Monday, January 27, 2014

Ribbon Dance

Ribbon dance is another partner dance set in a longways formation. It is slower and more "elegant" than Virginia Reel. It seems similar to 15th century Italian Court dancing. (see Tesara by Domenico)
I wasn't able to find anything like it online (Googling "Ribbon Dance" comes up with traditional Chinese Ribbon dances or rhythmic gymnastics -- it is not anything like either of these)
If anyone knows of another name for our Ribbon dance or a title for our music, please let me know!
 (Ms. Brown)

Ribbon Dance

Formation: Double line of 6 couples.  Partners stand side-by-side
                     holding ribbon between them.  Couples in each group of                                   
                     four should face each other, boy to boy and girl to girl.
                     Designate couple as #1 and #2.  **Ribbon should be
                     approximately 1.5 to 2 metres long.

Counts                                    Pattern

Part I
16                                            Over and Under”
Couple #1 forms ribbon-arch, under which #2 passes with 4 steps.  Both couples face about without releasing ribbons and reverse figure, so that #1 passes under the arch with 4 steps.

Repeat all Part I

Part II
8                                              “Cast Off”
All couples turn to the front.  Girls release their end of the ribbons.  Head couple leads the “cast off” by turning to the outside and skipping to the rear.  Boys are waving the ribbons.

Head couple forms an arch.

8                                              Partners meet and go under the arch with the girls again holding the ribbons and dance forward to their new position.

All face partners, holding ribbons high.

Part III
16                                            “Slide down the centre”
Head couple joins hands and slides for 8 steps down the  under the ribbon and returns to the end of the line as the last couple.

Repeat entire dance six times

***With remaining music, couples hold ribbons high and turn under the ribbon on the spot twice.***

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Virginia Reel

The Virginia reel is a folk dance that dates from the 17th century. It is generally considered to be an English country dance.  The dance was most popular in America from 1830–1890.
The Virginia reel was a popular dance, and in each area there would be slight differences. This has given rise to a large number of dances called the Virginia reel. All of the versions have certain similarities, such as the reel figure.

*** We don't divide up our dance group into boys and girls -- we refer to them as "Left" and "Right"

 Virginia Reel Instructions:
Formation: A long ways set of six couples…two parallel, facing lines.  Girls on the left and boys on the right. 

Counts                        Pattern

Part 1
8                                  Forward and back…both lines take 4 steps to centre, bow/curtsy to partner and 4 steps back to place.
8                                  Right hand around…partners meet, join right hands and walk once around each other clockwise and return to place.
8                                  Left hand around…repeat using left hand going counter clockwise.
8                                  Both hands around…as above with both hands
8                                  Do-Si-Do…lines walk forward, pass partners by the right shoulder, slide back to back and return to place.
8                                  Right elbow swing…partners meet for a right elbow swing and return to place
8                                  Left elbow swing.

Part II
16                                Head couple down and back…head couple joins both hands and sashays down the set and back to head position (sashay-quick, smooth, sliding step)
48                                Reel the set…head couple hooks right elbows, turns once and a half around, then separates and goes to opposite line.  Head boy turns the second girl around once with a left elbow, as the head girl does the same with the second boy.  The head couple meets in the centre for a right elbow turn and continues to the third girl and boy. Repeat all the way down the line.
8                                  At the foot of the set, head couple swings halfway around so that the boy and the girl are on the correct side, join hands and sashay back to place.

Part III
8                                  Cast off to the foot…at the change of music, head couple leads to the outside (boys to the left and girls to the right and follow the lines marching to the foot of the set).
16                                Form an arch…upon reaching the foot of the set, head couple joins hands to form an arch.  The other couples join hands and sashay through the arch.  Second couple is now the lead.

This video has great instructions! ( But it doesn't use the same music as we use). Watch this video to learn all of the steps that we do.

This video uses the same music that we use, but has slightly different moves. Listen to this one while you practise your steps. :