[Callers] The Beginners' Lesson Tips?

barbara153 at aol.com barbara153 at aol.com
Tue Oct 4 09:30:23 PDT 2011


Could you share "Cabot School Mixer" with me.  Would love to add that to my programs.  Thanks.

Barbara G
Springfield, NJ

-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Primrose <limerickfarm at gmail.com>
To: Caller's discussion list <callers at sharedweight.net>
Sent: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 8:35 am
Subject: Re: [Callers] The Beginners' Lesson Tips?

Not a fan of lessons prior to a dance (although the best pre-dance is
one by Steve Zakon-Anderson).  My first dance with a large crowd of
eginners is a circle mixer.  A great dance to use is "Cabot School
ixer" by Ted Sannella. It quickly.. and forgivingly introduces the
ew dancer to several calls as well as the importance of the music.
 I particularly like mixing everyone together at the start of the
ight.. I also ask that at the end of the mixer.. you ask whomever you
nded with to dance the next dance.  Thus new dancers and experienced
earn from each other.  In a circle dance you can also have a lost and
ound (displaced dancers) in the center to get back into the dance.
In the summer the Nelson dance will have thirty or more new dancers
very week.. The circle works well.. and having a great local dance
ommunity willing to ask a new face to dance is a blessing.
Don Primrose
On 10/3/11, Richard Hart <richhart49 at gmail.com> wrote:
 There are a lot of good suggestions for a beginner's workshop here, already,
 but I'll add my 2 cents, anyway.

 When I do a beginners workshop before a dance, I like to focus on key
 concepts and actions, rather than particular calls:

 1. Line up and pay attention to the lines. If you are not in line with the
 others, you may be in someone's way.
 2. Proper & improper formations.
 3. Progression: After each repetition of a dance, you dance with the next
 4. Lady on the right.
 5. Courtesy turns: they're part of a number of different calls.
 6. Giving weight with your arms and hands.
 7. The swing.
 8. Respect for other dancers (who may not move as quickly, or who may be
 injured, or disabled in some way, or who may be a beginner who needs a bit
 of direction)

 That's already a lot to cover. I'd leave out the swing, if there was not
 enough time, especially if there will be a lot of experienced dancers at the
 dance to do that. The calls can all be explained during the walk throughs,
 reinforcing and using what was presented earlier during the beginners
 workshop. One problem that all beginners experience is figuring our where
 they should be and what direction they should face. I try to help them
 figure that out both during the beginner workshop and also when doing the
 walk through, and even when calling the dance.

 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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