Sunday, June 14, 2009

Square dance move

So what's the real name of the square dance move Mac called last night? It sounded to me like "Dos Pasos" but I can't find a move of that name?

Mac was feeling very brave (foolish? confident?) with the dances he called when there were so many first-timers there.


Martha said...

It's the dos paso, pronounced [doe pass-oh]. One of my favorite moves, easy to do once you know how, hard (for some reason) to learn. The guys just have to learn to pass each other by the back. Hence, of course dos (back) paso (pass).

Mac was in some doubt about the crowd, but decided to go for it, and called some mildly unusual moves that flummoxed even the regular dancers. Almost everybody had fun with them, though, and I think an occasional evening like that does improve our dancing, overall. We get used to thinking...

I was in a square that totally imploded (this was in the second half of the evening, since I wasn't there in the first half). It was because we had only two really experienced dancers, two completely new dancers, and quite a few intermediate dancers.

It wasn't the beginners, but two intermediate dancers who blew the dance - one who was dancing the other gender role and became confused, and one who insisted on standing stock still until he understood the dance instead of accepting suggestions from those of us who did. That was probably the biggest problem. If you refuse to move because you don't know whether the suggestions are right, you just throw a sandal into the loom. I figure that if you're confused and do what someone tells you to do, you have a 50% chance of going in the right direction, whereas if you do nothing, you have a 100% chance of being in the wrong place.

We stopped dancing and enjoyed watching all the other squares, which had no problem with the dance at all...

mac said...

Dale - good to hear you enjoyed that. There are similar moves called Susy-Q and Georgia Rang-Tang. I have not seen anything detailing the specific differences. I assume it has to do with how you start the figure. I need to research that some time. I have called a contra that includes a Georgia Rang-Tang (named 'The Rang Tang Contra') It gets favorable responses.

Martha - it is intereting that some of the experienced dancers had difficulties with some of the figures I called. Was it in the squares or contras. You were only there in the second half and most of the contras I called were ones we have done many times before. The only one I remember being ususual was the transistion from a petronella turn to an allemand left. Taht should have been very easy for the ladies but a little tricky for the gents.


Henry Morgenstein said...

Do Paso. A famous dance caller was leading a group of dancers in dance exhibitions around the U.S.A. He discovered this version of a DosiDo in El Paso Texas, but if he just said Dosido they didn't know which dosido he meant. So he named it after the town he found it in: El Paso, Texas -- the Do Paso.
Yes, the differences between the DoPaso, Susie Q & Georgia Rang-Tang depend on "who" you start it with.

Martha said...

Well, I've detailed the problem we had with the square, and it was NOT your calling or the dance that posed the problem. I thought it was a delightful square, taught clearly, and appropriate to the level of the dancers in the hall, except for our square.

I don't remember which contras gave us a problem, other than a vague memory of Diagonals Gone Wrong. If you have the dances in electronic form and want to send them to me, I could probably reconstruct the points where we ran into difficulties. In general, of course, it was clusters of inexperienced people that got confused. And some of the moves were just novel enough to our regular dancers that they weren't able to disentangle the new folks.

Honestly, I think only a more boring dance would have been right for the level of some of the dancers. I didn't find the dances weird and outlandish at all, just a bit novel. That's a Goood Thing.


Martha said...

Additional comment after second reading of your comment, Mac.

The dances weren't so much giving the experienced dancers trouble as they were making us work hard to get the inexperienced ones back on track. We weren't always succeeding in helping, which is why I felt "flummoxed". The moves themselves were clear and not too hard at all, as long as we were with other experienced dancers.