[Callers] What to do with a really bad new dancer?

Winston, Alan P. via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Mon Mar 6 17:41:24 PST 2017

I've seen some responses on the organizers list and here, and I've 
thought about the persistent rock-in-the-stream dancer we had in 
Berkeley (who did, eventually, start modifying the dances so he could 
get where he needed on time, and who indeed various women would ask to 
dance or he'd be asking the new young women dancers and confusing them 

One thing I'm noticing from the similar stories and responses is that 
all the rocks in the stream I'm hearing about are male, and it's falling 
on experienced women dancers to save the dance from them.

Is this just a problem with small sample sizes?  Has anyone encountered 
this kind of dancer, the kind who really structurally can't ever be good 
at it, spreads confusion, and yet keeps coming back, in female form?

-- Alan

On 3/6/2017 5:24 PM, Mary Collins via Callers wrote:
> We have a dancer here in Buffalo that has a hard time hearing and 
> ear-mind process-motor response time is very very slow. (I worry about 
> him driving).  We have a loose house rule that the regular good lady 
> dancers pair with this gentleman.  Otherwise he will ask newbies to 
> dance, and often is at the end of the line, after the walk through.  
> When you dance with him you have to call to him through the dance and 
> guide him to where he needs to be.  This is how we have dealt with our 
> own issue.
> In your case, you might want to invite him to your beginner's workshop 
> where you can address some of the issues you have seen him experience 
> (i.e. the 1/2 alemande instead of the 1 1/2 of the call, or a shorter 
> swing.  Play up the better never than late thing and talk about 
> flourishes and how they are not really a necessary part of the dance 
> experience.
> the others have mentioned other ideas that are really good.
> Good luck Marie!
> Mary in Buffalo
> “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass ... it's about 
> learning to dance in the rain!” ~ Unknown
> On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 3:13 PM, Marie-Michèle Fournier via Callers 
> <callers at lists.sharedweight.net 
> <mailto:callers at lists.sharedweight.net>> wrote:
>     Hi everyone,
>        Lately a new dancer has started coming to our dance and he is
>     bad enough that he will often make the set break if the dance is
>     moderately challenging. He seems to have some kind of impairment
>     and walks very stiffly which means he will often not be on time
>     for a figure and also often does not remember what is coming next.
>       We want to be inclusive but at the same time his presence
>     negatively impacts other dancers in his set and while some of the
>     experienced dancers will take one for the team and dance with him,
>     it is an unpleasant experience to be his partner. Unfortunately,
>     we always have many new dancers and having one couple not be where
>     they should be can really throw them off in some dances so I feel
>     like I have to push and pull him around to be on time, despite the
>     fact that it's a little rude.
>        A recent caller to our dance called him a "speed bump" which
>     was quite accurate. I'm sure other dances have had experience with
>     similar troubles, does anyone have advice on how to deal with this
>     so that other dancers still have a good time yet we are nice to
>     this problematic dancer?
>     Thank you
>     Marie
>     ContraMontreal
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