[Callers] First Dance - Adult ONS

Jacob & Nancy Bloom bloom at gis.net
Wed Jan 30 12:17:22 PST 2013

Hi Sue,

Here's something I might use to start off an event like you described:

Start the music going, take someone by the hand, lead them through 
the crowd urging people to join onto the end of the line as it snakes 
through the room

Lead the line into a circle, and do a few rounds of a Paul Jones to 
get people coupled up (Ladies forward and back, gents forward and 
back, ladies in and circle left while gents go to the right around 
the outside, ladies turn around and swing someone near your, all promenade)

Have everyone promenade into a Grand March, lead the march up the 
center of the hall, stop the music and invite the people who have 
come in during the above to find a partner and join in at the bottom 
of the longways set which has just been created, before doing a dance 
in longways formation.

I've had good experiences doing the above, but here are some things 
to consider:

If the group were entirely teenagers then I wouldn't do a snake line, 
since that age group tends to turn it into Crack-The-Whip.

If the group had more men than women at the start of the dance, then 
I might hesitate to use a Paul Jones to get people into couples, 
since the men might be hesitant to dance with each other.  It doesn't 
matter if the number of gents going forward and back is very 
different from the number of ladies going forward and back, as long 
as everyone finds someone to swing and promenade with.  However, if 
there were many more women than men, I might call for the gents going 
forward and back first, then the gents circling on the inside while 
the ladies go around the outside.

In some groups, people might be more comfortable doing the first 
dance with the partner they brought with them.  When that's the case, 
I might start by asking people to line up in couples for a Grand 
March.  However, the advantages to getting people moving without 
going through the anxiety of choosing a partner, and of getting them 
used to changing partners at the beginning of the dance, are obvious.

I hope that's of use to you.

Jacob Bloom

>Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 20:27:05 -0500
>From: Sue Robishaw <sue at manytracks.com>
>To: Shared Weight Callers <callers at sharedweight.net>
>Subject: [Callers] First Dance - Adult ONS
>Message-ID: <510876E9.7050507 at manytracks.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>      I'm starting a new Community Dance series in our area with no 
> recent history of any trad dance. It will likely be nearly all 
> beginners and geared toward adults/teens. Thanks to this List I 
> have a good collection of ONS dances to choose from, but I'm having 
> trouble deciding on the First Dance.
>      I'm thinking a non-partner dance that folks can be encouraged 
> to join as they arrive (before they sit down) with very little or 
> no teaching. I've considered Circles/F&Bs with variety of who goes 
> in, probably with claps. Or CL, F&B 2x, CR, start a promenade wave 
> at a random spot, people coupling up one after another till all are 
> promenading (I'll be on the floor with them). I'm concerned with 
> the usual -- looking easy enough, looking interesting, not 
> embarrassing, getting them involved before they have a chance to 
> think much about it. I have no idea how many dancers I'll have.
>      Any suggestions or recommendations would be much appreciated.
>          Thanks,  Sue
>Sue Robishaw, U.P. of Michigan

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