Monday, January 17, 2011

For Absolute Beginners who want to dance the Quadrille

Dance manuals and etiquette books often suggest that if you are not familiar with a quadrille, you should choose a side position. This piece of advice comes down through the years and even the most modern of vintage dancers will tell you that if you don't know what you are doing, you should stand in a side position.

Don't necessarily follow that advice.

If you are in a class where the quadrille will be taught, and you are a beginner, you will get far more out of being a head couple than a side couple. The heads get the slowest and most complete instruction, while the sides will be expected to remember and dance what was done 90 seconds ago and will probably not be given the same complete breakdown of any given movement.

If you are at a ball where it has been made clear that the quadrille will be danced without a walk-through or calling, you should probably avoid dancing it at all. If a more experience dancer insists that they will be able to get you through the figure, you may agree to be their partner (they may well be able to guide you through) but in that case you should insist on being a side couple so that you see the pattern before you are required to dance it.

Most modern vintage balls have built in some time for teaching and walking through the pattern before actually dancing a quadrille, and in this case, my earlier advice about being a head couple is appropriate. You will get a better idea of how to proceed if you are in a head couple and receive the first explanation. So, if the caller announces that a quadrille will be taught, you may take a head position and take advantage of that extra instruction.

No comments:

Post a Comment