As has been discussed before one of the drawbacks with email communcations
is that facial expressions and tone of voice are lost and bare words
sometimes create confusion etc.
Sometimes I think we're comparing apples and oranges in that each of us is
relating to our own experiences with the group we dance with. Large groups
with many long time and highly skilled dancers may well experience a dance
differently than smaller groups with fewer long time dancers or a smaller
numbers of highly skilled dancers.
Dances that require more concentration to be in the right place at the right
time will not be as enjoyable when half the set or more is not able to be in
the right place at the right time for whatever reason.
Attitudes about "messing up" vary from group to group. I'm definitely in
favor of a "hilarity" response but when that is missing a dance that has
people getting stressed over not being in the right place (and too many
others in the set frowning at them or four people at once trying to tell
them what to do) make such dances unenjoyable.
I haven't been systematic about it but it surprises me at times that there
are some dances that are fairly complex that even brand new people pick up
right away and others that don't seem that hard that throw them, one factor
being how critical it is to be in the right place at the right time.
A rule of thumb for dance programs I've heard more than once is that 80% of
the dances on a program should be easily done with only a talk though by at
least 80% of the people attending. I dislike programs with too many dances
that only a small percentage of those attending could do with only a talk
though especially when they are included so that smaller group can "show
off." The showing off I'm referring to is when a dancer's focus for such is
a dance is having an audience to watch them perform individually more than
enjoying the dance with the others in the set.
I don't know if that's any clearer or just more confusing. Those with
groups who greet all mess ups with hilarity and where 80% of their group can
dance almost everything with ease, please let me know where you are before I
plan my next vacation :-)
Thank you Oberdan and Keith for adding some more words and definitions to
Dianna L. Shipman
PMB 134, 1436 W. Gray
Houston, TX 77019-4946
Scottish Country Dancing and More
web page: http://home.att.net/~diannashipman