[Callers] Telling couples to switch at the end of a contra set

Ric Goldman timelord at rgoldman.org
Wed Dec 1 17:03:11 PST 2010

I always include "Hands 4 from the top, actives cross over if you haven't already" if that's what I want for configuration (and I
try to use varied configurations where possible).

FWIW, this is NOT ingrained behavior for first-timers, and surprisingly a number of experienced dancers don't do it unless prompted.
Unfortunately, for those who DO do this on autopilot, it reinforces the "I can keep chatting - I don't have to listen to the caller
yet" attitude that can make it a bit longer to start things.

That said, I try to vary the intro instruction, a la, "take hands in a group of 4, facing up or down the line - gents, make sure
your partner is on your right."  It's just different enough that some people wake up who might now otherwise.  

With a particular noisy group, I may start with "ok, and now the 2nd figure is" and wait for someone to ask for me to restart from
the beginning.  :-)

I'd been curious what others' experiences have been.

Thanx, Ric Goldman

> -----Original Message-----
> From: callers-bounces at sharedweight.net 
> [mailto:callers-bounces at sharedweight.net] On Behalf Of Richard Fischer
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 4:56 PM
> To: widmermt at yahoo.com; Caller's discussion list
> Subject: Re: [Callers] Telling couples to switch at the end 
> of a contra set
> And a related question: when will callers stop saying "Hands 
> four from the top, number ones cross over"--in 
> acknowledgement that improper formation is the default for 
> modern contras?  I'm curious how many callers have already 
> stopped saying that. Or to put the question another way, in 
> how many dance communities do dancers line up inproper and 
> not expect a reminder to "cross over" and be in improper formation?
> Richard
> On Dec 1, 2010, at 7:37 PM, Mark Widmer wrote:
> > Hey, I was wondering what other callers thought about the 
> following: 
> > often, during the walkthrough of the 1st contra dance of 
> the evening, 
> > the caller explains that dancers should trade places with their 
> > partner whenever they reach the end of the set
> > 
> > However, I never do this, and have never had a problem as a 
> result -- 
> > the experienced dancers in the set, apparently, are able to get the 
> > new dancers to do this, and nobody has ever complained to me that I 
> > didn't instruct dancers to switch
> > 
> > I have wondered what others thought about this -- my own 
> thinking is why take time to explain something when it isn't 
> necessary?
> > 
> > Regards,
> > 
> > Mark Widmer / central NJ
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
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