Small Petronella

August 30th, 2006
This was a little while ago but I didn't remember to write about it then. At the last thursday dance I was at in Concord (8/17) they called a dance with a variant of the Petronella turn. Each person, with only their neighbor (on the side of the set) repeatedly balances and spins one place to the right. So the hands four goes from a square to a line to a square to a line. Instead of doing the last of the turns, the balance was followed by a box-the-gnat and half a hey. The figure was not introduced as a kind of petronella.

Usually there is scattered and unsynchronized clapping after spins during the walk through. This time there was no clapping. I took this to mean people didn't take it to be a petronella turn, and instead were thinking of it differently somehow.

During the first few times through the dance, there was no clapping at all. Then, perhaps four times through, there started to be some clapping. The clapping built over the next few times, to a point about half of what you usually get on petronellas. Then it seemed to diminish some as more people started swinging their neighbor instead of doing the balance and turn (the dance had no neighbor swing).

Anyways, it was very interesting to be watching.

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