Hearing the multiple-prompts-for-same-move topic framed in a new way has
been helpful to me. I've enjoyed that local communities have different
feels to them. I like that this discussion led to Tony and others
indicating that term variations are part of the charm of local variations.
With regards to Tony's question about the number of terms increasing in
contra, a question:
I understand that squares used to be more commonly interspersed with
contras at dances, correct? Squares provide so many different moves that
they need special teaching for individual dances. So are modern contras
that much different?
If I need to teach a box the gnat or a square-thru to a room with a number
of new dancers, does it matter whether that move is taught for a contra or
a square? I agree that the contras themselves have gotten more complex in
the past few decades, but the overall choreography over time? I might like
to hear more voices of long-time callers / dancers for perspective.
On Jan 30, 2017 10:17 AM, "Tony Parkes via Callers" <
Rich Hart wrote:
<< I'd also add to your two requirements (enjoyable and in a safe space), a
third one. that is that our dances should also be welcoming to all,
regardless of their position in life, and dance skills. As callers, we all
try to chose dances and calls that are appropriate, and acceptable for the
local dancers. That should not change.>>
I deliberately kept my list of requirements short, because I’m not
convinced there’s consensus on any others. You might think “welcoming to
all, regardless of… dance skills” would be a no-brainer, but in reality,
some series are (perceived as) far less welcoming than others. One could
even argue (though I’m not arguing here) that this is not necessarily a bad
thing, as long as there’s at least one series in every metropolitan area
that nurtures beginners. I do want to say that I find it somewhat troubling
when a series that doesn’t bill itself as “challenging” or “experienced”
develops a reputation for freezing out newcomers.
I agree that callers try to present programs that are “acceptable for the
local dancers”; but that’s not the same as being “welcoming to all.” The
local dancers may be quite sophisticated in their tastes and capacities,
and it may be hard (though not impossible) to please them and still foster
an inclusive atmosphere.
The disparity between series attitudes may be a good thing, a bad thing, or
some of each, but it’s the reality in many areas.
New book: Square Dance Calling (ready Summer 2017)
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