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

Donald Primrose limerickfarm at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 17:41:04 PST 2010


The prompt "hands four from the top" should always be said, I would
never assume, nor do the dances I call on a regular basis make that
assumption. The instruction.. Cross over when at the foot of the set..
I leave out of my walkthroughs.. and they have always figured it out.

On occasion when calling in a new venue and I see dancers
automatically lining up improper.. I call hand six, it keeps them
focused.  I call many proper dances (chestnuts) in any given night
keeping the dancers connected to the music the dance and our shared
history.

Don Primrose / Nelson NH

On 12/1/10, Ric Goldman <timelord at rgoldman.org> wrote:
> 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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