[SCA-Dance] Fw: Gresley: Grene Gynger

Justin du coeur jducoeur at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 11:33:06 EDT 2012

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:

> A problem is the fancy footwork in Italian Ren -- maybe I'm
> emphasizing the footwork too much?

Likely, yes.  Italian is pretty popular locally, but we're fairly careful
not to oversell the footwork, especially for the 15th century stuff.  (You
can't really escape it for the 16th century.)

As a rule, we focus on choreography first and timing second; once people
seem to have those adequately, *then* we start gently encouraging them to
add the footwork nuances.  But one of the first things I always teach is,
"These style details are supposed to be subtle.  If you aren't comfortable
doing them, don't.  If someone calls you on it, just say that you're being
*very* subtle."  (Admittedly, this point is more true for the 16th century
than 15th, but it's still a good line, and helps defuse the insecurity.)

Basically, lead by example instead of pushing.  I always try to make sure
that *I* do the Italian steps as best I can, and that leads some of the
better students to ask about it and mimic me.  But if somebody isn't yet
managing to step on the beats, the last thing I want to do is distract them
with undaggiare.  First things first.

Also, Italian just has a bad rep.  That's hard to fight, but my first step
is usually teaching people Petit Riens, letting them have fun with it (yes,
often letting them get too carried away), and then pointing out, "That was
Italian.  Seriously, some of this stuff is *fun*."  Then I teach them how
to flirt in Amoroso (and how to *crazy* flirt in Rostiboli), how to have
silly fun with Anello, how to have *more* fun with Geloxia, etc -- it
doesn't take too many dances to get the point across that, once you get
past the step names, 15th century Italian is simply the most fun you can
have on the dance floor...

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