Dealing with mistakes

Priscilla M. Burrage

Message 19113 · 28 Oct 1999 17:42:49 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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On Wed, 27 Oct 1999, Bruce Hamilton wrote (snip):

> On Wed, 27 Oct 1999, "Eric Ferguson" <xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx> wrote:
> >Could Bruce tell us a bit more of what he teaches, and about what
> >habits we have to unlearn?

A bad habit teachers have:
Getting into a circle early by either stepping into it or raising your
hands before the music. I cured myself (most of the time) of raising my
hands early by asking my class to help me not do it. In the process, they
learned not do it also.

> Let me ask you all, the next time you make a mistake, to notice:

> * What kind of help would you have liked? Be specific: would you
> have liked to feel something? To see something? To hear
> something? A combination of those? What would it have been --
> what touch, what image, what sounds?

Non-verbal. It is so unpleasant when someone in my set or another set
starts giving dance directions. Always is in a loud, commanding tone. I
am so embarrasses to be the recipient of such directions that I can
remember incidents of being told what to do from the 1950's. -- and I
remember who it was.

I remember watching a man in my set give his partner nonverbal directions
by moving his eyebrows and eyes. I was so fascinated, I nearly forgot
the dance. I still cherish this memory.

> * When would you have liked it? For example, two bars before you
> went wrong? One bar? One beat? Just after you realized you
> wanted help?

Ahead of time: Only if I indicate by look of panic to my partner that I
need help from my partner. OK, so I've been known to give this look to an
oveerconfident partner, but that's another story.)

Examples of best help: Just when I need it. From partner, just lift right
hand slightly if I'm to dance turn right with you -- or cross right. (One
little hint and the dance will drop back into my memory bank.) A twitch
of the shoulder lets me know there's a reel coming up. Clear your throat
if I'm looking the wrong way.

> * How many people would you have liked the help from? Which one(s)?
> Where were they at the time?

Would the teachers in the set please keep quiet. I danced in a set of
all teachers last month. We all went awry, we all laughed, none of us
told the others what to do. It was heaven.

Have I said it loud enough: Don't tell me what to do by speaking to me --
or yelling at me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(xxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx)

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