RE:demos

Martin.Sheffield

Message 19344 · 12 Nov 1999 12:31:40 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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> So, friends, the question is:-
> _ Why do you Demonstrate - or not?_

A bit late in answering, perhaps, but a few days away from home, and
there's a lot of catching up to do.

Today, I'll say, we do not put on shows.
We used to, because we were asked to by the town council that lent the hall
for our weekly meetings, because an old people's home wanted some
entertainment, because we thought we'd get some new recruits -- all the
usual reasons.

Why the change? Why have we stopped?

Because of the split demos can cause in an otherwise friendly cohesive
group of people.
You have those that can and are willing, those that can but don't want to,
those that can't and won't, and the problem group that can't but will take
part anyway.

Deciding who should dance and who should not is the first obvious cause of
ill feeling (so we let everyone take part that wanted to).
Then there may be the resentment of those that won't be demonstrating and
have to sit out, while the "chosen few" are practising. Or find themselves
practising demo dances that they have no wish to learn.

I now tend to find excuses (the date doesn't suit us, not enough dancers
available, etc) and conceal my real reasons (the dancers aren't good enough
(!), it's a waste of time and energy).

In the 20 years I have been leading dance groups in France, I know of
exactly two people that have come to join one of the groups after seeing us
dance in public.
That's a pretty poor return for the investment. Members of the audience
will tell us how interesting, what fun, how graceful etc,
"Then come and join us," -- "Oh no, much too difficult for me!" or some
other excuse.

What amazes me most is the keenness of so many people to show off in
public, however poor their standard of dancing and their memory. And the
way that even competent dancers suddenly lose their memory for even
well-practised dances when subject to public scrutiny.

I also think that an SCD demo can only be appreciated by SCdancers. The
general public has no appreciation of grace of footwork, precision of
timing, geometrical harmony of figures. The one thing they do appreciate,
fortunately, is our obvious enjoyment while dancing together.
Martin,
in Grenoble, France.
    ---
   http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/
(dancing, dances, cycling ...)

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