Submitted by Tom Fromm:6. ALLEMANDE FAMILY: Starting formation -any position where dancers can conveniently turn 90° or less to face their corner.
STYLING: The arms are held past the wrist but not past the elbow joint.Each dancer places his hand on the inside of the arm of the person with whom he is to work. The fingers and thumb are held in close. The center of the turn will be at the joined arms, so, while turning, each dancer is moving equally around the other.
TIMING: Full around, 8; three quarters, 6; one half, 4; one quarter.
On the first night, I only teach Allemande left. I start by having them in a static square. I ask the everyone to face their corner. I tell them to look at where they are standing right now. I tell them to look where their corners feet are. I tell them to extend left hands to one another. Take an arm hold, and using the arm hold as a pivot point, turn as they walk forward, till they have their feet in the others footprints. Now drop hands, and passing left shoulders, pass your corner till you are looking at your partner. I only use the "real" corner at first.
To give them a view of doing a LA from an 8 chain thru position, I would have the head girls circle 1/2 way around, and back out by the opposite boy. Now I'll have the heads go forward and circle 3/4 around. Now I would have the same heads walk past the one your looking at and look your corner in the eye. Now like this do an allemande left. Let the sides do the same, and repeat later.
I teach arm turns about week 4 or 5. I teach right arm turn first I tell them that this will start the like right handed allemande. I start by having them face the partner. Stick out a right hand and, take an arm hold, and using your arm hold as the pivot point, turn 1/2 way around. I will tell them stop beside their partner. I'll say "tell you partner, this is where this move ends." Now I'll have them LA and promenade.
Next I'll have them face the corner, and stick out a left hand. take an arm hold, and using your arm hold as the pivot point, turn 1/2 way around. I will have them stop beside their partner again, and tell them this is where a left arm turn ends. I will tell them that the difference between LA and left arm turn is you don't automatically pass through here. I'll tell them to do what the next call is. Then I will tell them to walk to your partner, turn her by the right, LA, promenade. I'll also make a point to do left arm turns with the partner, and right with the corner, so as not to create a habit. I'll have them do full turns as well. I'll tell them, they will use the hand that I refer to when I call an arm turn. If I teach this early in the evening, by the end of the night I can have them doing lots of practice. At my fifth week, I had my new dancers doing "red hot" & "ice cold" for those that remember them.
Also, by using girls (boys) single file promenade inside, I had them doing "all 8 spin the top". I simply told the ones that were on the outside, to walk around the outside like a wrong way single file promenade. Of course, I was breaking these moves down for them. Does it make it less fun to have them broken down? I don't think so. Does it get them to understand and to listen? YES!
Marting "Pavouk" writes:
I teach Arm Turns first. When they are comfortable with Arm Turns, Allemande L. Is nothing more than Left Arm Turn with their momentary corner.