Videos illustrating phrasing and reels

We now have videos to illustrate phrasing and reels our tutor Rod Downey has talked about for practicing dancing at home

Thanks to our volunteer dancers Elena Lark, Maureen Sullivan, Moira Broughton and Désirée Patterson

Phrasing Games – for all

This video includes some basic phrasing games you can do by yourself or with a family member.

The important thing is to be in the right place at the right time, and you do that by adjusting your step length. Remember to count, and to keep an eye on your partner in the game (if you are lucky enough to have one).

Some of the exercises are with a co-operative partner, some are with a hostile partner. All of this will:

  • Make you think about your own phrasing, and
  • Make you think about how your phrasing affects others

You can refer back to Rod’s diagrams for the phrasing game warm-up, and basic phrasing game, also his explanation of how it all works.

Basic reels of three on the side – for all

This video shows standard right shoulder reels, with a focus on phrasing. You will see how important it is for the third person in the reel to dance co-operatively.

The reels begin in a straight line, with the people facing each other at the top of the reel passing right shoulders. The third person (at the end of the line) moves to their right and needs to take small steps to allow the first person to pass through the centre unobstructed.

Click here for diagrams for basic reels of three, and here for Rod’s explanation of reels.

Strange entry reels – for the more experienced

Cross-over reels including the unusual ones in Cadgers in the Canongate and strange-entry reels in dances we quite often do at club.

Click on dance names below to watch videos for the particular reel in each of those dances.

Reels of four – for all

Reels of four are – almost always – in a straight line (unless interlocking in a square set), and right shoulder. So, no weird entries. Moreover, they are almost always 8 bars.

The difficulty, as usual, is in the phrasing. Especially in quick-time, people tend to be a bit tardy in the middle of the reel.

Click here for Rod’s explanation of phrasing for reels of four and here for his diagram for a reel of four.

Watch the little video of Johnsonville members doing a reel of four with accurate timing.

More about practicing dancing at home

Click here to see more from Rod Downey about practicing dancing at home

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