Monday, December 10, 2007

A Question & a Plea

Relay The Deucey, Motivate, Chain Reaction—what do they all have in common? They often break squares down. And the reason why is also something they all have in common: they depend on stars or star-like formations and there are four different paths (the maximum) an individual dancer may have to dance through. 

Star formations, if failed, break a square down because there's no saving line, no other line of four, to rebuild on by imitation. And star formations often fail when dancers are imperfect team players (it takes four dancers to make a star: if one smarty-pants dancer has skittered on ahead, a tardy dancer may not see the formation and so fail to dance the call!).

Now to the question and the plea. When teaching or workshopping any of these calls, why don't callers put us dancers through all four paths. It's absolutely essential for dancers who dance by position and it's no waste of time for dancers who dance by definition. An entire cycle of Relay The Deucey and Motivate can be achieved by having the dancers Swing Thru in between the four iterations. The same can be accomplished for Chain Reaction by an Extend & Outsides Trade (i.e. Finish Ping-Pong Circulate).

I've had some very good teachers and workshop callers, but I'm baffled why none of them has done this. I don't think any of these calls can be considered to have been successfully workshopped unless the dancers have managed to get through an entire cycle (as above) ... from left-hand waves!

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