[SCA-Dance] On siding and arming

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Mon Sep 28 18:55:08 EDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 05:09:18PM -0400, Felice Debbage wrote:

> I've often wondered if the left footwork thing had its origins in the "left
> is weaker so it goes first" ideas presented by Caroso.

I don't recall that part of Caroso (bad Greg), but Arbeau has section
about why dance starts on the left, and relates it to military
marching.  Military and marching bands still all start stepping on the
left. Master Niall McKennett, who is no longer active in the Society,
told me ages ago that dance started on the left until the Minuet came
along, which had something about it that made starting on the right
more felicitous. Alas, he never published an article about the topic.

> As for Recuil de Contradanses... do you know, Gregory, if that particular
> book delineates which foot goes first?

Although Feuillet notation can clearly indicate the foot used for
every step, a quick look shows that many of the diagrams in Recuil
leave that out. And can someone with more of a clue point us at the
diagram for siding? The two books are in question are:


> Aaaand... finally. If Cai's asking the question, "How many groups side left
> first," I want to know this: "How many groups alternate R and L set and
> turning, or even alternate the turn singly move in dances like Gathering
> Peascods?"

Carolingia alternates; the West mostly alternates, except for me. :-)

-- Gregory

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