[Callers] Gender free dances

JohnFreem at aol.com JohnFreem at aol.com
Mon Dec 6 14:08:06 PST 2010


This has been a very interesting thread so far. I think that we all mean 
well and want to be as inclusive as possible. That's a really positive and 
commendable goal! I also think that we sometimes work so hard to not alienate 
groups that we end up alienating everyone or making things confusing to all.

I prefer to use gender-specific terms for most dances when I am calling for 
adults. This has always worked well for me, even when there is a marked 
gender imbalance. I have *never* had anyone come up to me to complain about 
this. I have had a couple of female caller friends get on their soap boxes to 
complain about "traditional" square dance calls. I usually shoot for using 
less gender-specific dances when I am working with children, depending upon 
the group.

I have never attended, nor been asked to call a gender-free dance in my 30 
years of calling, but I would be open to using whatever terminology/markers 
a group is used to using. Most of my calling has been for the "usual" contra 
dance crowd, ONS dances, Civil War balls, and open square dances. 
Terminology has just not been an issue for any of these groups. Whatever works for a 
given dance community is hunky-dory with me. Just don't push your views on 
those who are happy with the way things are.

John B. Freeman, SFTPOCTJ



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