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Saturday, 17 May 2008

A different schottische

Ok, this post is dancers talk! Musicians might understand it :-)  Other people, feel free to let your eyes glaze over!

Steve Day showed us a schottische the other night. Said he'd got it from someone called Anne in Nottingham. Here's how it goes:

Usual ballroom hold
Described from the man's point of view

2 sliding steps left
1 sliding step right
3 sliding steps left
1 sliding step right
1 sliding step left

8 steps couple rotating (like the normal schottische 4)

Does it work?

In some ways it does. Any normal schottische (tune) will do. However, my feeling is that it could do with its own tune. Most schottische tunes are 16 bars long and the B part sounds different from the A part. So an ideal tune for this schottische would be 32 bars with a distinctive second half. The first half, to my mind, should be written to "tell" the dancers about the unusual and uneven steps.

In a perfect world, dancers would recognise the special tune, the men would lead it and their partners would follow - aided by the tune.

Steve Day was less sure about a special tune. He spoke of the tension of doing a different dance to familiar tunes.

Me? I rely on the music talking directly to my feet.

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