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You Can't Get There From Here

by Carol Ormand

Meet my nemesis. It's the one dance I will forever be trying and failing and trying and failing to rewrite.

It's a multiply flawed dance:

Some of these things are adjustable. The first circle left could be replaced with a give-and-take, or women allemande right 1 & 1/2. To clean up the B2, I often splice in the B2 from Robert Cromartie's "Mad About Dancing":

B2 Circle left 3/4 to original wave (8)
   Balance wave (4)
   Walk forward to next wave (4)

The clockwise nature of the dance is not so easy to fix. I count eight personal attempts to rewrite it, each of which is significantly more complex than the original. And many of those introduce brand new flaws. The complexity issue goes to the heart of why this is a favorite dance of mine. This is despite my standard reflex to junk a dance sequence with a single flaw, never mind three.

The key is that you spend the first sixteen long seconds of the dance wandering around your neighbor, ending with a neighbor swing. That's enough time to sort things out even if you and your partner went off in different directions after that last progression. While the B2 is tight, the way it's going is fairly clear.

Then there's the moves. Circle. Balance. Swing. Allemande. Do-si-do. All at the one-night-stand level of complexity.

And the dance has a very memorable and distinctive feel to it, of gears locking and interlocking, yet in an easy dance. That makes this dance amazing, and one of my collection's best despite its issues.

I will not claim that a better version will never be written, because that guarantees someone will come up with such a thing. Or maybe I should, just to invoke Murphy's Law.

As a final note, "You Can't Get There From Here" holds another special spot for me -- it's the first dance I ever called, back in January 23, 2003 at Glenside, Philadelphia. It all starts here, but where will it end?

Instructions for this dance can be found here.
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