We did some analysis of swings some time ago, considering a typical contra
dance evening, with modern contra dances and their bias towards swings.
We estimated that there was about 106 minutes of dancing, and that about 26%
of it was swinging! As a dancer you spend nearly THIRTY MINUTES of the
To let first-timers flounder without help on their swinging seems extremely
unfair to me. And while we have some excellent swingers who can teach a
swing well, we also have dancers who are not so good, have strange ideas,
and are the most likely to teach a first-timer while the caller is teaching
So if there are only a few first-timers I will teach them the swing
individually before the first dance. But if that isn't possible, if I am
aware of any first-timers being present, then I always teach the swing when
we get to it in the first dance. It only takes a few seconds and can make
an incredible difference to the first-timer's experience. There is also
always the hope that some of the more experienced dancers will pick up some
of the tips and improve their swinging.
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362
http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent
I'm just home from the awesome dance organizer's conference that just took
place in White River Junction, VT.
My mind is buzzing and I want to share some of my thoughts.
First, I feel so validated in my choice to invest lots of time and energy
into our local dances. Giving people the opportunity to experience
community in the context of social dance is a worthwhile and valuable thing
to do. I knew that already, but spending time with 80 other organizers
helped me to see this again, with new eyes.
Second, I'm energized about our dances, and about broadening the team that
manages the events. I see clearly that being able to help with the dance is
a privilege and an honor. I can feel good about tapping a regular on the
shoulder and saying, "would you like to be part of the team that puts this
I'm so happy that we already have this venue of Shared Weight - Organizers.
Let's keep the energy and support that we had this weekend flowing.
Thanks to CDSS, NEFFA, DEFFA, New England Dancing Masters, MFS, and the
hard work of Chrissy Fowler, Delia Clark, Linda Henry and Mary Wesley.