Like I've Known You Forever

hook: designed for teaching, yet still interesting

by: Devin J. Pohly

formation: improper

A1 8
ladles allemande right 1½
partners swing
A2 8
gentlespoons allemande left 1½
neighbors swing
B1 8
ladles chain
partners promenade
B2 8
circle left 3 places
pass through ⁋
neighbors do si do once

Written to fulfill some criteria I had for a teaching dance:

  • First swing is with partner. Pairing beginners intentionally with experienced dancers for teaching loses some utility if they end up spending the lengthily-practiced first swing with their inevitably inexperienced neighbor.
  • Chain and promenade, but no right and left through. Rehearse and reinforce courtesy turns before dancers are even given the option to mistakenly turn alone.
  • Clear progression. So we can talk about progression.

I picture the B1 promenade in courtesy turn position, as it was the local custom where I danced at the time, it allows transfer of knowledge from the ladles chain, and it makes for a lovely partner moment as you are reunited for a cozy, leisurely walk across the set. However, don't feel you have to make a special request if your community's customary promenade differs.

The original B2 of this dance was "circle left, balance the ring, pass through" to emphasize the progression and leave some recovery time. In practice, I found that the extra time wasn't needed even for new dancers, and that it consistently caused the ladles to hesitate before starting the A1. The new ending tightens the timing and gives the ladles a nice flow into their allemande. (New dancers running behind can just skip the do-si-do.)

The ladles' allemande was changed from left-hand to right-hand based on a comment made by Lisa Greenleaf. Both work equally well out of the do-si-do, but the ladles benefit from having a left hand free to start the partner swing.

Number: DJP-000
Composed: State College, PA, fall 2012.
Debuted: Harrisburg, PA, 2012-10-12.
Updated: Warrenville, IL, fall 2018; again in summer 2019.


user: Devin J. Pohly

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