Monday, November 5, 2012


No-Walk-Throughs are so much fun - more dance, less talk.  Especially no-walk-through medleys!  And you don't have to have an advanced group of dancers to call one either!  I try to incorporate at least one no-walk-through in every program, and always keep one handy in case I have limited time for the last dance.
But there is a knack to calling a good no-walk-through. The first step is to choose an appropriate dance.  You can't just take any simple dance and trust that it will work.  Some simple dances have a move that must be explained beyond the call.  A good example of a easy dance that would not make a good no-walk-through is Ben's Spin-off #3.  This simple dance is one I often use early in the evening to teach Allemande.  But the Allemandes come fast and furious and would be really difficult to clearly articulate in a no-walk-through! 
On the other hand, some more complex dances could make great no-walk-throughs.  Here I am calling Bayou Delight as a no-walk-through at Vernals 2011 with the band "Montage."  Because the only unusual move is the first one, I can warn them about that before the dance begins and they're good to go!
When practicing your calls for a no-walk-through, plan more attention for things like which direction they will be facing when they finish a move and who they are looking at.  These things are usually established during the walk-through.  For example, here are my calls for the first time through The Young Adult Rose by David Kaynor:
A1 - Neighbor Balance and swing,
A2 - Take hands in a ring and circle to the left 3 places, pass your partner by the right (instead of pass through) and meet your shadow.  Allemande R with your shadow once around.
B1 - Back to your partner for a balance and swing.
B2 - Face across, two women chain.  Left hands in for a left-hand star, look for a new neighbor balance and swing.
And then there are the no-walk-through medleys!  I like a medley with 3 or 4 dances, taking each one through 5 times.  If you try to put too many different dances in the mix, the dancers never get to relax and enjoy the one they just mastered!
Not only do the dances need to be good no-walk-throughs, they also need to flow well from one to the next. For example, you wouldn't put a dance that ends with a slide left to the next couple, before a dance that begins with a Balance the Ring.  As you are putting together a medley, physically walk the path of the transitions from one dance to the next from all four positions.  Walk it as Man #1, Women #1, Man #2 and Woman #2.  The moves should flow as well from one dance to the next as they do within the dance itself. 
I've been wanting to call an "all-hey-no-walk-through" medley!  These dances would be awesome together:
Hey Ya'll by Dean Snipes (Improper Duple)
A1 - Neighbor Balance and Box the Gnat, Neighbor ALL Right 1 1/2
A2 - Women pass left for 1/2 Hey, Neighbor Swing
B1 - Men Allemande L 1 1/2, Partner Swing
B2 - Long Lines Forward and Back, Circle L 3/4, Pass Through to the next

Delphiniums and Daisies by Tonya Rottenberg (Improper Duple)
A1 - Neighbor Allemande L 1 1/2, Women Chain
A2 - Hey
B1 - Partner Swing
B2 - Circle Left 3/4, Neighbor Allemande R 1 1/2

Hey in the Barn by Chart Guthrie (Improper Dple)
A1 - Neighbor Balance and Swing
A2 - Women Chain, Half Hey
B1 - Partner Balance and Swing
B2 - Women Chain, Half Hey

Butter by Gene Hubert (Becket) - because it's becket, the first time you call it the circle left needs to be all the way around instead of 3/4.
A1 - Circle Left 3/4, Neighbor Swing
A2 - Long Lines Forward and Back, Women Chain
B1 - Hey
B2 - Partner Balance and Swing, Slide left to the next couple.

If you can, stop or reduce calling after the third time through the first dance, then start again in B2 of the fifth time through.  Dancers will perk up their ears because they know the change is imminent!

Other dances mentioned in this post:
Ben's Spin-off #3 by Gene Hubert (Improper Duple)
A1 - Neighbor Allemande R, Women Allemande L 1/2, Partner Allemande R, Women Allemande L 1/2
A2 - Neighbor Balance and Swing
B1 - Circle Left 3/4, Partner Swing
B2 - Long Lines Forward and Back, Women Chain

Bayou Delight by Ken Gall (Becket)
A1 - Right and Left Through (left diagonal), Women Chain (straight across)
A2 - Women Pass Right, Partner Gypsy and Swing
B1 - Men Allemande Left 1 1/2, Neighbor Swing
B2 - Balance the Ring, Neighbor Roll Away with 1/2 Sashay, Circle Left 3/4

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