[Callers] walk-throughs/pay off

Martha Wild mawild at sbcglobal.net
Sun May 2 11:40:56 PDT 2010


I agree with Tom. Each dance group is different - some have huge  
influxes of beginners, or have regulars that are, for various  
reasons, still challenged after years of dancing. Sometimes the first  
half of a dance may require two walk-throughs for most dances, even  
for forgiving dances, and the second half, after many newcomers get  
tired (I think they tire more quickly because they are thinking more  
and correcting their movements and just use more energy), can be one  
WT or for dances without unusual figures, none. There are no hard and  
fast rules and I watch whether there is confusion during the walk- 
through, whether a bunch of inexperienced people suddenly joined the  
end late and haven't even walked it through once, etc., etc. , and  
mix in a decision on how much chaos I think the dance (and dancers)  
can tolerate happily before it settles in, and decide on whether to  
call a second walk-through. Better a second walk-through than a line  
falling apart.

As for getting negative (and positive) feedback about these choices -  
you'll never please everyone. There will always be someone who comes  
and tells you that they didn't like "x" - and right after that  
someone will walk up and thank you profusely for doing "x". One  
friend of mine hates having the men do things together - like walk  
down the hall four in line where men have hands together, or have  a  
mens swing, and doesn't like dances that have those moves, and he  
tells me so. Other guys tell me they loved the mens swing in a  
particular dance because they got to swing powerfully with someone of  
equal weight and height and it was a blast. So don't even try to  
please everyone, you won't. Basically, I figure that if  there is  
good energy on the floor during a dance, it flowed well, and the  
dancers are smiling and clapping after the dance finishes, it's a  
success. So, not to discount feedback, but try to put it in the  
context of the person who gives it to you, and how much of it you are  
getting.

And yes, different dance groups are amazingly different. There are  
dance groups that love dances that have such moves as "sashay down",  
or hand-claps, and other groups would hate them. One gets to know  
one's local groups pretty well, but when you go to a really different  
venue, it's sometimes surprising. Even the culture can be surprising.  
Some places do a dance, then they socialize and eat for five minutes  
before you can get them back to the floor. Others have formed new  
lines before you've bent over to check your notes. Flexibility is key.

Martha

On May 2, 2010, at 9:00 AM, callers-request at sharedweight.net wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. walk-throughs/pay  off (Tom Hinds)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 12:55:46 -0400
> From: Tom Hinds <twhinds at earthlink.net>
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Subject: [Callers] walk-throughs/pay  off
> Message-ID: <2706BF14-AC9F-478B-8B24-DE34D4197CA2 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
>
> Great discussion about walk-throughs.  In particular I like the 'mix
> it up' approach.  Not too long ago I got chewed out by one person for
> doing two walk-throughs for several contras at Glen Echo on a
> Friday.  Do we like to make up rules or what?
>
> I'd like to throw in an idea that I think others may have touched
> on.  I like to use the square dance figure, teacup chain for groups
> that haven't danced it.  I usually walk it through twice for the head
> ladies and let them do it by themselves a third time.  Ditto for the
> side ladies.  Then I walk it through for all four ladies once or
> twice.  The total number of times the figure is walked through is 8
> but the figure is only 32 beats long.  Add to this the instructions
> to the men and some of the rules for everyone, we have a great deal
> of instruction.  Here's the catch:  the teacup chain always gets the
> most applause from the crowd.  It's the big thrill of the evening.
> What I've learned is that for some dances there's a pay off.  My goal
> is to figure out what dances will pay off the most for each group.
>
> In the last year or so, I've noticed that what really turns on one
> group will bore or turn off another.  I don't have a crystal ball yet
> and can't figure out why this is-still lots to learn.
>
> Tom
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On May 1, 2010, at 12:00 PM, callers-request at sharedweight.net wrote:
>
>> Send Callers mailing list submissions to
>> 	callers at sharedweight.net
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>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>> 	callers-request at sharedweight.net
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>>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of Callers digest..."
>>
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>    1. Re: Walk-throughs (Rich Goss)
>>    2. Re: Walk-throughs (Martha Edwards)
>>    3. Re: Walk-throughs (Katy Heine)
>>    4. Re: Walk-throughs (JohnFreem at aol.com)
>>
>>
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> -
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 13:02:46 -0700
>> From: Rich Goss <richgoss at comcast.net>
>> To: Shared Weight <callers at sharedweight.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Callers] Walk-throughs
>> Message-ID: <C8008576.8DA5%richgoss at comcast.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="US-ASCII"
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 4/30/10 11:29 AM, "Bob Isaacs" <isaacsbob at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Chris Weiler wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> "I subscribe to the theory that if I need more than one walk thru,
>>> then
>>>  I'm calling a dance that is too difficult for the crowd. The main
>>> reason
>>>  that I might run a second walk thru is if there is a clump of
>>> beginners
>>>  and I need to get them progressed to new couples who can help
>>> them out. "
>>>
>>
>> Bob Isaacs wrote:
>>>
>>> Just curious - what are the dancer expectations where you call?
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Often I find that is just depends on the dance.  Our Portland  
>> Saturday
>> dances tend to have a fair number of beginners, somewhere around  
>> 20-30
>> percent (we get between 100-150 total)  If I observe that folks
>> seemed to
>> get it the first time, back it up and go.  If it's a dance with a
>> tricky
>> move, second walkthrough.   If I've had to demo a move in the first
>> walkthrough, definitely a second with the feel of the flow.  I
>> always try to
>> throw in a no-walkthrough sometime during the evening, with
>> familiar moves.
>>
>> Rich
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 16:26:33 -0500
>> From: Martha Edwards <meedwards at westendweb.com>
>> To: "Caller's discussion list" <callers at sharedweight.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Callers] Walk-throughs
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<z2g7d8d864a1004301426m67c8b0c3wdadfb9ea70806b7c at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>
>> I've had East coast callers tell me in no uncertain terms that if
>> you have
>> to walk it through more than once you'd better figure out a better
>> way to
>> call or choose simpler dances.
>>
>> But we're used to two out here in the Heartland, so we have all
>> kinds of
>> reasons why it's better. Number one is that the two walkthroughs have
>> different functions - the first one to explain the moves, the
>> second to show
>> what you have to do when you do them at speed.
>>
>> The number two reason is that the experienced dancers are talking
>> during the
>> first walkthrough, knowing that another one is coming...
>>
>> Hmmm....
>>
>> M
>> E
>>
>> On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 3:02 PM, Rich Goss <richgoss at comcast.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 4/30/10 11:29 AM, "Bob Isaacs" <isaacsbob at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Chris Weiler wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "I subscribe to the theory that if I need more than one walk
>>>> thru, then
>>>>  I'm calling a dance that is too difficult for the crowd. The
>>>> main reason
>>>>  that I might run a second walk thru is if there is a clump of
>>>> beginners
>>>>  and I need to get them progressed to new couples who can help
>>>> them out.
>>> "
>>>>
>>>
>>> Bob Isaacs wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Just curious - what are the dancer expectations where you call?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Often I find that is just depends on the dance.  Our Portland
>>> Saturday
>>> dances tend to have a fair number of beginners, somewhere around
>>> 20-30
>>> percent (we get between 100-150 total)  If I observe that folks
>>> seemed to
>>> get it the first time, back it up and go.  If it's a dance with a
>>> tricky
>>> move, second walkthrough.   If I've had to demo a move in the first
>>> walkthrough, definitely a second with the feel of the flow.  I
>>> always try
>>> to
>>> throw in a no-walkthrough sometime during the evening, with
>>> familiar moves.
>>>
>>> Rich
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Callers mailing list
>>> Callers at sharedweight.net
>>> http://www.sharedweight.net/mailman/listinfo/callers
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> For the good are always the merry,
>> Save by an evil chance,
>> And the merry love the fiddle
>> And the merry love to dance. ~ William Butler Yeats
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 07:23:16 -0400
>> From: "Katy Heine" <kheine at twcny.rr.com>
>> To: "'Caller's discussion list'" <callers at sharedweight.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Callers] Walk-throughs
>> Message-ID: <0F40BEA5136F43BBA70CE3BE69348CC9 at stewart>
>> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
>>
>> Interesting discussion. Here in central New York, I don't think the
>> dancers
>> have a clear expectation about the number of times a dance should
>> be walked
>> through (although generally there's a preference for single walk-
>> throughs,
>> and little tolerance for more than two). The approach that I've
>> decided to
>> take is to mix it up: use one walk-through for simpler dances and
>> two when a
>> dance is particularly complex ... or when the dance is new to me,
>> or when I
>> feel I haven't done the best job teaching it the first time. So far
>> no one
>> has complained....
>>
>> Katy Heine
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: callers-bounces at sharedweight.net
>> [mailto:callers-bounces at sharedweight.net] On Behalf Of Martha Edwards
>> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 5:27 PM
>> To: Caller's discussion list
>> Subject: Re: [Callers] Walk-throughs
>>
>> I've had East coast callers tell me in no uncertain terms that if
>> you have
>> to walk it through more than once you'd better figure out a better
>> way to
>> call or choose simpler dances.
>>
>> But we're used to two out here in the Heartland, so we have all
>> kinds of
>> reasons why it's better. Number one is that the two walkthroughs have
>> different functions - the first one to explain the moves, the
>> second to show
>> what you have to do when you do them at speed.
>>
>> The number two reason is that the experienced dancers are talking
>> during the
>> first walkthrough, knowing that another one is coming...
>>
>> Hmmm....
>>
>> M
>> E
>>
>> On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 3:02 PM, Rich Goss <richgoss at comcast.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 4/30/10 11:29 AM, "Bob Isaacs" <isaacsbob at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Chris Weiler wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "I subscribe to the theory that if I need more than one walk
>>>> thru, then
>>>>  I'm calling a dance that is too difficult for the crowd. The main
>> reason
>>>>  that I might run a second walk thru is if there is a clump of
>>>> beginners
>>>>  and I need to get them progressed to new couples who can help
>>>> them out.
>>> "
>>>>
>>>
>>> Bob Isaacs wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Just curious - what are the dancer expectations where you call?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Often I find that is just depends on the dance.  Our Portland
>>> Saturday
>>> dances tend to have a fair number of beginners, somewhere around
>>> 20-30
>>> percent (we get between 100-150 total)  If I observe that folks
>>> seemed to
>>> get it the first time, back it up and go.  If it's a dance with a
>>> tricky
>>> move, second walkthrough.   If I've had to demo a move in the first
>>> walkthrough, definitely a second with the feel of the flow.  I
>>> always try
>>> to
>>> throw in a no-walkthrough sometime during the evening, with familiar
>> moves.
>>>
>>> Rich
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Callers mailing list
>>> Callers at sharedweight.net
>>> http://www.sharedweight.net/mailman/listinfo/callers
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> For the good are always the merry,
>> Save by an evil chance,
>> And the merry love the fiddle
>> And the merry love to dance. ~ William Butler Yeats
>> _______________________________________________
>> Callers mailing list
>> Callers at sharedweight.net
>> http://www.sharedweight.net/mailman/listinfo/callers
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 4
>> Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 07:37:47 EDT
>> From: JohnFreem at aol.com
>> To: callers at sharedweight.net
>> Subject: Re: [Callers] Walk-throughs
>> Message-ID: <771.741827bc.390d6c8b at aol.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>>
>> Good morning!
>>
>> I just returned from watching Ann Arbor Morris brave a torrential
>> downpour
>> to welcome the spring in. We were all soaked clear through
>> to...well, I'll
>> leave that to your imagination.
>>
>> Anyway, since I usually work with mixed crowds, I tend to favor  
>> two or
>> three walkthroughs. I think that it give the newbies a few
>> opportunities to
>> learn how the progression works, to learn that it's "places, not
>> faces" that
>> often determines who you will be dancing with, and to rein the
>> center set crowd
>> in a bit so we are on the same page as we begin. I also may switch
>> to a
>> proper dance if the "experienced dancers" cross over before the
>> sets have
>> sorted themselves out. I discourage "flourishes" during the
>> walkthroughs. They do
>> nothing to enhance the teaching, and often really confuse the
>> beginners. I
>> don't mind them later...as long as they don't interfere with the
>> enjoyment
>> of others.
>>
>> And yes, I AM the chief of the Dance Police. :-)
>>
>> John B. Freeman, President
>> SFTPOCTJ
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>> http://www.sharedweight.net/mailman/listinfo/callers
>>
>>
>> End of Callers Digest, Vol 69, Issue 1
>> **************************************
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