> What we did recently against that phenomenum was offering those who lac=
k a =
> certain technique (or want to improve their existing technique) a techn=
> class featuring steps and formations. The contents of the classes are =
> announced in advance to enable the really advanced people to decide wet=
> they might need what is in the schedule.
What we do in Frankfurt is offer technique lessons at the start of each
evening. We have the use of the hall for 2.5 hours, which makes it easy
to start out with 45 minutes or so of technique (the rest of the time is
mostly social). It turns out that this is popular with dancers at all
levels (without any mobbing or bullying that I am aware of); the main
problem is that there are some dancers who would like to attend but
can't come in early enough.
As far as the `advanced' dancers are concerned, I try to throw in one or
two more difficult dances per night. These are preannounced as being
`for advanced dancers only', and I usually try to state, e.g., which
formations I won't explain in great detail (say, the strathspey
poussette), so dancers who aren't sure of themselves know approximately
what they would be letting themselves in for. Often such a dance is
repeated afterwards with people who have watched from the sidelines, and
the more intrepid of the less-advanced people frequently join in. The
point of the exercise is to give the advanced dancers an opportunity to
enjoy themselves without needing to take care of those who can just
manage when seven other people are looking out for them, and also to
challenge the advanced dancers, e.g., by not walking through a dance as
often (if at all).
On the whole, this works well for us. The most important thing about
this approach is that it is backed by nearly all the members of the
group, and that it is flexible enough to take into account the people
who are no-longer-beginners but not-quite-advanced.
I believe the best way is to hold parallel classes, where after a common
warm-up the beginners and advanced dancers separate for the actual
classes and come together afterwards to finish off with a period of
`social' dancing. We would like to do that but we don't have the room
(it is difficult enough to find a suitable venue in Frankfurt as it is
-- and ours is very nice indeed, a school gymnasium with a real wooden
floor). So for the time being our approach as outlined above is a
reasonable compromise for us.
Anselm Lingnau ......................... firstname.lastname@example.org=
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life=
made of. -- Benjamin Fr=