[Callers] Gender free dances

Luke Donev luke.donev at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 14:07:53 PST 2010

Interesting discussion, thank you for starting it and the resources
that have already come out.

I haven't had the experience of calling for an explicitly gender free
contra, so I can't attest to practice. I am a little wary of "bands
and bares" though. The words start the same and sound similar; I'd
worry (especially at a new dance where sound is still being figured
out?) about the words not being clear on the floor.

As a dancer, I actively dislike ties or markers. I feel it gets in the
way of partners swapping back and forth and playing with both roles.
I'd prefer dancers to be where they need to be and dance with whoever
is coming at them. I've seen "helpful" people hang ties on a female
dancer without asking, just because they saw two women dancing
together. It annoyed both of the dancers, and didn't really help mark
them as lead for the other dancers on the floor. When there's a gender
imbalanced night, I still want as many people dancing as possible, and
I want them to be as comfortable in any role as possible. That's
tangential to the original thread, but an issue I have seen cause

Looking forward to other people's comments.

On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Robert Golder <robertgolder at comcast.net> wrote:
> For more than two decades, Chris Ricciotti has been the leading exponent of the armbands/barearms method of role free calling. Chris has made available a web-based Gender-Free Dancing Callers Manual and History as a callers' resource. This is the best available published source of information. Go to:
> http://lcfd.org/Articles/GFManual/
> >From this page you can download the Manual in PDF format. Subjects include a FAQ about calling and dancing role free (including "agenda" issues), sample dances with comparative instructions in both traditional and role-free notation, an essay on "Programming an Evening of Gender-Free Dancing," discussion of methods other than Armband/Barearm (from which you could further develop "lead" and "follow"), a history of role-free dancing, etc.  ... Bob
> Robert Golder
> New Bedford, MA, USA
> On Dec 2, 2010, at 1:02 PM, susie rudder wrote:
>>   I have been asked to call for a new dance group forming in a small town
>>   near our regular dance. Experienced dancers were asked to come help
>>   these absolute newbies, and some local musicians have volunteered their
>>   services. It became obvious that about half the dancers were lesbians
>>   who asked me to use non gender specific terms when calling. I tried
>>   'lead' and 'follow' because the syllable numbers worked, but I'm not
>>   happy with that. I also had some regular dancers comment on not wanting
>>   to deal with 'some' peoples' political agendas as related to contra
>>   calling. I have never dealt with gender free calling and would
>>   appreciate ANY help from those of you who may have been doing it for
>>   years. What terms seem to work best? Any other hints to make things go
>>   more smoothly?  These people are very enthusiastic and I want to see
>>   the dance succeed.
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Luke Donev
Luke.Donev at gmail.com

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