[SCA-Dance] pennsicdance: My other class from KWDS - Aerobic Dance

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Thu Jul 28 07:48:00 EDT 2011

For those who were interested in my Aerobic Dance class, here is how it
turned out, and what we danced.  If you were there, feel free to comment.

Oh, and for those who missed it, I'll be doing it again at Pennsic this
year!  9 am Monday Aug 8, if people are awake (hopefully we'll be doing it
before the heat sets in)

So, firstly here were the dances:

Warm up:
 Gathering Peascods
 Scottish Bransle
 Cuckolds All in a Row
 Parson's Farewell
Bransle portion:
 War Bransle
 Charlotte Bransle (speeds up, double chorus)
 Aridan Bransle (speeds up)
 Trihory of Britany
 Maltese Bransle
Peak Aerobic:
 Juice of Barley
 Bella Gioiosia
Cool down portion (we ran out of time):
 La Castellana

It was a very difficult choice to prune it down to this list.  The goal was
to end up with about 30 minutes of solid, fast, dancing.  This was just a
bit over.  But we started a bit late, so we did run out of time, though that
was ok the way it turned out.

Basically, I was fairly satisfied with the dance selection for this class
for KWDS, but I could see where one may want to modify it in various ways,
depending on the expected group.  Here are details:

My goals in choosing dances - fast, varying types of leg exercise involved
 (walking, circling, hopping, kicking, and precise italian steps), and a
certain difficultly level of the dances

Where it could vary:  Although I basically called ALL the dances as it went,
so people were not expected to know all the dances, I could see where if we
had ALL ringers, I could have upped the difficulty of the dances.  (the last
dance we did was Bella Gioiosa, which was really only suitable for those who
knew it.  But that is ok, because everyone else got the exercise I wanted
them to, and then they got water, took a break, and went off to their next
Meanwhile, for a class of more Beginner level, I think that some of the
dances wouldn't have worked quite as well.  Parson's and Cuckolds can be
difficult to do on the fly.  (but they do have a nice amount of flowing

Useful comments I got so far:
- I should have defined the head of the hall at the start, to make it easier
to organize groups quickly
- I did try to keep this class a bit more organized into groups by
arrangement of the dances, so that we wouldn't be changing back and forth
too much between circles and lines
- I think we did have some difficulty changing partners between dances past
a certain point, but then the bransle section didn't need it so we didn't
bother there.

For those who don't know Poitou and Trihory, Poitou is:
4 slow kicks (starting Right foot kicking), followed by 4 triple speed
kicks.  Always moving Left around the circle as you leap/kick;
 or for more advanced, 3 slow, 7 triple speed
I didn't realize that, unlike my other bransles that were mostly 50 seconds
each, Poitou was 1 minute 35 seconds, which equated to 20 times through the
dance (or around 200 kicks, for the faster version!)
Trihory is another odd "bransle", which I won't try to explain, other than I
figured it would be another good leg workout.  :)

Here are some other dances I was considering: (I originally had around 2
hours worth when I was brainstorming.  oh, though these are not all period
dances, but just mentioning some for interest sake.)
Bizzaria d'Amore
Half Hannigan
My Lady Cullen
a random Salterello
Petit Vriens
Faine I Would
Female Sailor  (problem is that the inactive couple is too inactive)
Gay Gordon
Hyde Park
Ma Navu  (for more versions of leg exercises, more than anything else)
Mairi's wedding
Posten's Jig
Quen Quer Que
Trip to Kilburn

Anyway, that's all for now.  I certainly found it fun!

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