Pillings vs descriptions unbriefed

Chris Collin

Message 10554 · 3 Feb 1998 22:11:49 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Graham Mackenzie wrote:
>
> >I've heard that dancing unbriefed dances (and getting hanged in the morning)
> >tends to focus the mind.
> >
> >By the way do many other branches have Balls with unbriefed dances? I
> >rather like the idea.
> >
> >Ron Macnaughton
> >Bolton Ontario
>
> Where have I been all my life? In this area not only the formal Balls
> (RSCDS or other), but even the small Friday/Saturday night dances, are
> normally done without recaps/briefings - unless an organizer puts a new
> dance on the program and thinks most people won't know it. Hence Pilling
> (or equivalent personal collections of dances) are not only desirable but
> essential. I should occasionally love the luxury of not having to spend an
> hour beforehand boning up on the moves, and in the end getting confused on
> the floor!

We in Ardbrae are fortunate to have a new member, who just arrived in
Ottawa from Glasgow. After talking to her, and others, it seems that in
Scotland, most dances/socials/balls have a majority of "known" dances.
That is, local favourites that everyone knows, and can do without
briefing, at least by experienced dancers! In Canada (and I believe the
US), programs are choosen to give more of a variety - including many
less well known dances. This means we have to study! And, it means
that here, dances, including Balls, are usually briefed. This is not
without small amounts of controversy - my wife and I finally convinced
the Kingston Ontario branch to brief dances in 1990 (remember the day
when the sun stood still for a bit?). There is still a large ball in
Toronto that is not briefed, but it is aimed at experienced dancers.

Our group has monthly socials, and we usually try to learn all the
dances in the classes during the weeks before the social. Our group,
like many, does have it's favorites, but even they would not be done
much more than once in a year or so. Few dances ever appear on more
than one social in a given year.

The new lady from Glasgow was completely unfamiliar with the entire
program for our recent Ball. She came anyway, and had a great time, but
she did notice a different style here. Maybe you should come here next
January. Visit Canada in winter? Why not - the skiing is great, and
the dancing is too!

Chris Collin, Ardbrae Dancers of Ottawa

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