Objective tests to determine dancing ability

Alan Paterson

Message 18959 · 21 Oct 1999 21:11:45 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Martin Sheffield wrote:

<snip a lot of text with which I have a lot of agreement>

> I hadn't the heart to say she might slow down the progress of the
> experienced group, so she'll be staying, and my reward will be the evident
> pleasure she is taking in the activity.

But what of the reduction in the pleasure of the others in the group? Is it
imaginable that you could feel worse by observing that others are unhappier with
this situation?

Swings and roundabouts.

If I might give just a touch more background on my situation (which started this
thread):

For the first 6-7 years or so we were only one group/class. 9By the way,
Martin's excellent observation that most evenings are to be thought of as ends
in themselves rather than means to achieve an end fits completely with us as
well.) This group expanded, became more competent, but, of course, the range of
ability slowly got wider and wider.

It eventually reached the point where there was a clear distinction between
people who needed to be helped through a dance and people who did the helping.
Now, I can truly say that all of those who did the helping were aware of the
necessity for it and accepted that in SCD "That's the way it is". However, an
increased level of enjoyment could be reached - for these people - by allowing
them to dance in sets where they were not required to help people or to modify
their own dancing to accommodate others. So, the group/class was split.

On the whole this works well. The 'advanced' group can work on technique, dance
more complex dances, try dancing the simpler dances with more elegance,
precision, whatever ... and, in the social dancing part of the evening - the
larger part, the combined group still works well. In fact, having been given a
time without having to be nursemaids, the more advanced group are very much
better at helping the others and being tolerant of their weaknesses.

I suspect, human nature being what it is, that pure altruism would run out
eventually if one is *always* dancing with at least one eye open for having to
correct the movements of others.

The situation, as I said is an agreeable one. Until now. Now, 2 of our
elementary dancers are pushing their way into the other group. Should we allow
this to happen, we are back to the original situation. My am is to avoid this
and to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Preferably
without hurting people too much.

This is why I was asking for an objective set of 'tests' which could be seen by
all to reflect the true state of an individual's ability.

And yes, Priscilla and Martin, SCD IS social dancing. No argument. My aim is to
get the maximum of pleasure for the maximum number. Not just for 2.

Alan

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