If I evaluate the crowd of dancers and they require a lot of instruction for a move that they will see once in a evening (like the star promenade) then I get on the floor and do a demonstration. 

It is by far better for those learners who have to "see" rather than "hear".  Its so much clearer for the dancers to get the choreography with me teaching while demonstrating. 

If I've misjudged the crowd and try to teach from the stage and there's confusion, I've found its harder for those dancers to "reset" their brain (since they have already learned it wrong), and perhaps they lost some confidence in me as a teacher.

I see less and less Callers teaching/demonstrating from the floor in the dances I attend on regular evenings.  And more often it seems that the Callers are relying on the experienced dances to teach the newcomers during the dance, which is a completely different discussion.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Blechner via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net>
To: Dale Wilson <dale.wilson@gmail.com>
Cc: callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net>; Grant Goodyear <grant@grantgoodyear.org>
Sent: Tue, Nov 28, 2017 12:30 pm
Subject: Re: [Callers] "pick her up"

Thanks for all of the perspectives, so far.

It's not necessarily easy to determine if dancers are giving proper weight.

The butterfly whirl is one of those moves especially where bad weight is common, and the move can be really uncomfortable:

- the person coming out of the allemande scoops at the waist, rather than shoulderblades - the arm is below center of mass, and can cause lower back pain. And really, I don't think hands belong on waists in any contra move.

- the person getting scooped up puts hand on top of shoulder / doesn't connect with their arm at all. This is probably the most frequent issue I see / experience dancing. And I believe it's exacerbated by the "gents do the thing to ladies" framing of prompting. And it's why I very much agree with those who've replied emphasizing the use of neighbor/partner.

- as mentioned by others, the person getting scooped not moving forward, and relying on the allemanding person to drag them along. Again, the "gents do the thing to ladies" exacerbates this, in my opinion.

And these above difficulties aren't always easy to spot from the stage.

So I like the "scoop" as a descriptor of the motion, but I am not really sure if it's the best descriptor of the *connection* between dancers and the shared weight. It's probably fine with a clear walk through - I'll often pause and emphasize connecting at shoulderblades and moving together as a unit.

I wish there was something slightly better that worked for both, but all of this discussion has been really good to reevaluate my teaching on these.

Ron Blechner

On Nov 28, 2017 11:36 AM, "Dale Wilson" <dale.wilson@gmail.com> wrote:
If the dancers do the right thing (and have fun) when I say the words then I'm calling it correctly.
If the dancers are confused or not having fun, then I am not calling it correctly.
If I can use fewer words to call it correctly then I try to do so.

Sometimes my words are directed to the active couples, sometimes to the inactives, sometimes to the gents, sometimes to the ladies, and of course sometimes they apply to everybody.
Always they are intended to help the dancers enjoy themselves.

Getting back to the original question.

If I were to call "pick up your neighbor" and I observed the people standing still somehow trying to "pick up" the person passing by in the allemande, then I would change the words I use.  Until then, I use the words that I "always" use and that the experienced dancers are used to hearing. 

And as for "courtesy turn", those two words are sufficient.  There is no need  (and usually no time) to mention that one dancer is the turner and the other the turnee.


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