Monday, February 21, 2011

1920s evening dresses

Here are two evening dresses from the V&A. It's funny how garments are named differently in different eras. Museums tend to have ballgowns from the 19th and mid-20th centuries. They do not seem to have any ballgowns from the early 20th century. Rather, they have evening dresses. Anyway, the one on the left is probably a Worth gown from 1928 or 29. It has the handkerchief hem that became popular at the end of the decade. The one on the right is probably from 1923 or 24, the years when hems were creeping up to their highest levels.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Clockwise and Counter-clockwise

Often it is easiest to describe the direction of a turn as clockwise or counter-clockwise. This can throw off a beginner dancer.

The easiest way to "logic out" what this means, is to imagine a clock face, then imagine laying that clock face on the floor.

When you do a right hand turn, you walk in the direction that the minute hand sweeps around the clock face. Therefore, a right hand turn is clockwise. The normal direction for a two hand turn is the same: clockwise.

The dancers executing a left hand turn move in the opposite direction from the clock hands. So the direction for a left hand turn is counter-clockwise.

Once in a while you will come across a two hand turn that should move counter-clockwise. In those rare cases, the dance manual will specify, or the dance teacher will have a really logical reason that a counter-clockwise turn is preferred. It is enough for beginners to remember that the typical direction for a two hand turn is the same as for a right hand turn.