Regarding the Oval Petronella figure: Admittedly, I haven't tried dancing it, but it doesn't seem that appealing.
Most of the satisfaction I get from a balance comes when two dancers are both moving towards or away from a shared handhold and can share weight accordingly. Think of your ideal balance in ocean waves of 4: step right, step left. Now contrast that with a wave balance where your neighbor steps the wrong way first, meaning the two of you move in the same direction: that shared handhold loses all its energy. It's very underwhelming. If the balance is done in long lines with everyone moving the same way, then the hand hold lacks energy. (As an aside: LLFB doesn't even tend to get the good handhold energy it deserves). I did notice John Sweeney called it "Long Lines Set Right & Left" on his website, and not in fact a Balance, which seems much more accurate. Not wanting to get into the issue(s) of wanting contra dancers to appreciate "setting" and other figures from ECD, I see it devolving into a hokey 4-beat 'shuffle' on the floor. Granted, that's one opinion. I'm sure others disagree. Best, Austin
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