[SCA-Dance] ECD - siding

Alex Clark alexbclark at pennswoods.net
Mon May 19 18:40:39 EDT 2008

At 04:27 PM 5/16/2008 -0500, Monica Hultin wrote:
>Since we're talking so much about Playford right now, I had a question about
>In the SCA I originally learned siding as double forward to your partner (a
>bit to the side), approaching right shoulders, maintain eye contact, double
>back, then side left by doing the same thing approach left shoulders.

That seems to be our usual best approximation. BTW, the doubles are not 
actually necessary; other steps could be used in their place.

>Now I belong to an English Dance Group and they call this gentle siding.

Of course this is a strictly modern term, expressing certain modern 
peoples' attitudes.

>They generally use what they call full siding which is double past your
>partner, passing left shoulders, turn around walk back, repeat, in sort of a
>crescent pattern.  I understand this is an invention of Cecil Sharp who
>didn't really know what siding was, but came up with this.  And out of
>habit, the ECD community keeps doing it.  I also heard at a workshop this
>weekend that gentle siding, (as I had originally learned) is considered more
>accurate and comes from research by Pat Shaw who figured this movement
>studying more period sources, pictures etc., (though still 18th century).
>I also recall the Millar book, (which I hear being said is not very
>accurate) did advocate using gentle siding.
>In my book, I also find the gentle siding makes more sense as it is, a) more
>symmetrical, and b) much less rushed  while fitting the music better.
>Any comments?  Has anybody have good sources for how siding was done in
>Playford's time?

If you don't mind a source that's closer to Henry Playford's time than John's:

That's apparently all one URL, believe it or not. Turn to pages 5 and 6 for 
an example of sides that I would guess that Pat Shaw probably worked from.

Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon 

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