[Callers] The Beginners' Lesson Tips?

David Lawrence Harvey dave at nycbarndance.com
Sun Oct 2 13:21:04 PDT 2011

Hello Davey,

A few thoughts:

if you have experienced dancers in the hall at the time of the lesson,
encourage them to pair up with an inexperienced dancer.  There is nothing
more helpful to a new dancer than the experience and strong guidance of a
respectful experienced dancer.  As far as teaching figures, the swing seems
most important in dances these days.  Teach them to buzz step to music if
your band is ready if not I hum a few bars as I demonstrate to give a sense
of the rhythm.  Also, if there is one thing that disappoints experienced
dancers more than anything else in dancing with inexperienced dancers it is
a new dancer's inability to swing gracefully.  After all, this is the only
non-walking step figure of all contradancing.

lastly, I like to begin the night with a contradance that ends in something
like a ladies chain where I can tell dancers to turn back-to-back to face
their new neighbor.  Just an idea.


David Harvey
dave at NYCBarnDance.com

On Sun, Oct 2, 2011 at 3:16 PM, D Bar <davey.bar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Howdy,
> I am going to be calling one of my first gigged contra dances in a week! I
> have a half-hour to introduce newbies on what's what in the dance prior and
> I am wondering what do other callers find has been the most effective use
> of
> that half hour?
> I imagine going over improper formation [ladies on the right etc.], and a
> few of the base moves are good. But I'd like to see if anyone else has some
> good hints I can work with!
> Thanks,
> Davey
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