Tune: The Sally Gardens
It's the second tune in the set, here:
Percussive Dance Skill: Timing of beats (with the music)
Are your feet hitting the ground and making sound in time?
Exercises included things like:
- Counting to 8, and hitting 1 beat for each number
- Marching exercises, marching then changing to steps/stamps, then different parts of the feet
- Dancing in a "round" (Like Row Row Row Your Boat) : marching, adding shuffles, adding hops
Here's a video of Paraic o'hOibicin whose personal style is based in beats and shuffles:
Traditional Rhythm: "The Connemara Basic Step"
(NOTE: This is simply the name assigned to it when people started teaching. These steps would not have had names, as they were being passed via absorption in dance/music communities)
Mechanics: Hop (4) heel down (+1) heel down (+2) heel down (+3)
Elements: Hop (quarter note), Shuffle (2 eighth notes, +1)
Student who have this step have been working on mixing up the elements to make other rhythms, while staying in the basic groove of the Connemara Step. This works on tradition AND personal style.
Personal Style: Improv Structures Used by Sean-nos Dancers
Again, these would not have been "set" structure, but are simply the ways in which sean-nos dancers communicate with each other!
"Smiling improv": Dancing until someone else shows up and tells you to leave by smiling at you. Dance off. Use the Connemara basic step to get on stage, and then improv.
"Eyeballs": dancing until you are finished, then looking at someone in the eyes to pass the dance to them. Both dancers dance until the next dancer gets going, then the first dancer drops out.