As I begin to travel again, I want to leave my dance cards home and access
all my material virtually. I have 2 questions:
1. Which virtual method (or app) do you prefer for accessing your dance
instructions and notes?
2. What is your back-up plan at a dance if you can't get on the internet?
Susan [image: 🎶] [image: ☺]
It’s been interesting to read of the various approaches to dance library management. I have yet to put my working repertoire in digital form. I’ve shied away from cards for fear of losing one. As memory is one of my strengths, I rely primarily on a master list of titles; for the dances I use most often, the title is enough for me to recall the sequence. I carry a letter-size book that was made for sales reps, with many clear pockets for displaying catalog sheets; I use them for the list of titles and also for pages containing dances I haven’t memorized, with about 8 dances to a sheet.
Beth has a digital document with her dance routines formatted as they would be on cards. From this she can print a set of cards, or select an evening’s worth of dances, arrange them in order, and print them on a couple of letter-size pages; she gives a copy to the band and keeps one for herself.
I’m a strong advocate of relying on memory as much as possible, and of training the memory a little at a time if it’s not one of your long suits. To me it’s important to avoid looking at the card while calling, even if you need it during the walkthrough. While the music is playing, I need to focus my attention on the dancers; this means I need to know the dance so well that I’m not consciously thinking about it. The only exceptions are for workshops (or perhaps a single number in the middle of a regular evening) where I level with the dancers that I’m learning this routine along with them.
New book! Square Dance Calling: An Old Art for a New Century
(to be published real soon)
I suggest callers try calling from memory at least once to know what it’s like. For me it’s so freeing!! If you do call from memory make sure you put in the necessary time AND test your memory several times before the dance. It’s my belief that you’ll eventually have a significant number of dances in your head that you can pull out when needed.
I don't call regularly but I do maintain my own catalogue of dances which I
transcribe in Word and often subsequently save as PDF. I also have a (very
professional. lol) grocery store produce bag of printouts that I carry
around. I prefer a piece of paper in my hand but have called from my
smartphone as well.
I put the folder of all my contra files in the cloud, most recently
OneDrive. By doing that, the files are accessible on any device with net
access. On my own devices, I can set the folder to be available offline
(i.e. stored on the device) should I not have net access.
Unfortunately, not all cloud products are created equal and functionality
in the same product is sometimes different from platform to platform (e.g.
phone vs laptop), so be watchful.
> I’d be surprised if something similar hasn’t already been written
> A1 As couples do-si-do, do-si-do neighbor
> A2 balance and swing previous neighbor (have to turn around at end of A1).
> B1 circle left 3/4 swing partner
> B2 circle left 3/4, weave the line past two couples
> Do you think 16 beats of “as a couple” movement is too much?
> Tom Hinds
Sent from my iPad
*ContraCalls.appspot.com <http://contracalls.appspot.com/>*, is meant for
dancers who either have difficulty hearing the caller or have difficulty
remembering calls. It is free and works directly in all mobile phone
browsers. A dancer records 8 calls in his/her own words during the
walk-through and the recordings are played back repeatedly while dancing
until playback is manually stopped. Youtube has a short video demoing
ContraCalls at *https://youtu.be/qqkQK7f-1_0 <https://youtu.be/qqkQK7f-1_0>*
You can try it out completely anonymously.
I would greatly appreciate learning any reaction you might have and
especially for you to get the word out to dancers.
There may be other uses for ContraCalls?
(B=) <-----my sig
On Thursday June 10 at 8 pm (EST), Susan Kevra will join the Mt Airy (Philadelphia) Virtual Contra Speaker Series to present “A Crash Course on the History of American Social Dance”.
Many of you know Susan as a dance caller but she is also a professor at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches a course called American Social History through Dance. Join us as Susan presents an overview of her course which charts dance history in America from Native American Dance through Hip Hop with a chance to see amazing footage of dance from across the centuries.
For more info please go to:
Thereare two ways to watch this presentation:
1. Live stream onFacebook using this link (simply click on the link at 8pm and you'llsee the livepresentation).
2.If you cannot tune in for the live presentation, we will be recordingit and you can go to our website in a week and it will be postedhere.
Forthose who regularly receive the virtual dance announcements from theMt Airy email list, you can register for the Zoom experiencefrom the email announcement. However, because of limited space (100person maximum) if you don't usually receive our emails we ask thatyou use the live stream FB option. Thanks!