[Callers] Difficult dancers - Decision to ask not to return

Rich Sbardella via Callers callers at lists.sharedweight.net
Wed Mar 8 14:49:56 PST 2017

I want to be clear that when I suggest other dance venues, I have never
suggested that dancers stop attending a series.  My suggestion of other
(additional) venues is so that the dancer finds a user friendly place to
hone his/her skills.
Like Don, I believe that our communities should be inclusive.
Sorry for any misunderstanding.
Stafford, CT

On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 5:34 PM, Don Veino via Callers <
callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 1:26 PM, Mark Hillegonds via Callers <
> callers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> Would you ever (or have you ever) asked someone not to return based on
>> their inability to dance?
> No. If we want to consider ourselves open and welcoming then, IMO, I
> believe we need to model that. There are venues that have a different
> mission and objective (the limited set of "experienced" dances) where this
> might be appropriate but for a general dance I'm uncomfortable with the
> idea of sending someone away because they struggle to perform as others
> might expect.
> In the dance series I help run we have several folks with challenges whom
> dance with us regularly. These include blindness, some memory impairment,
> perceptual/developmental issues, physical impairment and just plain slowing
> down. They are all welcome, even though that may cause others to have to
> adjust - and that's just what we do. Callers adjust their material and
> timing/calls. Dancers find ways collaboratively to surpass the challenges
> presented.
> We strive to keep the hall well mixed, or the dancers will naturally
> segment themselves such that the difficulties multiply rather than get
> mitigated. A lot of that has to do with material selection - fidgety
> fast-action dances will not encourage the mixing. Well constructed dances
> with great flow (and some space for flourishes/recovery) will. We also have
> generous experienced dancers who help in partnering.
> Is it easy to continue this way? Maybe not. It may cost us attendance.
> There are times I (and others) get frustrated. But then I take a deep
> breath and move on from the temporary issue knowing the bigger goal. I feel
> you need to set a view of what you want the culture of your series to be
> and act in accord. My dance strives to be a real community where we dance
> and engage *with* people and not just dance *next* to them.
> Of course there's a difference between lesser capability and inappropriate
> behavior. We don't tolerate the latter but fortunately we've had few issues
> in that regard.
> -Don
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