I’m still bemused and befuddled that not so many years ago, this dance move was 
decried because of perceived forced invasion of personal space. People did not 
want to be told that they had to make eye contact when they were not 
comfortable with it, that they did not like being told to flirt with people 
they did not choose. Some of us callers told dancers that the eye contact was 
optional, that the essential part of the move was that it was a face-to-face 
do-si-do, no spins or twirls, just moving around each other.

Now the argument against the name of the move has completely lost all ground on 
that front.

For some years I’ve used “face-to-face”, teaching it with the memorable 
description “imagine a short gold chain joining the rings in your noses”.  Eye 
contact is optional, and not directed; dancers will or will not make eye 
contact as they choose.  In private communication with a young caller who is 
very vocal in various discussion fora I said there was no need to attribute the 
term to me. Maybe I should have insisted.

I’ve tried “right [left] shoulder round” with favorable reception. 

ANYway, if we’ve been making progress in removing real or perceived invasions 
of personal space, and gender issues, why regress in order to change the name 
of a dance move to make progress in removing real or perceived ethnic slurs?

And no, “spiral” is out of the question. It’s a different move that includes 
changing the distance between the dancers, whereas the move under discussion 
does not.  English dancers know the difference.

Eric Black
e...@eric-black.com


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