Eleanor’s Reel

hook: triple progression, good in crowded hall, meet all

by: Bill Olson

formation: improper

A1 4
form an ocean wave & balance - ladles by left hands and 1st neighbors by right hands
1st neighbors pull by right on right diagonal ⁋
form an ocean wave & balance - gentlespoons by right hands and 2nd neighbors by left hands
2nd neighbors pull by left on left diagonal ⁋
A2 4
form an ocean wave & balance - ladles by left hands and 3rd neighbors by right hands
3rd neighbors swing
B1 6
circle left 3 places
partners swing
B2 6
circle left 3 places
pass through ⁋
1st neighbors do si do once

Note “first” at the end of the dance is “new first”

Bill Olson Notes: Originally B2 was "Circle Left 3/4, Do sa do N x 1.5 to meet new Neighbor". Thanks to Rick Mohr for the suggestion to rearrange it as written above! With the exception of A1, this is a pretty "ordinary dance". The original thinking was like this. There's a lot of dances where you balance a wave across and then walk forward to a new wave and balance again. While I like this move a lot, I always thought in these dances, there is just too much time allowed to walk to the next, so I figured how about pulling by on the diagonal (which is sort of the natural direction to go in anyway!) to form the next wave with opposite role in the center. The TRICK to making this work, since each subsequent balance starts on the opposite foot (you always start the balance towards your Neighbor) is to either take 3 or five steps to get to the next wave. It might help (or it might hurt) to tell the dancers this is not unlike what you do in a "Rory O' More" inspired dance, but that's the same foot pattern - (balance R, slide R, balance L, slide L). Try the footwork to see how it works before trying to explain it to the dancers. Finally, the dance is especially excellent if the dancers do the Rory O'More "twirl" while they are progressing to the next wave. I don't normally instruct the dancers to do this, but if you mention it, the dancers that know the move will do it and it works just fine! When dancers pop out the ends, they go right back in most of the time. In this case, they can give the free hand to their partner and balance and pull by to cross over, face back into the dance and just do what the NEXT person asks them to! I first called this dance at a very small Kittery Maine dance on Aug 8, 2003, just to see if it worked. The next time I called it was at the VFW hall in Cambridge, MA, to a very large crowd where the triple progression dance made more sense. Afterwards Lisa Greenleaf came up and said, "You should call that dance at NEFFA. It's great in a crowded hall and you get to visit everybody!" Well this brought up a couple things I hadn't really though of. First it is great in a crowded hall just because it's very compact, no courtesy turns or moves that go outside the set. Second you really do visit everybody which is a great feature at a festival like NEFFA where the lines are so long you usually don't even get half way through the set. Actually, you don't quite get to visit everybody, but certainly all of the members of the opposite role and about half of the ones of same role. This dance is named for Eleanor Fahrney of Buena Vista, CO (pronounced "byoona vista") who was having a great time dancing it at the VFW.


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