Tom Fromm writes:
15. COURTESY TURN: Starting formation -couple, facing dancers. (Limited at Mainstream to couples with man on left, woman on right.) The man (left hand dancer) takes the lady's (right hand dancer) left hand (palm down) in his left (palm up) and places his right hand in the small of the lady's back. Working as a unit, the couple turns around with the left hand dancer backing up and right hand dancer walking forward. Unless otherwise specified, the couple faces the center of the set or the center of the formation in which it is working.
STYLING: Men, the extended left hand serves as a direction indicator and the man uses his left hand to lead, not pull. Place the right hand in the small of the lady's back. Ladies use the right hand to work the skirt. The call courtesy turn is limited to turning a woman on the man's right.
TIMING: 4 steps.
I must have read the definition 50 times, and just now noticed I do something wrong. I have the girls put their right hand in the small of their back. I tell them to only put their hand where they want the man to put his hand. I was taught that way, and this entire area dances it this way. I thought the flow was bad, when chaining over and back, that second right hand star was awkward. I shall repair this immediately. Does anyone else see this in your area?
When I teach this move, I start by demonstrating first. I will tell them the name, then my wife and I will demonstrate the hand hold and positioning. We will walk around the inside of the square so the new dancers can see it. A large class will require demonstrating in the front of the hall. After we show the position and handhold, I will ask each of them to do it with their own partner. I will only have them turn 1/2 way around at first, and tell them that everyone will be looking out of the square. I will have them try it a few times, till they feel good with it. Then I will tell them that if I don't tell them to do otherwise, they should turn till they are facing the center of the square. I will tell the man, that he will need to back up as the girl walks forward. I will say that they are pivoting at the point between their bodies.
I will start by having the heads pass thru, and do a Courtesy turn. Then I will Have the
side do the same. This brings me to an AL, or I can do it again and have them back home.
I will dance them around, so they get a chance to courtesy turn with everyone of the opposite sex, in the square. I will use pass thru and courtesy turn, to set them up later for R&L Thru. I will also call a Courtesy Turn cold to them, to see how they do.
Mike Gormley writes:
One thing I use in teaching this call is my "prop". It consist of a 3 pound coffee can filled with small stones. In the middle of the coffee can I place a broom stick handle. This becomes my "visual pivot point" for the student to observe as I demonstrate, with a partner, the courtesy turn. I point out to them that the broom stick is always between myself and my partner. For this to happen the left hand dancer must back up while the right hand dancer walks forward.