I think including a word for dancing w/ new people in the contra lexicon
is a grand idea even if 'I'm dancing w/ newbies for a bit, care to join
me?' is a great way to accomplish both including beginners/new folks to
the community and setting an example of welcoming for other dancers. If
you are looking for a simple marketing word, try "welcoming" or
"welcoming newbies" or "teaching". Might not be as funny as "herding"
(which is also true and I use sparingly), but it is simple and neutral
in response. I'd stick w/ asking others to join you though. Tis
volunteerism to give your time to new dancers, but tis community
leadership to encourage others to do the same.
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Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:00 PM
Subject: Organizers Digest, Vol 21, Issue 1
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1. Getting left-out people into a contra dance (Jeff Kaufman)
2. Re: Getting left-out people into a contra dance (Stephen Moore)
3. Re: Getting left-out people into a contra dance (P W Marsh)
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 15:54:59 -0400
From: Jeff Kaufman <jeff(a)alum.swarthmore.edu>
Subject: [Organizers] Getting left-out people into a contra dance
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
At dances I'll sometimes skip out on the initial partnering to see if
there's someone who didn't end up with a partner but would like one.
I've done this the most at dances where I have some sort of
responsibility in the group (bida, the contra dances at swarthmore),
but I try to do it whenever I notice people getting left out. This
works pretty well at getting people in, especially new people. The
main way it doesn't work is if I get asked to dance by an experienced
dancer when I intend to be doing this. I can avoid that somewhat by
making myself scarce refilling water pitchers or whatever, but
sometimes people who are fun to dance with and will not be having any
trouble finding a partner ask me right away. I can say "I'm sorry;
I'm looking for a left out newcomer to dance with" but that's kind of
strange and a bit of a mouthful. I think what I need is a name for
this activity. Is there one already in use somewhere else? I'd like
to be able to say "sorry, not this dance, I'm [name-of-this]ing".
Another advantage of a name is that even if the person I'm talking to
doesn't understand me at the time beyond "jeff won't dance, need to
find a different partner", if they come talk to me later I can give
more detail and it will have a name attached.