Thursday, March 27, 2008

Square Dancing at Str8 Events

There's a lot of square dancing to be had in town! In addition to the gay hoedowns and fly-ins, there's the straight Festivals like WASCA's.

I wonder why not more gay/lesbian dancers go to these events.
I can think of a few reasons. Feel free to add your thoughts.

Some possible reasons why NOT:
-some gay dancers only dance the opposite gender role (boys dancing as girls, vice versa). and therefore not feeling welcome...
-too many events, not enough vacation time, therefore prioritize which ones to attend.
-strict dress code (that stifles one's style).
-your reason here <>

Some reasons why YES:
-if it's local, why yes! no need to worry about extra costs.
-most of them charge only $40 for 3 days and nights of non-stop dancing!!!! $40 only!!!
-a chance to dress up, traditional square dancer style (of course you can do that and MORE (er, also LESS ;-O) at gay fly-ins
-a chance to represent the gay square dance community
-if Club night dancing is not enough, you'll become seasoned within your level in no time.
-Plus DBD dancing for hours and hours and hours!
-general square dancing at any level with plenty of strangers! helps you improve
-you get to dance again to fantastic callers that you've met at fly-ins.
-your reason here <>

Have DCLS members actually discussed these things in the past? (Just curious)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Relay the Deucy, Redux

Butch Adams called for us last night, and brought a different take to Relay the Deucy. To keep us all honest, here's the definition of the call:

RELAY THE DEUCEY - Starting formation - Parallel Ocean Waves. TIMING - 20

All Circulates in this definition refer to the Original Circulate path established by the ends of the original ocean waves. No dancer ever stops moving during this call; the pauses written into the definition (i.e., the action described as "half-circulate") are there for clarity of description and for teaching purposes only. Each end and the adjacent center dancer turn one-half (180°). The new centers of each ocean wave turn three-quarters (270°), while the others half-circulate, forming a six-person wave and two lonesome dancers. The wave of six, working as 3 pairs, turns 1/2, while the others half-circulate. In the wave, the center 4 turn 1/2, while the other four dancers half-circulate. The wave of 6, again working as 3 pairs, turns 1/2, while the others half-circulate. Finally, the center 4 of the wave turn 3/4 (becoming the centers of the new waves), while the outside 4 half-circulate to become the ends of the final waves.

STYLING: Basic swing thru styling is utilized for turning movements within the ocean wave formations. Circulating dancers do the circulate action with arms in natural dance position, blending to hands up ocean wave formation at the conclusion of the call.

The rest of what I write here is a "cheat," but it's based closely on the definition. Here goes:

  1. Partners trade.
  2. Centers cast off 3/4s and the ends move forward. (The out-facer end moves to the end of the six-person wave forming in the center. The in-facer end moves forward alongside the wave.)
  3. The center wave of six does a grand swing thru. The two outside dancers move forward alongside the wave. Those on the ends of the wave, move off of the wave in a forward direction.
  4. The six dancers remaining in the wave spin the top while the outside dancers step to the ends of the forming new waves.

Butch provided a couple of other hints, too: If you are an out-facer in the original waves, you are going to be (mostly) moving along the outside. If you are an in-facer, you'll be working in the wave in the middle of the formation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Relay the Deucey

Relay the Deucey is a hard call to teach, to workshop. I've never seen it done successfully. I've come to think a large part of the problem is dancers not knowing how to Half-Circulate.

Teaching or workshopping Relay the Deucey should begin with dancers in parallel waves. Then the end dancers should Half-Circulate eight times, with an emphasis on how small the Half-Circulate is for a trailing end, how large for a leading one. Finally, Partner Trade and repeat.

It should also be clear that there are six parts to Relay the Deucey:

1.  Partner Trade
2.  Centers Cast Off 3/4
3.  Center Six Trade
4.  Center Four Trade
5.  Center Six Trade
6.  Centers Cast Off 3/4

—with dancers at every part doing a Half-Circulate if not otherwise directed!

Dancers should be able to dance each part, stop, look around, understand where they are, what they're doing, where they're going. Callers should not buy into the cop out that Relay the Deucey is harder to do slowly and in stages. It's an illusion that dancers know what they're doing if they can fluff their way through at higher speeds.