as a relatively new dancer, I still remember my first dance and what made me want to come back. 

The music was awesome, Seth Tepfer was the newcomer’s lesson teacher!! 
We were welcomed and despite it being the Post-American-Week Gala dance, the dancers were kind to new dancers. 
We only made it to the break and had to get our son to bed, but we all wanted to go back. 

I don’t think anything written on paper would’ve made a difference if we were shouted at, pushed to get some place on time, or scowled at when we made a mistake. 
This did happen to me at a recent ECD (not local) and being new to ECD made me very  leery of going back. 

just my 2 cents. 
Claire Takemori (SF bay area) 

On Apr 20, 2016, at 1:01 PM, via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:40:35 -0500
From: Emily Addison via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net>
To: "Caller's discussion list" <callers@sharedweight.net>
Subject: [Callers] caller suggestions for beginner handout
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Hello shared weight callers :)

Knowing that callers do so much to support brand new contra dancers, as a
dance organizer, I have a question for you!

Ottawa Contra is working on a 1-pg handout to give to first time dancers.
The goal of the handout is to provide tidbits that will help convince first
timers  to come back, that contra's accessible/they can be successful/climb
that learning curve, and that contra's a great fit for them.  Who knows if
the handout will actually work but we want to try as part of our focus on
increasing the retention of all the beginners we get.

I have a few examples of other handouts but they often focus on explaining
the specific moves.

We're thinking more along things that speak to the spirit of contra/are
inspiring PLLLUS great technical tips (nuggets!) that can make a huge
different to their experience as beginners.

If you have any ideas, please pass them along. They may be little messages
you feel every beginner should know, or even tips you provide in the
beginner/intro lesson before the actual dance.

With much thanks!
Emily Addison in Ottawa ON