Winding up this month's little half and half miniseries, here's another variation from the Castle Assistants, as published in Dance Mad in 1914. This one even has a name, the scroll, as well as a number ("Step 2"). It's essentially a slow-motion grapevine step changing once per bar rather than on every beat, very similar in conception to the 1930s "about face waltz" described here, which has the pattern of one bar of traveling followed by one bar to change the direction each dancer is facing, with the lady and gentleman always facing opposite directions.
The scroll uses the basic half and half step sequence (stepping on the first, fourth, and fifth beats of each bar) done in promenade position, as described in my half and half overview here, with the dancers facing opposite directions and traveling for two bars before pivoting. The change of direction occupies only a partial bar rather than the full bar of the about face waltz.
The sequence given for the scroll is as follows, bar by bar from the start through the sixth bar:
1 Both dancers travel forward along line of dance
2 Gent continues forward, lady turns to go backward
3 Gent continues forward, lady continues backward
4 Gent turns to face backward, lady turns to face foward
5 Gent continues backward, lady continues forward
6 Gent turns to face forward, lady turns to face backward
...and so forth. Once the pattern is established, the mnemonic is "travel, travel (switch) travel, travel (switch)." The switch is made on the first step of a bar, though the turn should be carried over into the second and third beats. For example, the lady's first switch (bar two, five beats) is:
Step forward left along line of dance and begin to pivot halfway counter-clockwise to end right sides together
2 (continue the pivot)
3 (finish the pivot)
4 Step backward right along line of dance
5 Step backward left along line of dance
The dancers do not break apart from each other at any point and they always stay on the same sides (lady nearest the wall). Their position will shift from right sides together to left sides together. The key things to remember about the switches are:
- The lady always pivots on the left foot and the gentleman on the right
- Always turn toward your partner as you transition (the direction will alternate clockwise and counter-clockwise)
In general, rising slightly on the toes on the first step of each bar helps fill the next two beats and make the dance a sort of swooping glide rather than a series of stops.
The scroll can last as many bars as you like; the trick to exiting is that when the gentleman is facing forward he should let the lady make her pivot without making one himself. That way both are facing forward in a normal half and half promenade. This particular sequence initiates the scroll by having the lady begin to switch (presumably led into it by the gentleman), but it would be equally possible to have the gentleman switch first and the lady join in.
Another possible variation would be for the gentleman to never switch at all and merely let the lady pivot back and forth next to him while he simply promenades forward.