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Western Square Dancing - DOSADO.COM - The Original Community Page for Modern Western Square Dancing
The Original Community Page for Modern Western Square Dancing
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An Interview with Ed Gilmore
Part 3
But you do (??) the round dancing with your square dancing?

Oh definitely. You see I believe in a balanced meal. When I go to dinner tonight I will have meat but I'll also have a salad, soup, vegetable, dessert, coffee, bread - fine. I want a balanced meal. Square dancing is the meat of this program, round dancing is probably second in importance, that would be the vegetable. Unfortunatley, some of our people have become vegetarians, they've just forsaken meat. They go off into round dance clubs, then from that to Arthur Murray's, from aurther Murrays to folk dancing maybe and from that to bowling or water skiing. Say Round Dancing is the vegetables, Contras might be the salad, Contrilles might be the soup or the dessert. A balance program of various formation. Great variety in programmin not great variety in the various ways to use combined figures to get to the corner because this is deadly motononty. If you analyze it, the dancer doesn't know what figures the caller used, first they did a forward and back and then they did a bunch of stuff, down the middle, pass through, round one, square thru, R&L thru, dive thru, pass thru, square thru, R&L thur, AL. Next time, down the middle, around two, four in line pass thru, arch in the middle, ends duck in, dive thru, pass thru, square thru, so forth. The dancer doesn't know you used a different method. The net result is that there's been a continuous whole evening of down the middle around somebody, square thru, pass thru, dive thru, dixie twirl, bend the line -- all night long. All from point A to a LA with original corner. This I offer is deadly motonony. But big variety in formation - star patters, double star patterns, all sorts of formations, lines of threes, the unbalanced square. Get variety of formation with a formation featured in each call. Combined with well balanced singing calls makes for a good program. This is what you need to accomplish, it's easy to do with study and effort but it cannot be done by just getting the latest magaizine and reading something and saying, "here's and interesting one, it combines a subsittue with a shuffle the deck to a wheel and deal to a star thru to a dive thru, pass thru and a box the nat to a change girls and an AL. Oh boy, they'll never be able to do this one (with some fake glee expressed here)." This is a part of new caller, beggining caller gets carried away with this idea, I did. I'll tell you honestly that I still love it, I'm facinated by it. But I'm smart enough to know that the average dancer couldn't care less when I've been real clever. When he's happy is when I move him continudouly through 3 hours of dancing without him stumbline and being embarrassed and he's move rhymically and he's not exhausted and tired and wants to dance another week, then I know he'll be back next week.

Briefly if you can, in contra dancing, you doing that, what do you feel about that?

Contra dancing in Australia should find their roots because most of our contra dancing, I'd say 75-85%, comes from England, Scotland and Ireland. Primarly Scotch and English. They are longways dances. You're dancing in sets of two or three couples, you dance a figure, 64 steps with a couple, then you move down or up a couple and dance with another couple. It has all the values of both square and round dancing because there is a step to be taken for every beat of the music in contra dancing. You don't just meander, there's no pauses, you just go-go-go yet it's never rushed. It must be measured in phrases, it's nothing unless its phrased. So it combines the phrases measured value of round dancing with the cooperating mixing value of square dancing. It's a valuable asset. Quadrills are square dances measured in phrase, that's all. Progressive circles and lines and these things are all the same.

Well, Ed, it's 6:30 and we should have been to dinner at 6

Well, we're out of tape. I hope all of this will give you some information about the states.

I was going to add on a copy of the tips he called ... but I changed my mind. Instead, here is a WAV file (1076kb).

Start of Interview
German Translation
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