You can do it. We’re going to help. 🙂
First, a tip –
Flat shoes for dancing, please, ladies!
Here are videos of some of the dances we’ll be doing at the ball. Watching the dances, we have found, actually helps us. Make sure you pay attention to the steps, rather than drooling over all the pretty dresses. 🙂 On the night, a dashing young gentleman will be calling the dances, and he will gently, patiently, graciously, (fill in a few more ly words… ) instruct you how to do each dance before we start.
This dance is called the Indian Queen –
If you watch it carefully, I can explain some of the steps. First, though, you need to know that each couple are numbered either 1 or 2. The “first” man and the “second” lady are referred to as the “first corners”, and second man, first lady as second corners.
In this video, you are viewing from the “top” of the hall, in the direction the “2” couples are progressing. (I know… it gets easier to understand). The “1’s” are progressing down the hall – away from you.
Anyway, at 0:05 seconds the first “man” and second lady set, that is, hop from one side to the other (you’ll see it), turn single 0:07, which is turning on your own on the spot, and then two hands round (0:09). Two hands round is just taking both hands with your partner and turning. Then the “second corners” – remember, the second man, first lady – repeat these steps. (0:12 – 0:20)
At 0:21 the two couples in the set that we’ve been observing perform a Right Hand Star. Then, at 0:25 they do a Left Hand Star, going in the other direction. 0:30 seconds, and back-to-back with your partner.
Then at 0:33 they begin the hardest part of the dance. It’s not hard if you know where you’re going, but a lot of people get confused. I’ll tell you how it looks from the lady’s point of view. I imagine it would be similar for the gentlemen… First, you take your partner’s right hand, and walk past them. You ignore completely the other lady’s partner. He has nothing to do with what you are doing. So, you let go of your partner’s hand, and with your left, take the left hand of the lady, walk past her, then swing round opposite your partner again. Take his right hand again, and you should land in your progressed place – up the hall if you are No. 2, and down the hall if you’re No. 1. That’s it. It just loops from there.
Just a quick note – when you see a couple standing out on the end, it’s because they have progressed to the end of the line, and there is just no one there to dance with. When the next couple progresses, the ones that were “out” change numbers, and join in again, going the other direction. Hope it all makes sense. 🙂
This is the Hole in the Wall. The video is a bit faster than we normally dance it, and just skip the first 50 seconds, because they’re not doing anything.
First couples cast around the 2’s at 1:00, and lead up the centre at 1:04. The second couples cast up around the 1’s at 1:08, then lead down the centre 1:11. At 1:15, first corners cross over (swap places) and then 2nd corners do the same 1:20. Four hands round, at 1:24, and then at 1:28 the 1’s cast down around the 2’s, who lead up the centre, to progress.
This one is called Auretti’s Dutch Skipper,
The first “new” thing they really do in this dance is setting, which happens at 0:35. You skip, or hop, or something like that, to the right, and then to the left.
and this is the Duke of Kent’s Waltz…
The Comical Fellow… In this one, you can see couples “leading down the centre”, at 0:18, and then dancing back up to their places.
Mr Beveridge’s Maggot would have to be one of my favourite dances. And it really doesn’t have anything to do with… any of the things in the name. 😯
Probably on the night we will be dancing a few more than the ones here, but once you understand the instructions, it is much easier, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂