[SCA-Dance] looking for a few good dances to start our group

Ben Pung ben at houseofpung.net
Wed May 14 09:13:21 EDT 2008

On May 14, 2008, at 1:02 AM, tmcd at panix.com wrote:
> On Sun, 11 May 2008, Alex Clark <alexbclark at pennswoods.net> wrote:
>> At 04:09 PM 5/8/2008 -0500, Tim McDaniel wrote:
>>>> - it's the prototypical English Country Dance, consisting of  
>>>> nothing
>>>   BUT doubling, siding, and arming
>> On the contrary, this does not make it a prototype. It is more like
>> an eviscerated ECD.
> There's no more evidence that it was designed by cutting down a dance
> than there is that it was built minimally.  It does practice the basic
> steps (other than set and turn single).

A couple of points. First, only about half of the dances in Playford 1  
follow the familiar doubles/siding/arming verse/chorus format. Even  
discounting the progressive dances, there are many that don't have the  
"traditional" verses at all. Many of them are more complicated or  
confusing to reconstruct, which is why I think they're not done as  

Second, the dance has doubles and sides, but not arms. It includes a  
"turn your own" figure, but that's not quite the same thing. If you  
want to teach a simple dance to familiarize new people with the  
typical format of ECDs done in the SCA, a verse/chorus dance would be  
more appropriate, I think. Heart's Ease and Rufty Tufty are always  
good choices. I've also started teaching Millison's Jegge, which is  
basically a simpler (and earlier) version of Black Nag, and it works  
with the same music.

>>> - it's a mixer, so it's good for "how do you do?" or a brief "hi,
>>>   Jane, long time no see!"

As written, half the time will be spent saying "hi, John" as well.

> I'm not at all good at interpreting Playford: is there a good
> reconstruction that my brief Googling didn't show?


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