Rules of Thumb
Unless otherwise specified, the following general rules apply:
- Always start right foot first.
- There are 4 beats to a bar. This works out as two steps.
- The top of the set is towards the band. Likewise, the bottom of the set is away from the band.
- When resting stick on shoulder, the tip of the stick should be level with the middle of your ear.
- Turns on the spot will usually be right-hand turns (clockwise). Common exceptions are when dancers need to turn in or out of a set the shortest way.
- When passing shoulders with another dancer, the first pass will be a right-shoulder pass. Many dances will have figures that alternate right and left shoulders.
- Where a fast turn on the spot is needed, it will be on the first beat of the bar. E.g. If you need to turn and then move across the set, you can count it as 'turn, two, three, four'.
- Swings with a partner will be right-hand (clockwise), with the stick held in the left hand, unless otherwise specified.
- Figures are usually in multiples of four beats. If you mentally keep counting 'one, two, three, four', then you'll have a good idea of when to move and change.
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