Andrea, could you describe the forearm allemande?  I don't think I've seen it 
and can't quite picture it.  Or maybe send a link to a video that shows it?

Of possible interest to some, one of the scenes portrayed on the Shield of 
Achilles in the Iliad shows youths and maidens dancing, "holding their hands on 
one another's wrists."

With best wishes,

Richard Fischer
Princeton, NJ

> On May 18, 2019, at 12:14 PM, Andrea Nettleton via Callers 
> <> wrote:
> 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 
> < <>> 
> 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 < 
>> <>> On Behalf Of John Sweeney 
>> via Callers
>> Sent: Friday, May 17, 2019 2:09 PM
>> To: 'Caller's discussion list' < 
>> <>>
>> 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 
>> <> 01233 625 362 & 07802 940 574                   
>> <> for Live Music Ceilidhs        
>> <> for Dancing 
>> in Kent                                         
>> <> for Modern Jive DVDs
>> _______________________________________________
>> List Name:  Callers mailing list
>> List Address: 
>> <>
>> Archives: 
>> <>
> _______________________________________________
> List Name:  Callers mailing list
> List Address: 
> <>
> Archives: 
> <>
List Name:  Callers mailing list
List Address:

Reply via email to