A Valdutani Traditional Dance and Duel
Shield Dancing is a Valdutani tradition thought to have derived from Shalegkua. It is almost exclusively played by Parisan. In it, two or more contestants arm themselves with only a shield and try to knock the other over using it.
It's quite the thing to see these massive, muscular Parisan doing pirouettes in the sand, then finding traction out of nowhere to launch at eachother and slam together with a great din and a show of sparks.
Shield Dancing began as a duelling sport between Valdutani nobles, but quickly grew to become ingrained in their social traditions. It became a staple performance among Valdutani festivals for there to be elaborate shows of Shield-Dancing, sometimes between entire platoons of participants. The tradition is alive and well today, typically only celebrated by Parisan Valdutani but there's always exceptions.
OverviewAt first the two combatants bow to each other from opposite sides of the arena. After that, how they act and move is up to them and their personal tactics. Some prefer to charge in, others are more guarded and careful.
ObjectiveThe objective of Shield Dancing is to knock your opponent over. This is called a knock. If someone is knocked down, they lose. Most matches go best out of three or best out of five. You gain style points for cuffs and dance. Style won't win you a match, but it is graded on its own, and some Dancers put more weight into style than knocks, which is why choreographed Shield Dancing emerged.
Cuffs Cuffs are when you hit your opponent with your shield loud enough to make a sound. Frequency, volume, and consistent rhythm are all counted into the style points gained
Dance Dances are changing in footing and body carriage. They're used to line up cuffs and knocks, and to compensate for cuffs you've received. You gain style for complexity of moves.
Components and tools
Anyone tells you you need anything more than a shield and willpower to dance, you cuff them with your shield.
Arena Shield Dancing can be done in any circumstance, and variety of field is considered a part of the sport, but the standard official arena is circular with a 5m diameter, lined with sand.
Shield There is no Shield dance without a shield. In official duels it's customary to use your familial shield, but for common matches there are sparring shields ranging from buckler to tower.
Shield Dances are common at faires and in plays, and are as often staged and choreographed as they are done for sport. It is not unusual for Valdutani families to have their own choreographed Shield Dances that they perform during Valdutani Family Moots.
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TriviaDue to the nature of Shield Dances, many Dancers use elaborate costumes and tools, such as shields with shoot off sparks when struck, battlegowns with long, flowing ribbons, and choreographed dances/
Cla—krunch The growling of Family Helmshigh grew. At first it merely tickled at our ears, unnoticed amid the rhythmic crashing and crunching of their shields colliding and sending off streaking hologram sparks—they resembled wheat, the historic staple of the Helmshigh family brewers. The growling grew, unbroken despite the way the family danced around and collided with eachother. They ricocheted in various directions, but their gravity pulled them back together. Clang
Cla—krunch Their voices rose in song. The older ones held the bass. The younger held the high chorus, and all between sang the song of the family. Clang "Proudly stands"
Cla— "Helms-high;" —krunch Clang "Brewers of your"
Cla—"fine wine." —krunch More accomplishments followed, but I was far too lost in their wine and dance to hear. Their beautiful voices and Dance mesmerized me. It was water in the way it flowed and crashed, it was fire in the way it curled and flickered.