see my comments sprinkled.......
On Mar 6, 2018, at 12:21 AM, Jeanette Mill via Callers wrote:
I am devising a workshop for a festival here in Australia, and
have long been of the opinion that there are no "leaders" in
contra dance couples.
That's a great issue to discuss. My thought is that having a
really fun time requires someone to take the initiative. Of course
it's quite possible that dancing in Australia is different than
dancing here in the states.
Moves should be executed with mutual consent,
embellishments such as turning under out of a ladies' chain.
Conventions such as waltz hold swings are really useful here. In
Australia, other related dance forms use a variety of swing holds,
which lead to confusion and interruption of flow. I plan to place
some emphasis on conventions of holds, such as allemande and star
Would it depend on the situation? If there are new dancers would
you expect or appreciate leading from a more experienced dancer? I
would say skill level would play a part in this issue even between
people who are not beginners.
I would value people's opinions on this, as it may ruffle some
long-held conventions. Any words of wisdom from the gender free
dance community would be especially welcome.
Also, I believe that if dancers are to enjoy embellishments, they
must be by mutual consent. This is so difficult to establish in a
microsecond. I would value any thoughts on how to advise reaching
this consent in the context of a contra dance.
I know in my small town everyone
knows everyone and it's easy to
adjust your style when it comes to embellishments. When you meet
someone in line you know what to expect unless it's a new face.
Would that be very different at a large dance or say at a festival
where people from other areas attend?
Looking forward to your thoughts
My limited personal experience is that I'm
the leader because I'm
the stronger dancer.
If I verbally suggest that my partner "twirl me" they will, but
it's usually in the wrong direction or at the wrong time. There
are good female leaders out there, but not here in my town. So how
about a workshop where people are allowed or encouraged to try the
role they may not be the most comfortable with?
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