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October 13, 2014

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We ended one Grand March similar to item #4 above, in one event we did. Of course there were fewer attendess, but we marched up with the lead couple toward the head of the set and wheeled around to the left going instantly into an arbor with all other couples passing underneath heading under the lead couples hands and down to the bottom of the set. As each went through they created an arbor for the next. This does create a line dance setup, but however leaves the couples improper. Thus you have to change sides to get proper. This we achieved by: As soon as the last couple went through, the head couple took two hands and simply gracefully changed places. Then the next couple repeated and so on going down the lines by the "ripple" so-to-speak...It looked very nice.

thus making one line of couples

I guess if you had "many" people you could set up two lines of dance splitting from the center with the #1 couple going to the left and the #2 couple going right and odds and evens splitting to wheel back under each other's arbors. The right wheel (second line of couples group) could do a full round two hand turn ending proper after the arbor is completed.

This would make two long lines of couples

Don't know how you could make three or four lines of dance...

Steve Tichenor
North River Historical Dancers

There are usually several different ways to get into any grand march figure! One idea that comes to mind would be to do platoons of eight coming up the room, then drop hands and each person turns to face their partner. That would leave you with four parallel sets.

What about solutions for large balls where it takes a long time to get 150-250 folks to march around the room...? What has been most successful in those cases in your opinion?

Darlene:
It depends on the skill of your dancers and how many of them are accustomed to different figures, but in general, I keep it very, very simple when I have big groups, especially when space is tight. Zigzagging up and down the room, promenading around the room, maybe platoons and a serpentine, and end in either platoons or a circle of couples around the room to launch directly into a Sicilian circle or other dance of that formation.

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