As Aahz points out, contra medleys are highly dependent upon enunciation
and the sound system. They are also highly dependent upon the crowd's
expectations and experience.
I recently called for a group that included a high percentage of
"experienced" dancers whose approach seemed to be, "every time I interact
with an opposite-sex person, it's a swing, despite what the caller has
I was not calling a medley, just a relatively staightforward contra that
was memorable enough for most of the dancers. I have to assume their
version of a "dance trance" was a bit different than mine.
I also assume that a medley in that atmosphere would have been a complete
"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power
and magic in it." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 12:53 PM, Aahz Maruch via Callers <
[the message I'm responding to was sent privately,
I got permission to
On Sun, Apr 17, 2016, Rod and Chris Krehbiel wrote:
On Sunday, April 17, 2016 10:12 AM, Aahz Maruch
via Callers <
Apr 17, 2016, Laur via Callers wrote:
I'm debating if 6 or 8 times thru the dances during a medley make more
sense. I've gone back and forth on this for years. Thoughts?
That depends on your goal. I'm hearing-impaired, I dislike medleys in
the first place, they combine the worst of contra and square dancing.
For me, more times through is better, gives me more chance to dance
Since I have a goal of combining the BEST of contra and square dance,
I'm intrigued by your comment that medleys combine the worst of contra
and square dance. Could you expand and explain?
The short version is that contra dance callers on average enunciate less
clearly than square dance callers, contra calling in general assumes that
they're calling under the music rather than over the music the way square
dance callers do (or calling when no music is playing -- the
walkthrough), sound engineering in contra halls emphasizes the music,
contra dancers have much less training in responding to live calling, and
contra vocabulary/grammar has less structure than square dance.
Therefore -- and particularly for hearing-impaired people -- contra
medleys represent a challenge that almost always combines the worst of
square dance (live calling) with the worst of contra (poor ability to
hear the calling).
Obviously, it would be possible to combine the best of contra and square
dance, but WRT hearing impairments, it would pretty much need to be
approached from the square dance side (i.e. focusing on the voice and
then working to get the dancers to follow the musical phrasing the way
contra dancers do).
Hugs and backrubs -- I break Rule 6
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Help a hearing-impaired person: http://rule6.info/hearing.html
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