New Words for Dance Roles

Drawing by  Angela DeCarlis

Drawing by Angela DeCarlis

On Thursday, June 14, PICD will celebrate the two-year (two years already!) anniversary of our growing, vibrant dance community with the second open band night.  We are also taking the opportunity to switch the role terms we use from "jets" and "rubies" to "larks" and "ravens."  Larks (replacing jets) start the dance on the left of their partner; ravens (replacing rubies) start on the right.

What's up with these new terms, you ask?

  • Larks = Left and Ravens = Right makes a lot of sense, especially if you're learning.

  • A lot of people say that "jets" and "rubies" have masculine and feminine connotations that incorrectly imply that the two roles are attached to gender. "Larks" and "ravens" have less connection to gender.

  • Over the last two years, pretty much all the contra dance communities around the country that use gender-free roles have switched to using these words, so now we're aligned with them.

  • Because we're aligning with all these other dances, it will be easier for callers who travel to other dance communities. (There's a lot of mechanical stuff for callers that goes into choosing role terms. These factors are summarized well in this graphic analysis by Ron Blechner from Massachusetts, if you're curious.)

Anyway, it's just dancing.  See you soon!