ladies’ set out and in – that means taking a little skippety step, sideways, out and in. The ’man’ goes forward, while the ‘ladies’ twirl outwards, while moving forward. Then, start again.
This dance is sometimes progressive, in which case, after the ’ladies ’return from twirling, the ’man’ takes their hands, and ‘hands them on’ to the central person (the ’man’) in the next row of dancers.
The Westray One-Step
Couple stand, with the ’man’ facing the line of dance, in the ’banjo hold’. This means – facing each other, but slightly off centre. The ‘lady’ stretches out her right arm, the ‘man’ stretches out his left arm, and they hold hands. The other hands, are as in waltz hold – ‘ladies’ left hand on ‘mans’ shoulder, ‘man’s’ right hand, on ladies waist. They then, pretty much march, forward, along the line of dance, for 8 steps, then back for 8 steps. Then, in waltz hold, they take two side-steps into the middle of the room, two side steps out again, and waltz round a bit.
This dance is very easy, but…..if folk don’t do it right and head in the right direction, it can lead to a lot of scraped heels. Think about it……..at any time, one half of the couple can’t see where they’re going, and then everyone turns round, and marches, determinedly, the other way. It really is easy, but, a bit of attention to what’s going on around you is needed, and some trust in your dance partner to guide you well.
Other dances covered by Bernie so far: