I'm looking for a few interesting circle (or longways) mixers for 5-10 cpl size group who are beyond Lucky 6/7 but still learning. Along the lines of Cabot School Mixer maybe. I have plenty of easy mixers for new dancers, and many nice ones for 3-4 cpls, but could use a few more in the middling range. Recommendations appreciated!
Thanks, Sue Robishaw, U.P.M.
Callers list members,
First, let me apologize. Due to my health problems and the recent
arrival of my infant son, I have not been able to give this list the
attention it deserves. I have not been on top of moderation requests and
have not kept up with conversations. The most I've been able to do, most
of the time, is read the subject lines.
Now, I was very concerned when the tread titled "A Call For Civility"
hit my inbox and read it. Shortly after, I received Greg McKenzie's
unsubscription notification. I now have been able to read the
conversations leading up to that thread. I've been struggling with how
to respond to the callers list community about this, but I can't let
this go any longer, so I'm just going to have to go with my gut and stop
trying to puzzle it out with my head.
One of the things, actually it's the thing I love the most about the
contra dance community is it's inclusive and tolerant nature. When I
started dancing, I was socially awkward and bumbling. The community
welcomed me each week. I made friends. I got better at social
situations. I found a home. I found love there on the dance floor. I
have seen it over and over again at dances: socially marginal people
being welcomed, tolerated and accommodated in ways that they had never
experienced anywhere else. This is the ideal that makes our community
special. This is why I dedicate myself to creating this community
wherever I live, dance or call. It's why I started this list, so we
could learn how to make it better together.
That's why I've been so disappointed with how Greg was treated by this
community. We are supposed to be the leaders. We are supposed to be the
bearers of the ideals and show our dance communities how it's done. I've
never really understood the problems that people had with Greg. Yes, he
has strong opinions. Yes, he is socially awkward and doesn't always
communicate his intentions clearly. But I've always found him to be
straightforward with his opinions, positive in his criticism, creative
in his thinking and open to feedback. He and I butted heads many times
early in the list history and over on trad-dance-callers. I've learned a
lot in my discussions with him and reading his posts. I never took any
of his criticisms personally, because he criticized my ideas, not me. He
challenged my thinking on this list and I came out better for it. Not
because he convinced me, but because I thought through my ideas better
and understood why they were right. Although a lot of times, he
convinced me to change my ideas, too.
As part of his social awkwardness, sometimes he crossed the line in a
post. Every time, when people pointed it out to him, he apologized. Yes,
he crossed the line when he criticized the calling of people in an
easily identifiable video. But he apologized for it. Twice. And then was
repeatedly taken to task afterwards. Then talked about derisively in the
third person on-list. And he was right - other people added the
identifying names, not him. A valuable voice in this community was
driven out because his intentions were misunderstood. Several
disapproved of his "tone". I'm not sure how people can interpret "tone"
in an e-mail. It's a medium fraught with opportunities for
misinterpretation. To think that you understand the "tone" that the
author was intending seems crazy to me. We have to give each other the
benefit of the doubt if we are going to continue to be a healthy and
Now, I'm very sad to hear that people have decided not to post because
of Greg. I understand how hard it is to have your ideas challenged and
criticized. But I don't think that I ever read a post of his that was
purposefully mean-spirited or an individual attack. If you have an
example of such and instance, then please forward it to me off-list.
Let's not start another public bash-fest. If you have solid, factual
criticisms of him, then I do want to hear them. It's just that what is
being said now isn't justified by my experience with him.
I encourage people to put their ideas forward. We're here to find the
best ideas here and make the dancer's experience the best it can be. To
become the best callers we can be, we need ideas to be shared,
discussed, challenged and debated so we can find the best ones. We also
need this to be a safe place for people to ask their questions and share
their ideas, so keep being the positive, supportive community I know you
We're better than this. We can have the free exchange of ideas with the
same acceptance and tolerance that we have on the dance floor. This is
what has made this list special for the last 9 1/2 years. Let's not
loose sight of what's important.
Greetings fellow callers,
My graduate school's social dance club is going to be having a Contra
night, which I will be calling. I was hoping to get some advice on how to
structure the evening. Here's what I'm expecting:
Two 2 hour events, on March 3 and 10
20-30 people, with maybe 5-8 who have danced contra before at all, 1-3 who
I would consider experts
The second week will most likely have people who did not come the first week
Minimal live band (who I have worked with before)
Here's what I'm thinking so far:
1st dance: something simple without any swing to teach a few of the most
2nd dance: teach the swing, do an easy dance
remaining dances: teach one new move before each dance, then do a dance
that incorporates that move
2nd week: plan a generally easy program, but review moves as they come up
(for those who missed the first week)
I'm hoping for suggestions of specific dances that I should use, and ways
to teach and handle a group with very few experienced dancers. How do I
prevent the whole thing from falling apart? In general, I think they'll be
more tolerant towards additional teaching time because it's billed more as
a lesson than a dance. (Last month they had a salsa lesson which went on
for 2 hours before they turned on the music.) I'm hoping that the fact that
these are mostly graduate/medical students who have done other forms of
social dance before will help greatly, but any and all advice is welcome.
Dean Snipes called me a few weeks ago with this dance asking if it had
already been written. As simple as it is, I suspect that it has been, but
didn't have a dance in particular to point to. Anyone recognize it? If
so, can you put a name to it?
N Alle R
Gent pass L, 1/2 hey
Gents Alle L 1 1/2
Sent from my iPhone
Yes star left to new neighs star right once to neigh allm right once and a half...gentslead one half hey pass left middle....neigh swing...gents left once and half partner swing...I hate chaining partner away after a short swing .....As Beth Molaro says...it's just a dance......ladies chain to left hand star.....Daily I drive my truck.....run power tools ....shovel and garden cart.....I do not have good maps for internet highway...Thank you all for your love and care of dance
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
> Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:45:35 -0500
> From: "Chris Weiler (Home)" <chris.weiler(a)weirdtable.org>
> To: Shared Weight <callers(a)sharedweight.net>
> Subject: [Callers] Community
> Message-ID: <530A5DEF.1090606(a)weirdtable.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
There is also the issue that communication via text is a lot different than in person. I used to participate actively in a (now defunct) USENET newsgroup and there were a couple of posters who seemed kind of nasty in some of their posts. Then I met them in person and when they said the same sort of thing it was completely different thing - you'd see the twinkle in their eyes or the smile and interpret their communications completely differently.
I contribute and use little I observe here, as I have gone on "emeritus
status" after over 30 years of active calling. Most issues here don't apple
to me. There is very little music and dancing where I now live, although
there are still some hard core folks. Our issue are mostly local. I am not a
"center set" caller by choice. I am ready to jump in as needed, but others seem
to enjoy doing this more than I do. Please leave things the way they are so
that we may all continue to contribute or not as we choose.
John B. Freeman, SFTPOCTJ
How many of us (you lurkers included) would be willing to see this forum
move to a web-based forum?
One advantage I see is User Ranks: over time, we vote up certain people
because they offer more wisdom. That lets us give greater weight to their
opinions, even though we may not personally know them.
Here is a good discussion of email lists vs user
And here is a one-question survey <https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y9GS3BK>.
I don't have a huge investment in this idea - just thought I would toss it
out there. I'll give it a day or two then share the results with all.
Please vote. Thanks.
A potential solution would be to replace it with a Google Group. People can choose to receive messages via email (digest or not) or view it as a group, or both. An advantage is that if you want to revisit a discussion it is easier.
> Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 13:21:42 -0800
> From: Aahz Maruch <aahz(a)pobox.com>
> To: callers(a)sharedweight.net
> Subject: Re: [Callers] Forum vs email list?
> Message-ID: <20140219212142.GA19155(a)panix.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> On Wed, Feb 19, 2014, Bree Kalb wrote:
>> This feels like a good time to thank you, Chris, for setting up this
The reason I didn't like the idea is because I'm against voting, which I think would prejudice readers toward a post based on its author as opposed to considering the content of the post. The best way to honor respected folks in an open forum is simply to feel respect toward them(and reply if you feel so moved), not to make their soapboxes taller than everyone else's. I don't want to filter out a voice just because it's seldom heard and therefore slower to gather points. If the less-voted-for get filtered out, how would anyone besides the favored few ever be able to gain votes?
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:40:52 -0500
From: Lindsay Morris <lindsay(a)tsmworks.com>
To: "Caller's discussion list" <callers(a)sharedweight.net>
Subject: Re: [Callers] Forum vs email list?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Today its 29 hate-the-idea, 7 like-it, 7 not sure. I'll let it go.
Really, all I wanted was a way we could vote people up, so we could give
more weight to the opinions of the especially respected folks here (and
filter the email flood down to just those people).
I wonder if there's any other way to do that?