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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