I usually try to separate the courtesy turn from the chain. A courtesy
turn is used in a number of moves, including R&L through, and a
promenade. Practice that first with your partner. Man backs up and the
woman gores forward, with arms around your partner's back. .Remember
to stop facing the right direction, and as a caller remember to tell
dancers which way to face. This can be done in a couple of minutes or

My first dance with a courtesy turn may use it with a promenade,
depending on the crowd. Then move on to dances with a chain or R&L.
Once the turn is understood and well done, the others are easy.

I agree with Erik (and Dudley!) The walkthrough and instruction should
be short. They'd all rather be dancing, so don't introduce much new
stuff in any single dance.

And thanks for this discussion. I love seeing new dances to try and
new possibilities to teach when there are a lot of beginners.

On Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Luke Donforth via Callers
<callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> 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 possible?
> 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
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