BIDA is a perfect example of the grownups being in charge. It's especially
terrific in that some of the grownups are so young.
On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:23 PM, John W Gintell <john(a)gintell.org> wrote:
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 09:52:08 -0800
From: Greg McKenzie <grekenzie(a)gmail.com>
To: Caller's discussion list <callers(a)sharedweight.net>
Subject: Re: [Callers] Calling medleys for the first time
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
Bob Green wrote:
> In some communities, a different approach is taken - to help avoid
> breakdowns while switching dances on the fly, trying to see that less
> experienced/skilled dancers have a partner the can give them a little
> along on the way. I favor this approach as I
believe it tends to make
dance experience better.
I would be very interested in any techniques or strategies you, as
the caller, would use to achieve this behavior: "...trying to see
that less experienced/skilled dancers have a partner the can give
them a little help along on the way." I am particularly interested
in what callers do to encourage more generous partnering behaviors in
a medley. How do you achieve that "We're all in this together,"
sentiment that Larry Jennings speaks of?
I think it is a good idea for callers to add little bits of dance culture
instruction during their teaching and remarks. Many people start coming to
Contra Dances without knowing the culture and it isn't always easy to
New dancers are sometime shy and don't want to ask experienced dancers to
be partners; of course some experienced dancers are snobs but I think most
want to make the evening fun for everyone - reminders about
changing/selecting partners can help. I like dancing with inexperienced
dancers and I think it helps make me a better dancer because I have to be
more aware of everyone and learn how to help in a constructive fashion with
hand gestures instead of too many words that can't be heard.
Here's an example of something that organizers can do: at the BIDA dance in
) they have some very nice
posters hung around the wall that talk about having fun, changing partners,
etc. They have been working hard on being inclusive on getting new dancers -
they have a beginners workshop before each dance. The I in BIDA stands for
Intergenerational, the A for Advocates.
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For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance. ~ William Butler Yeats