Chain Dance Positions

By Dick Oakes


Three Bulgarian Dancers by Krasi A "chain" dance is a form in which dancers stand in a line, semi-circle, or circle and are joined by holding hands with the person on either side. The hand hold may vary (low, elbows bent, elbows straight, shoulder hold, belt hold, front basket, back basket, etc.).


"A" pos Hand on own hip with elbow turned outward; called "akimbo." Often used to mean both hands in this pos.
 
"B" pos Hands joined with second person on either side in a back-basket hold. When the cir alternates exactly M, W, M, W, etc., W hands tend to be joined over M arms to allow the M to give better support. Also known as a "back chair" pos.
 
"F" pos Hands joined with second person on either side in a front-basket hold. If the dance moves predominantly to the L, L arm is under. Elbows are not locked, but rather are held with a "dancer's tension" so that the line may expand and contract with the natural movements of the dance. (Depending on the dance requirements, middle fingers may be held in what is called "Slavonian pos.")
 
"L" pos Hands clasped with dancers on either side, R hand with palm fwd, R shldr slightly behind the shldr of the dancer to the R, elbows bent in right angle and held tightly to sides. (Depending on the requrements of the dance, fingers may be interlaced.)
 
"Q" pos Hand on hip ("akimbo") with other hand through elbow of next dancer in line as if being "escorted." The hand through the elbow looks relaxed with wrist over forearm of that person, but has a "dancer's tension," so that the line may slightly expand and contract with the natural movements of the dance.
 
"T" pos Hand extended out to side, firmly (but not strongly) grasping shldr of next dancer in line. If line moves predominantly to R, R arm is under. Elbows, rather than locked, are held with a "dancer's tension" so that the line may expand and contract slightly with the natural movements of the dance. This prevents the awkward and sometimes painful situation where the next dancer receives a "straight arm," football style, to the side of the neck!
 
"V" pos Hand joined with the next dancer and extended down between you and that dancer.
 
"W" pos Hand joined with next dancer and held comfortably at shoulder level between you and that dancer. Hands are usually held slightly fwd of shldrs. (Depending on the requrements of the dance, hands may be held forward of shldrs, arms rounded, or held back close to shldrs. Also, again depending on the requirements of the dance, little fingers may be held or fingers may be interlaced.)
 
"X" pos Hold next dancer's belt halfway between hip and navel. If the dance moves predominantly to the R, R arm is under. Elbows are not locked, but rather are held with a "dancer's tension" so that the line may expand and contract with the natural movements of the dance.
 
"Y" pos Hand joined with that of the next dancer in line and extended upward high between you and that dancer.


Copyright © 2011 by Dick Oakes