I'm always on the lookout for ways to "sell" the traditional dances to
dancers -- IMHO, if I present a traditional dance but it's not fun, then
I'm not really doing much to keep the traditions alive. I came up with
something that worked the other night, so I'm passing it along.
One of our long-time dancers sent me a link to this video of Dudley calling
a dance in the mid-1960s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZubTju7g_s
figure I must have come across this before (likely via this group), but I
did not remember it, and certainly watched it a lot more closely this time
around. I noted that even though audio track of the music and calling
don't change, after the first half of the video a few different dances are
shown, including Petronella and Money Musk.
So last week, I brought a laptop to the dance (the fact that we have wifi
in our hall simplified this a lot). During the announcements before the
break, I mentioned the video, said I would show it during the break, and
announced that the first dance after the break would be one of the dances
shown in the video. I set the laptop next to the snack table and started
the clip going just as the waltz ended. It runs about 7 minutes, so running
the video twice through was about perfect for the break. Lots of people
stopped to watch at least some of the the video -- there were always at
least 20 people clustered around the laptop, watching intently. Then we
came back into the dance hall and did Petronella (though unlike the video,
we did the 'modern' version with all four participating in the balances).
End result: not one complaint about a dance with no swings and multiple
positive comments. Added bonus: our piano player was a Dudley dancer in the
early 70s and was thrilled by the video, which he had never seen.
St. Paul, MN