Why the RSCDS?

Martin

Message 37941 · 10 Mar 2004 21:44:13 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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This is not an answer for Fiona, but, as it happens, I have just read an
account of a dancer's first visit to Summer School many years ago.
From this, and from other reports of visits to St Andrews, I am tempted to
say "Why indeed?"

If there are several active SCD clubs in France (I cannot speak for other
countries) it is certainly not thanks to the RSCDS, at least in the first
instance.
Several members of a group from France that attended summer school in 1983
were soon in tears, utterly disgusted by the attitude of the teacher, who
was unwilling to demonstrate, content to give merely verbal instruction.
When one has not learnt all the specialized jargon, words are near useless.
Luckily, these people also met a number of pleasant helpful students ready
to give them a hand outside the classroom and help them through some of the
evening dances. Why pay for summer school teachers, if it's the other
dancers that do the real teaching?
Luckily, some of these people did not give up entirely after their return
to France, and, thanks to SCD enthusiasts such as myself, they discovered
that SCD could be enjoyable and felt encouraged to continue. Once they had
learnt steps, figures, style and a number of dances, those that returned to
St Andrews were relaxed enough to be able to enjoy their stay and the
company of other dancers.
Another year, when I was at summer school myself, I witnessed the same kind
of treatment dealt out to foreigners who could not follow verbal
instruction. This time, it was group that had already learned the basics,
some were good dancers. They too were quite disgusted. The lesson they
learnt was that SCD was more enjoyable when far away from the official
teachers.
None of that group ever went back to St A, though all of them continued
dancing in their clubs at home.
(People reading this may know that a number of French dancers attend St A
regularly; I would contend that this is because they had learned and caught
the bug *before* their first visit.)

OK, that's ancient history. Less than a year ago, however, I met a Scottish
couple who had been turned down when they applied to join their local
branch. The message was: go and learn first, join the RSCDS afterwards.

The RSCDS benefits from the ground work done by modest grassroots enthusiasts.

I remember reading here (I think):
Ask not what the RSCDS can do for you. Ask what you can do for the RSCDS.
Some of us have done a lot already. In return, the Society provides
publications and recordings, though publications and recordings made by
other agencies are often far more noteworthy.

So, why the RSCDS?
Because there is nothing else and we know that over the years, the Society
is changing
and improving.
So, let's keep it, even if we are not sure what it is there for.

Martin, ducking under fireproof umbrella.

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