<Can you do an initial impromptu lesson that lasts
about 15-20 minutes which then flows gracefully into your first contra
Woody, I was able to ask for a lesson at the start, but will only do it if there are not
enough experienced dancers to help. I’m told to expect new dancers rolling in throughout
the evening, so we will have to just teach as we go.
Seth, Yes if there are lots of beginners and too few experienced contra dancers, I plan to
bring barn dances, mixers for a fun time! I’m calling a family dance earlier in the day
and will have a wide selection ready for various possibilities in dancers.
Nick, Yeah, too late to add a 50 minute intro to contra session, but I’ll give them the
feedback for next year. I noticed at NEFFA they had an intro session every day. I didn’t
notice any intro to contra at FolkLife, but wasn’t looking for it either…..
Jim, Thanks!! Great advice.
Thanks so much everyone !
I?m looking for advice. I?m calling a FFF next Sat and live in SF Bay Area, where the
average person has never heard of contra dance. I got advice from Alan Winston, who
called the contra dance a couple years ago when it was a 2 day event and the contra was
Sunday evening. Now it?s a 1 day festival and the contra is Sat 630-10pm. The other
dance that evening is Blues/Fusion, which I expect will have a HUGE crowd. There is also
a contra dance about 30 minutes South of the venue and a waltz evening 30 minutes East, so
I?m not confident that a bunch of experienced contra dancers will show up. I?m sure some
will, as many are also musicians who will be volunteering that day.
I have several very easy contras (low piece count, connected, easy single progression,
stays in minor set, etc) and plan to slip in brief reminders during each walk through
(since new dancers can join at any time in the 3.5 hours). I?m sharing the contra calling
with one person, and there is a caller for a couple squares, and a caller of 3/4 time
contras. I don?t know how the eve will be broken down yet, but I?m likely to call 2-3
contras in each half.
It?s in a high school gym, so I know to keep calls short and clear due to acoustics.
I?m wondering about offering a 20 minute lesson before the dance???
Thanks for any advice about free folk festivals (assuming there won?t be a lot of
experienced dancer ringers). I?m just back from FolkLife and NEFFA and they are full of
experienced contra dancers??
Claire Takemori (SF Bay Area)
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