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

Meg Dedolph via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Mon Mar 6 19:40:22 PST 2017

I've run into dancers as a caller and on the floor who fit this description
- men and women both. Most of the time the problem seems to be that they
can't get where they need to be on time, or they end a figure facing the
wrong direction.
But here's something that I learned in retrospect from an evening spent
calling a small community dance with a pair of women who were moving too
slowly for the music and who kept dancing together. I'd call a dance and
identify these problems and think to myself, "Pick a different dance for
the next one with a little more slop time in it and more figures where you
are holding hands with someone and not on your own, or maybe an uneven
dance." So I'd do that, but then I would notice that the women, who had
gotten tired during the previous dance, had decided to sit out the dance
that I'd picked to best meet their needs on the floor and prevent
So then I'd go back to my original plan for the *next* dance, but there
they'd be, back up on their feet, having rested!
It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out the pattern. Now I
know to watch for folks who had a hard time during one dance choosing to
sit out the next and regroup.
But, y'know, as soon as I think I have something figured out about dancers,
humankind throws me a curve ball.

On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 7:41 PM Winston, Alan P. via Callers <
callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

> 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 horribly).
> 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> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Callers mailing list
> Callers at lists.sharedweight.net
> http://lists.sharedweight.net/listinfo.cgi/callers-sharedweight.net
> _______________________________________________
> Callers mailing listCallers at lists.sharedweight.nethttp://lists.sharedweight.net/listinfo.cgi/callers-sharedweight.net
> _______________________________________________
> Callers mailing list
> Callers at lists.sharedweight.net
> http://lists.sharedweight.net/listinfo.cgi/callers-sharedweight.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sharedweight.net/pipermail/callers-sharedweight.net/attachments/20170307/25ac21fc/attachment.htm>

More information about the Callers mailing list