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Dancing for beginners - Term 2 of 2021 - class #3

Submitted by Elyna Delynor on June 3, 2021 - 10:26pm

Dancing for beginners - Term 2 of 2021 - class #3

Date: 28th May 2021

This series of blog posts is to act as a reminder to those who were at the class. Further questions can be directed to Elyna. Instead of referring to genders I will be speaking of Partner-A and Partner-B. If a man and a woman are dancing together, the man will be Partner-A and the woman Partner-B.

We revised the French Bransles that we learned previously. Rather than reiterating full details, I will link to the previous class post where complete information is given:

Single Bransle, a.k.a. Knot Bransle.

Washerwoman’s Bransle

Pinagay bransle

We went back over the new Italian dance from last week:


We then learned a new bransle:

Scottish bransle

-        This is a dance where we all hold hands in a circle, and you don’t need a partner.

-        In this bransle, we finish each single and each double slightly differently to usual. Instead of closing at the end of the step as usual, you bend the knee to lift your foot in front of the other knee. Keep the ankle flexed so that it sort of looks like you are using that heel to point to the person next to you. So a double left would go: step left, close right, step left, lift the right heel in front of your left knee. Do this embellishment every time there is a double or a single in this dance.

-        The steps for the first part are:

-        Double to the left

-        Double to the right

-        Single left

-        Single right

-        Repeat the above once more

-        Then start again and repeat twice more to make 4 phrases.

-        The second part is a little different:

-        Double to the left

-        Single right

-        Single left

-        Double to the right

-        Double to the left

-        Single right

-        Three kicks – Right, Left, Right – then a little jump

-        Repeat the above once more.

-        Depending on the musicians’ preference the first or second part could be repeated more than once before moving to the next part. As discussed, the dancers are at the mercy of the band and so it is necessary to be able to hear when the music changes from one part to another and follow accordingly – this is true for all dances.

-        Repeat until the music runs out!

-        If you want to practice at home this youtube video is very similar to the music I use at class:
The music starts at about 30 secs and there is 10 seconds of intro before the first part begins. The second part (as described above) is when the piper first joins in the melody. There are 3 full repeats, then at 2mins36 they go into a different tune.

And finally we also learned a new Italian dance. See this post for a description of the Italian steps.

Petit Vriens

-        This is a dance for sets of three, so you need two partners.

-        ‘A’ will be the leader, ‘B’ will be second in the line, and ‘C’ will be last. Hold hands with all of you facing the same way, so ‘A’ has their left hand free and ‘C’ has their right hand free.

-        First part: Everyone does 16x pive, with ‘A’ leading the line wherever they choose.

-        Second part:

-        ‘A’ does another 4x pive, ‘B’ and ‘C’ stand still.

-        ‘B’ does 4x pive to catch up to ‘A’, who stands still, as does ‘C’.

-        ‘C’ does 4x pive to catch up to the other two, who stand still and wait.

-        Third part:

-        ‘B’ and ‘C’ stand still again and ‘A’ moves away again with a doppio (Italian for a double) – Left, Right, Left, close.

-        As previous, ‘B’ catches up in the next phrase of music with a doppio, and then ‘C’ catches up in their turn.

-        Fourth part:

-        ‘A’ turns to face ‘B’ and makes a riverenza to them.

-        ‘B’ turns to face ‘C’ and makes a riverenza to them.

-        ‘C’ takes a step to their right to make a triangle and all three dancers make a riverenza towards each other.

-        Last part, everyone does the following:

-        Doppio (double) backwards away from the centre of the triangle.

-        Doppio forwards to come back to each other.

-        Step left, close right, step right, close left – quite quickly.

-        Turn on the spot all the way around, to your left.

-        Take hands and start again!
This time, the person that was ‘B’ keeps their left hand free and they become the ‘A’ position, ‘C’ becomes ‘B’ in the middle, and the previous ‘A’ brings up the end of the line as the new ‘C’.

-        If you want to practice at home this youtube video is very similar to the music I use at class:

Feel free to ask me any questions!


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