Fun and/or technique???????

LCol. G. Logan

Message 21923 · 15 Jul 2000 00:38:59 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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You are so right Oberdan. I tell my square dance classes exactly that. About
4-5 weeks into a class, I tell them them all as a group not to get concerned
if they do not think they are progressing fast enough, at some point it will
suddenly all click into place. And I have had a number of dancers come and
tell me when it happens. After 4-5 weeks we have covered a lot of material
and some folks will be having problems. I never really thought the same
would apply to SCD or Contras or round so I have never mentioned it to these
groups - only to our new square dance class, but it probably does.

Miriam has a good point too, but there is another aspect to this and that is
the poorly taught dancer (and the dancer who thinks he/she knows it all and
is bent on giving advice (bad) to others.

I am faced with this problem a lot in Modern Western Square Dancing - much
more than I see in other forms of dancing. Perhaps it is more of a problem
because of the nature of square dancing which attracts more people and many
with two left feet, and involves all eight people in various formations and
sequences where, when one does not know what to do, it impacts the whole
square. Dancers who join our groups often have to be taught again the proper
way. I also find dancers who join our groups are not as open minded to
variations. This comes back to how they were taught in the first place.

In one of the SCD groups I attend, several dancers do not dance the skip
change of step correctly. Most do not take proper hand holds. A few have
very very short memories and have to be constantly reminded where to go. I
can put up with these because their style does not interfere with my
enjoyment and their slowness does not break down sets entirely. But it would
be nice if they were invited to a short earlier workshop to help improve
their dancing.

In my experience, the better dancers are those who attended proper lessons.
When the local branch provides a central school, there seems to be more
success in producing a good dancer. Perhaps I am being too general here but
I think a person who attends such classes is more serious about learning
properly. When done at the social group level, there is always the chance
that the leader is not as good a teacher or that separate classes are not
conducted. It is difficult to try and teach on the same night as the regular
social group meets and be able to keep the regular dancers happy with a full
program.

There are many dancers who have a natural ability to look relaxed and appear
to know all the dances even if they don't and whose demeanour is such that
other dancers, particularly those who know their limitations, will rely on
to pull them through a dance. Here is a good opportunity where some help may
be given - perhaps to point out some corrective action or suggest they ask
the instructor for help to make improvements or straighten out any
deficiences. Hopefully a teacher would notice these things and would have
already attempted to help.

In the interest of marketing/selling SCD, we must be supportive and not
allow anyone to think they are unwanted. On the other hand, it is quite
possible that someone will appear who really is a misfit and will never
cope. In this case it is only fair to tell them. Otherwise you may well lose
the good dancers to another group.

All of the above is probably self evident to everyone who reads it but
thanks for allowing me to respond to the subject.

Grant Logan

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