~ Becky Nankivell
Lisa wrote (in part):
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 21:31:36 -0400
From: Lisa Greenleaf <laleaf(a)verizon.net>
For Neffa medleys and the more popular crowded hall events at the
Festival, I advise callers to avoid any figure that requires all
dancers to be in the center of the line at one time: R and L Through,
Pass the Ocean, Pass through, Star Promenade, Cross Trail Through.
Promenades work because you can instruct dancers to go in tandem.
Whole Heys aren't satisfying in such conditions, either; usually, half
Heys work, but as I found out at Rehoboth, not when there isn't much
side-to-side room. Similarly, Ladies Chain can be painful to watch,
and Mad Robin-type actions can be dangerous.
Figures that do work are Lines Forward and Back (with an appropriate
caveat about backing up too far or too vigorously), Stars, Waves,
Allemandes, Circle Balances and Petronella Twirls (but not California
Twirls), and whole set Circles. It's limiting, but if you have a hot
band, you can have them vary the style of music to add variety.
When it's as crowded as it was in Rehoboth, it's the caller's
responsibility to remind people to stay aware of their minuscule dance
space; several times I urged people to be careful on Balance and
Swing: "There's someone behind you!" and on twirls out of Ladies
Chain. When I had to stop that one dance, I also said, "We're having
an energetic right now without a lot of room. If someone bumps into
you, say, "Careful!" and if you do the bumping say, 'Sorry!' And a
smile is always a great way to deliver the message." Some people need
to have such niceties modeled for them, so why not go ahead and show
them how it can done well.
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