I love those ideas for getting folks out on the floor. So simple. Thanks!
On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 10:51 AM Linda Leslie via Callers <
What a great idea, Alan! I hope you are able to
continue this as a
successful annual event!
Whenever I find folks are reluctant to join in dances (weddings, parties,
etc.,), I find a surefire solution is to begin with a no-partner circle. I
hold hands with the “volunteer” dancers, and snake around the area, picking
up folks as we go by them. You can encourage folks with happy smiles, “Join
us!” and other exhortations….Once we have a good group, I close the circle,
and do hash calls: circle left, circle right, single file left, right, all
f&b, “everybody over 50 into the center and back”, etc., etc. I then from a
circle left, become the lead again, and spiral the circle in, then back
out. It is wonderful how this simple movement to music, and the surprise of
reversing the spiral makes people happy, From here, I would have people
pair up and do a very simple circle mixer, which gets them used to the P
change idea. Then the simple contras.
Looking forward to seeing the other suggestions that folks offer you!
On Jul 26, 2015, at 11:52 PM, Alan Winston via Callers <
Over in San Jose we've just done a second
dance. Symphony Silicon Valley does a free public
series of Pops concerts,
get permission from them, pick one, get a bunch of volunteer dancers and a
pickup band, print up some flyers and put up a sign with the sponsoring
organization logo and URL, We put up a sign with the name of the
organization, set up in the path of foot traffic to the concert spot, and
do an hour and a half (or so) of easy contra dances, encouraging passersby
to join in and hooking them up with more-experienced partners.
This is successful in terms of getting some exposure, and today we got
between a half-dozen and a dozen new people to actually try it,
and probably moved 25 flyers. Nobody got hurt, some of the dancers stayed
for several dances, etc. We flushed out some old square dancers (who of
course wanted to swing once around and wait for the next call) and some
previous non-dancers of various ages.
(I was calling. First round was missing many volunteer dancers and had
newbies, so I did a one-night-stand dance ("Up the Sides and Down
the Middle") rather than a duple-minor contra; then Cranky Ingenuity,
Inflation Reel, Kitchen Stomp, and Delphiniums and Daisies.)
Posting to ask if people who've done this kind of thing have any tips or
tricks to get things going.
As caller I relied on my volunteer dancers to do the recruiting, and
different comfort and skill levels doing that. Is there
something I can tell them that will increase their comfort in talking to
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