[Callers] slow down...

David A. Kaynor davidkaynor at mac.com
Tue May 29 15:33:25 PDT 2007


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick thought on perceived programme speed, the length of time 
between dances, and musicians' comfort:

The length of "chat time" prior to a walk-through and the length of the 
walk-through itself may comprise most of everyone's perception of the 
programmatic pace, but not all of it, but another component of the 
perception is the amount of elapsed time between the completion of the 
walk-through and the start of the dance itself.  If the music and 
dancing consistently start within, say, 5 or 6 seconds after completion 
of the walkthroughs, the pace may be perceived to be brisk even if some 
of the walkthroughs are lengthy.

I'll bet a lot of you have seen Sue Rosen in action and share my belief 
that from a dancer's standpoint, she's extremely good.  I'd like to 
share something from my experience of playing for her which makes me 
believe that she's extremely good from a musician's standpoint as well.

Sue seems to have an unusual ability to be in touch with everything and 
everyone all at once.  I've watched her stand at the microphone, survey 
the overall scene, engage in small talk with whoever's nearby on the 
dance floor or stage, and, all the while, keep tabs on the band, 
ascertaining that the tune selection is complete or very nearly so 
before beginning her next famously crisp and clear walkthrough.

To be sure, Sue's teaching is highly effective and fast in and of 
itself.  But what might be less readily apparent, yet strikes me as 
very important, is that the musicians are ready and eager when she and 
the dancers are ready for them.  I think this enhances the atmosphere 
of fun and helps to create an experience of a brisk, energetic pace 
even though a fair amount of "chat time" may have preceded the 
walk-through.

Even with pick-up bands possessing no pre-planned medleys or even a 
common tune list, I've seen Sue pull this off such that no one in the 
band feels pressured or rushed, yet the programme feels brisk and 
energetic.

David




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