Hi all,
I’m going to add a controversial note.  I also loathe the many poor allemandes 
I get, unweighted, awkward handed, arm pulled in like a chicken wing, what have 
you.  As a MWSD, I have come to love the forearm allemande for arm turns.  
Callerlab made the switch some years ago, and at first I was like, wut???  But 
it’s a position which save everyone’s hands and wrists, and even shoulders, is 
intrinsically very stable, and makes the chicken wing almost impossible.  I 
started using it for dances with revolving doors, as a dancer, because those 
turns are so brief and necessarily tight and need a quick strong connection.  I 
was so pleased I began using them elsewhere.  People generally go along with 
it.  I have been wishing Contra could just switch to this for all allemandes.  
I know it would be an uphill struggle to get everyone on board. But I had to 
put it out there.

Currently I still teach an old fashioned allemande.  I demonstrate and 
emphasize meaty parts of the thumb together, fingers curled around the base of 
the opposite’s thumb, flat wrist.  And I always add that the thumb itself is an 
injurious device which lands at a tender spot if depressed, so leave it loose.  
Then I demonstrate how to produce enough connection to make a 2 person unit 
that turns on a post.  I’m sure everyone on this list has similar teaches.  
If teaching this allemande was ever going to work, it would have by now.  I 
suspect it’s failure as a hold is why callerlab opted for the forearm hold 
instead.
My 2c,
Andrea N
Arlington VA

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 17, 2019, at 6:01 PM, Erik Hoffman via Callers 
> <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> 
> John Sweeny below hoped we callers would teach more about hand turns and the 
> like.
>  
> I’ve been thinking on this for quite a while. Years ago I had a discussion 
> with Brad Foster. We both lamented the loss of the allemande with mildly 
> interlocking thumbs to the modern overprotective thumb against the side of 
> the palm allemande. At that time I think I was still in Santa Barbara, thus 
> it must have been pre 1994. I wrote an article for our dance rag called, “If 
> Allemande Left, Where’d Allemande Go?”
>  
> I talked about what I do when someone grips my hand—and I think all of us 
> should remove that word, “grip” from our caller’s vocabulary…
>  
> But the most important thing I discussed is:
> Our Wrist is Strongest When It’s Straight
> Our Fingers are Strongest When Curved
> Thus, however one does an allemande, it should be a hook, with curved fingers 
> and a straight wrist.
>  
> Lately I’ve seen teachers promote the straight fingers, bent wrist, and flat 
> palm method. The almost always makes one person’s wrist uncomfortable. Not as 
> bad as when someone draws the others hand into that 
> almost-Aikido-put-them-on-the-ground position, but usually quite 
> uncomfortable.
>  
> Thus I hope most of us learn the curved fingers, straight wrist, no grip, 
> and, no thumb clamping allemande, ECD hand turn, two hand turn type hand 
> connections.
>  
> ~Erik Hoffman,
>    Oakland, CA
>  
> From: Callers <callers-boun...@lists.sharedweight.net> On Behalf Of John 
> Sweeney via Callers
> Sent: Friday, May 17, 2019 2:09 PM
> To: 'Caller's discussion list' <call...@sharedweight.net>
> Subject: Re: [Callers] Name that Dance
>  
> Hi Rich,
>               I would just call it a “Big Set Mixer”.  It is a slight 
> variation of the one in the Community Dances Manual.  Callers just make up a 
> 32 bar sequence that works for their dancers.
>  
>               While it is a good example of all ages having fun together, I 
> really wish callers would teach the dancers just a tiny bit about how to do 
> better hand/arm turns and swings :-)
>  
>             Happy dancing,                         
>                    John                                  
>                                    
> John Sweeney, Dancer, England   j...@modernjive.com 01233 625 362 & 07802 940 
> 574                         
> http://contrafusion.co.uk/KentCeilidhs.html for Live Music Ceilidhs           
>             
> http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent                             
>             
> http://www.modernjive.com for Modern Jive DVDs
>  
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