Hello all,

I've been thinking about glossary dances, and building vocabulary for new
dancers. I'm curious what your favorite dance is for teaching a ladies
chain for a crowd of mostly new dancers? Or if you don't have a specific
dance, what do you look for in a dance to make the chain as accessible as

Just a chain over? Or a full chain over and back?
Chain to neighbor? Chain to partner?
What move best precedes the chain to set it up?
What move best follows the chain that still helps new dancers succeed?
Other factors you consider?

I don't have a go-to favorite, but I'll walk through some of the things I
think about:

I very seldom call a dance with a full chain. Experienced dancers don't
whoop and holler over them, and for new dancers, I'd worry the confusion
would snowball.

Programatically, in a hall with a reasonable mix of new and experienced
dancers, I shoot for the first chain to be to neighbor so that the new
dancers can feel it with different experienced dancers; rather than new
dancers (who will partner up and clump, no matter how many helpful  dance
angels you have) continually chaining to each other. If I were trying to
teach a chain to ALL new dancers... well, I doubt I'd teach a chain to
completely new dancers... but if I were, I'd probably go to partner.

For moves, while I love the chain->left hand star transition; I'm not
convinced it's the best for teaching the chain. It often goes B2
chain->star, find new neighbor; and the new neighbor from a left hand star
is non-trivial for new dancers. Possibly a dance where the chain->star
wasn't followed by the progression would work, but it's such a great
progression when they're ready for it; I don't see many of those dances.
chain->star->left allemande maybe? I do like long lines either before or
after the chain as a set-up; but not on both ends. I'm not sure which side
of the chain the lines help more. The Trip to ___ dances that end with
chains and start with women walking in to long wavy lines flow well, but I
don't know that they're the best for teaching chains, since the long wavy
line is another new piece.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts (started by the other thread about simple
glossary dances). I look forward to hearing what others on Shared Weight
have to say about the dances they use to teach chains (and I certainly
won't be offended if folks tangent off into gent's chains; just start a new
thread ;-)

Take care,

Luke Donforth
luke.donfo...@gmail.com <luke.do...@gmail.com>

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