[Callers] Style/safety/etiquette tips from the microphone

JD Erskine sailargh at victoria.tc.ca
Sun May 11 21:22:42 PDT 2008

Chris Weiler wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> We've been having a lively discussion in the Boston area about several 
> topics ranging from men behaving badly to poor style to dancers who are 
> too rough.

The same has been blowing around on the Seattle Contra list/group.

> My question is, what tips or information do you like to give from the 
> microphone to help people deal with these issues? How do you give them? 
> It would help if you could share your wording because I'm sure that 
> brevity and humor play a big part in how effective they are. Do you give 
> demonstrations? Role play a situation on the floor?

During the little calling I've done for English Country I've mentioned, 
on the occasion there are new dancers and addressing them will remind 
everyone, that hands are a good or polite guide, as in four hands 
across, and not a support structure. Good for a laugh sometimes.

"If it hurts and you're doing it you should be at the gym, if it hurts 
and someone else does it, mention it."

Our main ECD caller who also calls Contra has mentioned how to not hurt 
folks and how to be prepared to let folks go who take more than shared 
weight or are awkwardly dangerous. Nothing particular in her phrasing, 
she just covered it completely in teaching points during a floor 
demonstration at the beginning of the evening. We often have new folks 
at Contra so we covered much of the swing etiquette, or "how to 
guarantee a man will let you go". (women: clamp your left upper arm on 
his or the lead's right wrist/forearm, turn away, lean way back).


> Thanks!
> Chris Weiler
> Goffstown, NH

I'm hoping to call a Contra dance or two this next weekend (first time! 
fingers crossed) however forgot I wanted to order this shirt ahead of 
time. Maybe I can get it in before NW Folklife.
http://www.unshelved.com/images/store/tee-ow-mens-large.gif  at

Cheers, John

J.D. Erskine
Victoria, BC

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