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How to Hold Hands in Israeli Circle Dances - 8/13/2010

Showing people how to hold hands is the first thing we do. Safety first.

Right handshake hold for circle dances.

(Left handshake works when traveling to the left. Contra Dancing uses the convention of men palms up, women palms down. Switching between handholds can be confusing.)

Good posture, heads up, no watching feet, follow the body.

No thumbs, no gripping, no pushing, no pulling, no affecting your neighbors' balance.

No helping others. No reaching, no signaling the people next to you with little nudges, no guiding people next to you and no telling your neighbors what to do.

The best way to help others is to do dance well and let them figure out what to do for themselves.

No human chains. No hanging on. Let the circle break if the person next to you can not keep up.

Each person's responsibility is to keep up with the person in front of them and not pay any attention to the person behind them.

Leave the person behind you in the dust, if they cannot keep up.

Move your feet to keep up. Do not hang on.

We dance without any tension in the handhold, not even a little.

We do an exercise where we start walking pretty fast in a circle. I start at the lead. I tell the person behind me to keep going faster until that person is walking fast enough to match my speed without any pulling in the connection. Then I switch positions and do the same with the next person in line, until each person has a chance to see what it feels like.

When there is no tension, the whole circle is moving as one unit.

Happy Dancing,
Andy

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