strathspey Archive: Briefings

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Briefings

Message 13685 · Freeman/Pavey · 23 Oct 1998 21:21:37 · Top

When the difficult aspect of a dance is the transitions rather than the
formations is that not the time to do a quick walk through by a first
couple who KOWNS the dance? I could be wrong, but I still think the
main reason walk-throughs are avoided so vigorously has more to do with
the conitation of "beginner" rather than time.

There will always be people who get up to dance who shouldn't. Give the
others a break and don't waste time just briefing complicated
transitions or unique formations. When this is the problem I think the
dancers who fail in the set are often very experienced dancers who
"know" they can do a dance from a briefing and haven't bothered to do
any homework. As I said before, if you take the time for briefings and
walk-throughs out of the break time the total time wasted is nil. (Let
'em rest while they listen.)

Summary: formations should be briefed, weird stuff should be shown.

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Briefings

Message 13687 · john bray · 23 Oct 1998 21:38:52 · Top

I would like to put my 2 cents worth in on a couple of ongoing topics:

If someone says that a brief is helpful for them, it’s ‘over the top’
to suggest that they should be square dancing. I too find that comment
unkind.

Regarding balls without briefing. As a new dancer, I approach the
upcoming Asilomar week-end in California with trepidation. I knew when
I applied that the custom was to have no briefing, and I can handle it
(hopefully).

What has been an unexpected problem has been getting the instructions
to the dances.
There seem to be a few ‘pamphlet’ dances on the program, which I’m
sure are well known in San Francisco.
These dances are not part of the worldwide RSCDS lexicon. I attend 4
classes a week and it’s taken six weeks, and the help of teachers and
classmates, to accumulate these cribs.

Happy dancing,
John Bray,
Los Angeles.

_________________________________________________________
DO YOU YAHOO!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

Briefings

Message 13694 · Ian Price · 23 Oct 1998 23:15:07 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>What has been an unexpected problem has been getting the instructions
to the dances.
There seem to be a few pamphlet dances on the program, which Im
sure are well known in San Francisco.
These dances are not part of the worldwide RSCDS lexicon. I attend 4
classes a week and its taken six weeks, and the help of teachers and
classmates, to accumulate these cribs.<

This IS unfair. The Asilomar people should do no less than distribute the=

directions for 'local' dances with weekend application forms so that an
out-of-town registrant can at least ask his local teacher to teach it on =
a
regular class night ahead of the event - most will be happy to oblige.

And on reflection of this whole issue, I do now recall that what many of =
us
'old codgers' here in Vancouver see as a'Golden Age' of SCD in the
seventies was based on a serious level of co-operation amongst the teache=
rs
of the day to consistently teach (and program) an agreed repertoire of
dances throughout the region. Every year a few were dropped off the
teaching list, and a few added, but the overall result was to generate a
core of dances which everyone could do in their sleep. This then permitte=
d
the dancer's (and the teacher's) attention to be concentrated on footwork=
,
which is what _Scottish_Country_ dancING is all about. If Miss Milligan
wass here, she would tell you herself!

Needless to say (!) this approach fell by the wayside in the early '80s,
possibly as part of a wider trend which my rearguard action is attempting=

to contain.

It's like golf, if you like. There are some who aspire to play every cour=
se
in the world, there are others who find it much more challenging to work =
on
their handicap on their home course. 'Playing bettter golf' comes from th=
e
latter approach, IMHO.

And anticipating the chorus of responses, yes my footwork is as bad as my=

golf swing!

-2chter

Briefings

Message 13695 · Ian Price · 23 Oct 1998 23:15:37 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>If someone says that a brief is helpful for them, its over the top
to suggest that they should be square dancing. I too find that comment
unkind.<

I'm sorry, I don't relent.

If that's what it takes, you are ALREADY square-dancing and it is as
culturally insulting for you to be doing it in a kilt as it is for me to
dance Mairi's wedding in dungarees, a check shirt and a cowboy hat! No
other race would perrmit you to bastardize their national dance in this
way.

[You want 'over the top'? You get 'over the top'! Next request.]

-2chter

Briefings

Message 13698 · Ken McFarland · 23 Oct 1998 23:32:30 · Top

I have long been in favor of __short__ briefings for dances where that can
help any dancer. This has been in an urban area, as opposed to small
isolated groups as described by Todd and Richard. In this thread I have been
reminded of the validity of briefing every dance as necessary in *that* type
of setting. I honor their intentions and commitment.

Does this mean that every dance on every program world wide should be
briefed? Are the "brief-everything" people suggesting that we all adopt
their standards, period? Is there no room to recognize the preferences of
other groups of dancers? (And please do not categorize me as an
"anti-briefer" as you read this!)

Some years ago in the San Francisco area, we had to deal with a very
"desirable" problem: we had a crop of advanced dancers who infact did not
need a briefing to successfully dance a _traditional_ RSCDS dance (please
distinguish this from a new composed dance with non-traditional figures).

We kept our policy of always talking through beginning and intermediate
dances at monthly socials, but we started including a few more advanced
dances, which we marked with a large Red A beside those dances. This told
the reader that if they were a beginner, they probably should not get up and
try it. It also reminded the advanced dancers that if they were still going
to class, they could have gotten up to do that dance, which kept our
advanced dancers interested.

There were infact advantages at several levels, more then I recall as I
write this. As I recall we even occasionally dared to place a few (2-3)
dances on each program that were not briefed! One benefit: newer dancers who
sat out enjoyed watching the complicated dances because that gave them
something to look forward to as they gained skills. And if the so-called
advanced dancers screwed up, the new dancers got to sit there and chuckle.

Personally I don't mind a short briefing if it helps others. Including lots
of traditional RSCDS dances on a program enables a lot more dancers then
putting on a series of advanced dances. Someone once said that advanced
dances belonged in classes, not on the social ballroom floor. I find myself
more inclined to agree with that. But I also differentiate between a major
Branch function such as a Ball vs. an informal monthly social.

In my experience people do learn _to dance_ if they are occasionally
presented with a challenge. The trick is to present that challenge in a
situation that does not impose on other dancers - our attempt to label
advanced dances as such was one such attempt, and to be responsive to _all_
of our members, not just to beginners.

I do not think that setting one standard for every occasion is a solution,
and in my experience arguing about this subject has not achieved anything in
the past 30 years.

Ken McFarland

Briefings

Message 13699 · Anne MacIver · 23 Oct 1998 23:44:03 · Top

In response to John Bray..

>Regarding balls without briefing. As a new dancer, I approach the
>upcoming Asilomar week-end in California with trepidation. I knew when
>I applied that the custom was to have no briefing, and I can handle it
>(hopefully).>What has been an unexpected problem has been getting the
instructions
>to the dances.
>There seem to be a few =91pamphlet=92 dances on the program, which I=92m
>sure are well known in San Francisco.
>These dances are not part of the worldwide RSCDS lexicon. I attend 4
>classes a week and it=92s taken six weeks, and the help of teachers and
>classmates, to accumulate these cribs.

John, you will be fine! I must congratulate you on your diligence. When I
started dancing I didn't do my homework until actually arriving at the
event, my memory is very short term!

At the weekend, we do provide a time to go over the dances with
teachers/live music; descriptions and pillings are provided as soon as yo=
u
arrive, plus copies of the actual dance descriptions will be available in=
a
central location to be reviewed.
In the past, impromtu dance lessons have been held on the beach, where lo=
cal
dancers and visitors walk-through the dances ( a bottle of wine, bread an=
d
cheese seem to facilitate the synaptic connections). Ignorance of a dance=
is
also a great conversation-starter for strangers "hey! do you know how to
this danced?". Many conversations have started that way and continued on =
to
more exciting topics.
This year we are going to mail out the cheet sheets prior to the weekend
which has not been done in the past (in next couple of days). The reason =
for
this new task is a growing trepidation of "screwing up" in the dance
community here and elsewhere; the topic of briefings is a hot one in the =
San
Francisco branch as well. The only conclusion I have come to on this mat=
ter
is you cannot please everyone.

However, I would like to hear the opinion and/ or advice of the other lis=
t
members on the structure of the programs, and how we might improve this o=
ne
for future Asilomars.
The program (18 dances) was built from primarily the RSCDS published
repertoire; breakdown -
RSCDS -13 dances
Non-RSCDS - 5 dances
-Hugh Foss dances (Roaring Jelly & John McAlpin)
-3 less frequent included dances (not of local origin):
Alison Rose (Imperial Bk)
Marigold (James Cosh)
Ellie's Jig (Briscoe)

John feel free to contact me if still have questions about any dance.
Cheers
Anne
(Anne Mac Iver, for RSCDS-San Francisco Weekend at Asilomar ,
amaciver@usa.net )

Briefings

Message 13703 · Anne MacIver · 24 Oct 1998 00:13:52 · Top

In response to Ian

To: INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>

>Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
>>What has been an unexpected problem has been getting the instructions
>>There seem to be a few pamphlet dances on the program, which Im
>>sure are well known in San Francisco.
>>These dances are not part of the worldwide RSCDS lexicon. I attend 4
>>classes a week and its taken six weeks, and the help of teachers and
>>classmates, to accumulate these cribs.<
>
>This IS unfair. The Asilomar people should do no less than distribute the
>directions for 'local' dances with weekend application forms so that an
>out-of-town registrant can at least ask his local teacher to teach it on a
>regular class night ahead of the event - most will be happy to oblige.

There are no "local" dances on the Asilomar Ball Program by my understanding
of the term local.
Perhaps this is an area for error. By "local" I understand a dance devised
by a branch/class member, distributed informally within (branch/class),
danced within the branch. Is that what you mean?
Cheers,
Anne M (for Asilomar People)

Briefings

Message 13708 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 01:12:07 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>This year we are going to mail out the cheet sheets prior to the weekend=

>which has not been done in the past (in next couple of days).

Excellent! Remember you heard it first here on Strathspey (by about 5
seconds) <chuckle>

>The program (18 dances) was built from primarily the RSCDS published
>repertoire; breakdown -
>RSCDS -13 dances
>Non-RSCDS - 5 dances
> -Hugh Foss dances (Roaring Jelly & John McAlpin)
> -3 less frequent included dances (not of local origin):
> Alison Rose (Imperial Bk)
> Marigold (James Cosh)
> Ellie's Jig (Briscoe)<

Hmm! all in widespread circulation. Thanks for the insight - obviously in=

the cut and thrust of the discussion I did not wait for the other side of=

the story. Sorry! Looks like a good program too.

NONE of the above should need a briefing outside of a class. Particularly=

not Marigold (that's the 40 bar one with the six-bar phrases in the middl=
e
isn't it?) - if you can't do THAT one on autopilot then a last-second
briefing CERTAINLY won't help you. Best to learn it first ... and perfect=
ly
possible to learn it thoroughly on the beach on the Saturday afternoon.
<drooling with envy>

-2chter

Briefings

Message 13733 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 24 Oct 1998 10:55:53 · Top

Ian again (still?)...

>If that's what it takes, you are ALREADY square-dancing and it is as
>culturally insulting for you to be doing it in a kilt as it is for me to
>dance Mairi's wedding in dungarees, a check shirt and a cowboy hat!

The problem with comparing SCD to a dance form you don't cultivate is that
you display your ignorance of the challenges and subtleties in the other
dance form.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Briefings

Message 13763 · Miriam L. Mueller · 24 Oct 1998 21:34:41 · Top

I was somewhat buoyed by the number of people who want briefings, even
brief ones at a ball. While it is customary not to brief dances at balls
here, there is a tremendous drop in tension when dances are to be
briefed.
Adding to the question, at monthly parties we are often told to put away
our pillings when awaiting the start of the dance.
I have heard teachers (who set programs and dance policy in our Branch)
say that because we ought to be able to do dances without briefings, or
from talkthroughs, there should be no briefings at balls and no pillings
looked at when there are talk-throughs. All very well for people with
good dance memories (I tend to forget a figure in a dance), or who are
auditory information processors. As a visual learner, I feel a momentary
"you don't belong here" when told I should NOT be using my pillings.
There's a time for everything, but sometimes some people forget that the
object is TO HAVE FUN!
P.S. The English Country Dance balls locally use quick talk-throughs,
and it spoils neither the festivity of the affair nor the flow of the
evening.

Briefings

Message 13837 · Bryan McAlister · 26 Oct 1998 22:34:17 · Top

In article <199810231516_MC2-5DB5-1EEF@compuserve.com>, Ian Price
<IanPrice@compuserve.com> writes
>Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
>>If someone says that a brief is helpful for them, its over the top
>to suggest that they should be square dancing. I too find that comment
>unkind.<
>
>I'm sorry, I don't relent.
>
>If that's what it takes, you are ALREADY square-dancing and it is as
>culturally insulting for you to be doing it in a kilt as it is for me to
>dance Mairi's wedding in dungarees, a check shirt and a cowboy hat!

What is wrong with this, seems not unreasonable, albeit slightly warm.
I'd draw the line at spurs though.

>No
>other race would perrmit you to bastardize their national dance in this
>way.
>
>[You want 'over the top'? You get 'over the top'! Next request.]
>
>-2chter
>
>--
>Ian Price <IanPrice@compuserve.com>
>

--
Bryan McAlister

Briefings

Message 13710 · Etienne Ozorak · 24 Oct 1998 01:25:10 · Top

Hi,

It's an interesting case for balance, I would say, of having a core
repertoire balanced with a opportunities for growth.

I remember hearing a BBC Scotland broadcast of "Take the Floor" where
one person wrote in and complained that he was tired of hearing the
same old tunes played "ad nauseum". Lord knows Ian Price and I have both
heard too many versions of the Mucking of Geordie's Byre, the Bluebell Polka
and the Jacqueline Waltz (well, at least I have). Speaking of which, I was
tickled that on one of John Ellis' records on which he recorded the
Bluebell Polka, Lismor claims that John goes after "those rare
undiscovered gems".

By and large, North American musicians are pretty isolated from each other
(unlike in Scotland), so it's near impossible for us to have a core
repertoire that everyone knows. Hence, many of us have had to develop
extensive libraries and truly spend time researching material rather than
relying on a core...It's a habit that Stan Hamilton had and that Bobby
Brown and I enjoy. No one seems to complain.

Time for a cup of tea.

Etienne

On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, Ian Price wrote:

> And on reflection of this whole issue, I do now recall that what many of us
> 'old codgers' here in Vancouver see as a'Golden Age' of SCD in the
> seventies was based on a serious level of co-operation amongst the teachers
> of the day to consistently teach (and program) an agreed repertoire of
> dances throughout the region. Every year a few were dropped off the
> teaching list, and a few added, but the overall result was to generate a
> core of dances which everyone could do in their sleep....
> Needless to say (!) this approach fell by the wayside in the early '80s,
> possibly as part of a wider trend which my rearguard action is attempting
> to contain.

Briefings

Message 13716 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 02:36:50 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>Speaking of which, I was =

tickled that on one of John Ellis' records on which he recorded the =

Bluebell Polka, Lismor claims that John goes after "those rare =

undiscovered gems". <

Missed that! Was this the same sleeve-witer who had Jimmy Shand trying t=
o
keep up with the Joneses on Neidpath Castle?

-2chter

Briefings

Message 13717 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 02:37:04 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>By and large, North American musicians are pretty isolated from each oth=
er

(unlike in Scotland), so it's near impossible for us to have a core =

repertoire that everyone knows. <

I was talking about dances not music however.

And yes, when a new dance comes up onto a program, it MUST be researched
for its recommended tune and a set arranged around it. I suppose the
briefing lobby would have my orchestra cobble something together on-stage=

as the lines form up. Not in the real world I'm afraid.

Is this perhaps why I hold such a strong opinion on this topic? If I take=

the trouble to research, write out and rehearse a set of 4 tunes of musi=
c
for an unknown dance (and probably one which will subsequently sink witho=
ut
trace) ahead of time, why can't you people take an equivalent amount of
trouble to learn how to dance it? Fair comment?

-2chter

Briefings

Message 13719 · John Chambers · 24 Oct 1998 03:42:09 · Top

| I was talking about dances not music however.
|
| And yes, when a new dance comes up onto a program, it MUST be researched
| for its recommended tune and a set arranged around it. I suppose the
| briefing lobby would have my orchestra cobble something together on-stage
| as the lines form up. Not in the real world I'm afraid.

This does depend on the dance leader, of course. I've often been
called and asked to play for a dance in only a few days' time (or
even the same evening). Or they plan the dance weeks ahead, but only
get the dance list to the musicians a few days ahead. I'm on the
local RSCDS list of musicians who is capable of playing without
notice, for better or for worse. Sometimes there's sufficiently
advanced notice, sometimes not.

What I've found useful is to just keep reminding them that if they
don't give sufficient notice, they may not get the title tunes. If I
don't have time to work up a new tune to my satisfaction, I'll just
pick another tune that is similar and use it. Some dance leaders take
this seriously and try hard to organize things well ahead of time.
Others clearly don't particularly care; Any Good Whatever will do
just fine. The musicians can have fun in either case.

I do like the idea of there being a standard tune for a dance, since
that imposes a lot of variety that might not occur otherwise. (Go to
the typical Irish session, for example, and listen to an entire
evening of reels one after the other, and you'll get an idea what it
could be like. ;-) And it's fun to work out sets that fit with the
designated driver tune. But it is up to the dance leader to plan the
program far enough ahead of time.

Briefings

Message 13723 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 06:09:36 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
> And it's fun to work out sets that fit with the
designated driver tune.<

No it's essential!

Briefings

Message 13724 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 06:09:41 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>This does depend on the dance leader, of course. I've often been
called and asked to play for a dance in only a few days' time (or
even the same evening). Or they plan the dance weeks ahead, but only
get the dance list to the musicians a few days ahead. I'm on the
local RSCDS list of musicians who is capable of playing without
notice, for better or for worse. Sometimes there's sufficiently
advanced notice, sometimes not.<

I will not play a gig on less than 2 months' notice. Period. All my clien=
ts
know this and they have consistently delivered over the past 20+ years, G=
od
bless 'em.

In return they get the best I can deliver. That's another absolute rule. =
I
may not be a professional musician by I am a Professional Engineer and I
conduct myself with a professional attitude. People at least know where
they stand.

-2chter

Briefings (not at the Asilomar Ball)

Message 13732 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 24 Oct 1998 10:55:47 · Top

John Bray writes...

>Regarding balls without briefing. As a new dancer, I approach the
>upcoming Asilomar week-end in California with trepidation. I knew when
>I applied that the custom was to have no briefing, and I can handle it
>(hopefully).

I have been to a number of Asilomar weekends and balls and every one was a
stellar event. However, it is a pity that SF continues with a policy of no
briefings at the ball. As some others have noted, well-prepared and
well-delivered briefings do not take time away from dancing. SF has many
very talented people and I would imagine that individuals invited to brief
at the ball would do superbly, and would add greatly to the social success
of the evening.

Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Briefings (not at the Asilomar Ball)

Message 13799 · cnordj · 26 Oct 1998 01:37:06 · Top

I agree with Oberdan; I think briefings would greatly enhance the Asilomar ball.
Cheers, Carol Johnson
---------------------
On Fri, 23 Oct 1998, Oberdan Otto <ootto@tvt.com> wrote (in part):
> it is a pity that SF continues with a policy of no
>briefings at the ball. As some others have noted, well-prepared and
>well-delivered briefings do not take time away from dancing. SF has many
>very talented people and I would imagine that individuals invited to brief
>at the ball would do superbly, and would add greatly to the social success
>of the evening.

======================================
Carol N. Johnson, Los Angeles area
(We's all angels here)
cnordj@sprynet.com
======================================

Briefings (not at the Asilomar Ball)

Message 13876 · Don MacQueen · 28 Oct 1998 07:59:42 · Top

With all due respect, I disagree, vigorously. (I mean, wth the "pity" part
of Oberdan's note, not the "stellar" part!)

>From a personal point of view, I find it very rewarding to dance dances
that I know well enough to do without briefings. With the additional
challenge comes additional reward. I also think that the sense of teamwork
of a set is enhanced when the dance is done without briefing--a stronger
sense of "were all in this together, working together and depending on one
another."

I understand what it is like to be standing in line at a formal ball, about
to start a dance I'm not entirely sure I know well enough, and knowing that
there will be no briefing to help. It's daunting. I also understand that
the lack of briefings poses an extra challenge to dancers not from the host
branch, who have, perhaps, less opportunity to learn the dances. However,
in the case of the SF Branch, not all teachers teach to the Asilomar Ball
program, so that the difference in preparation between the
host-branch-dancer and the non-host-branch-dancer is not necessarily that
much. My personal repertoire of dances that I can do at the drop of a hat,
without reminders of any sort, is very short. Perhaps 6. Maybe a dozen. So
I need reminders. But I still don't want briefings at a full-scale formal
ball.

>From a more philosophical point of view, I think it is good to have
graduated levels of activities and events. Starting with weekly class,
where dances are actually taught, to the social part of class (often in the
later part of the evening) when dances almost always are given
talk-throughs, and are often given walk-throughs, moving up to monthly
parties, at which talk-throughs are expected and appropriate (but only
occasional walk-throughs), moving up to semi-formal parties (sort of midway
between a monthly parties and formal balls with briefer briefings and very
rarely walk-throughs), and on up to the highest level, formal balls with no
briefings. (We are indeed fortunate in S.F. to have a large enough branch
to support the whole range of events.) Leaving out the highest level
strikes me as selling one's self short (both at the individual level, and
for a Branch as a whole). Why shouldn't we aspire to the highest possible
level?

-Don

>
>I have been to a number of Asilomar weekends and balls and every one was a
>stellar event. However, it is a pity that SF continues with a policy of no
>briefings at the ball. As some others have noted, well-prepared and
>well-delivered briefings do not take time away from dancing. SF has many
>very talented people and I would imagine that individuals invited to brief
>at the ball would do superbly, and would add greatly to the social success
>of the evening.
>
>Oberdan.
>
>Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
>Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

-----------------
Don MacQueen
Livermore, California USA
macq@ccnet.com
-----------------

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 13878 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 28 Oct 1998 11:04:50 · Top

In support of no briefings at formal balls, Don MacQueen asks (rhetorically):

>Why shouldn't we aspire to the highest possible level?

How could anyone find fault with such aspiration? However, there is a chain
of reasoning here that is based on this hidden assumption:

"A dance done without a briefing is a _higher-level_ activity than one done
with a briefing."

I am hard-pressed to affirm or deny such a claim--there is no reason
apriori why it should be true or false. I am not even sure it is a
meaningful statement.

However, the following is true: A good briefing gives the dancers more
preparation for the dance than no briefing. Notice that there is no
judgement here as to whether or not "more preparation" is good.

I have already made it abundantly clear than I believe that such additional
preparation IS good regardless of the formality of the occasion. There is
nothing inherently informal or patronizing about a briefing.

Our Local Association (Branch) does briefings at all of our functions.
However, you might be surprised to know that the "detail" of the briefing
is generally inversely related to the complexity of the dance:

(1) for simple dances we walk through one couple and then brief the dance.
The aim here is to be sure that the less experienced
dancers are encouraged to participate.
(2) for intermediate level dances we brief the dance.
The briefing is quick (less than 1 minute), but in
sufficient detail that an experienced dancer who is
a verbal learner could do the dance from the briefing.
(3) for advanced level dances we give only a quick sequence reminder.
The premise is that the dance is usually too complex for a
full briefing to be helpful.

Moreover, the MC is given the flexibility to "read" the floor. If it is
clear that no one wants a walkthrough of a basic dance, then the
walkthrough will be dispensed with. Sometimes for advanced dances, the MC
may even omit the sequence reminder if the floor indicates that it is not
needed. Or, if an advanced dance is making its first appearance, the MC may
allow the dancers a walkthrough if there is a general expression of
nerviousness about the dance.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 13887 · Ian Price · 28 Oct 1998 17:52:03 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>There is
nothing inherently informal or patronizing about a briefing.<

That's the nub of it. Many people (including me) think there is. Don't
let's start again, (until next year), please!

-2chter

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 13912 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 29 Oct 1998 10:49:30 · Top

>>[Oberdan:] There is
>nothing inherently informal or patronizing about a briefing.<
>
>[Ian:] That's the nub of it. Many people (including me) think there is.

Nothwithstanding your rejoinder, the statement stands. It is you ATTITUDE
about briefings that makes you think of them as informal, not the inherent
nature of briefings. What is formal is what Miss Manners specifies, and
which satisfies the need of one part of society to feel superior to others.
For the most part "formality" is purely arbitrary, whether the coat is
black or white or other, has tails or not, whether the tie is black or
white or other, whether the shirt has buttons or studs or neither. In this
sense, the practice of "formality" is snobbish and elitist.

>Don't let's start again, (until next year), please!

What? A plea to have your word be the last??? OK! Not another word. Not
one. I really mean it. nothing. nada. niente. rien. silence. really. And by
the way...

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Elitism, snobbery and balls

Message 13916 · Peter Hastings · 29 Oct 1998 11:22:01 · Top

I find (for once) that I am in partial agreement with Ian Price that the
use of briefings lessens that sense of occasion which differentiates a
formal ball (a once a year, decade, lifetime event) from a monthly social.
Similarly, turning up in trainers and a T-shirt would do so, also. One of
the recent mails laid out a sliding scale of briefing v. occasion which I
agreed with totally.

Elitism - these days any activity which demands both some aptitude and
considerable application will be regarded as elitist. So what ? Excellence
is always elitist since not everyone can be excellent. As long as _anyone_
willing to make the minimum necessary application is welcome then all is
well. I suspect that the definition of minimum is what separates the
warring parties in this case. I also suspect that the minimum varies with
the occasion.

Snobbery - should have no place in modern life.

I don't see that making the necessary effort in dress, deportment,
preparation, personal cleanliness (:, blah, blah, blah to make a ball an
occasion is either elitist or snobbish, it's simple courtesy to the other
participants.

> In this sense, the practice of "formality" is snobbish and elitist.

Peter Hastings
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

Elitism, snobbery and balls

Message 13919 · Susi Mayr · 29 Oct 1998 11:59:58 · Top

Peter Hastings wrote:

> I find (for once) that I am in partial agreement with Ian Price that
> the use of briefings lessens that sense of occasion which
> differentiates a formal ball (a once a year, decade, lifetime event)
> from a monthly social. Similarly, turning up in trainers and a T-shirt
> would do so, also.

I wholeheartedly agree.Last year we had an Easter course here in Vienna
- we don't have them that often so they are definitely "an occasion".
The programmes for the Saturday and Sunday evenings are sent out in
advance, written recaps are included in the course booklets, and the
dances are briefed on the night.
As the Saturday evening progressed it became clear that there was no
real need for the briefings - people had done their homework, they knew
the dances, whatever - so we decided to dispense with the briefings for
the Sunday ball. Short shock followed by general agreement (if there had
been loud protests we would have reinstated the briefings.) The band ran
the evening (Keith Smith did a great job), the MC got to dance, and it
was one of the best evenings of SCD I ever enjoyed.
It wasn't snobbish, maybe it was elitist (but everyone there was part of
the elite), and it definitely was fun.

Susi
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Susi Mayr
Vienna, Austria
susi@redrose.co.at
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 13965 · tlb · 30 Oct 1998 07:02:24 · Top

Otto Oberdan:
>In support of no briefings at formal balls, Don MacQueen asks
(rhetorically):
>>Why shouldn't we aspire to the highest possible level?
>
>How could anyone find fault with such aspiration?

Often enough though, the end result at our (SF branch) formal balls are a
certain percentage of sets that scramble through the dance. I know because
I'm often in the balcony (sitting out a dance I'm unsure about) seeing it
happen.

This not what I could describe as the "highest possible level" of SCD. I
think a ballroom where all (or most) sets are dancing well is a higher level
of attainment than one where X% of the attendees are able to do 15+ dances
without briefings.

There are many in the San Francisco branch who would much prefer to have
briefings at formal balls. It would be interesting sometime to tally the
members and really see how many favor briefings at formal events and how
many oppose the practice. I suspect it is an influential minority that are
anti-briefings.

~~~Terry Barron
San Jose, CA

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14059 · Miriam L. Mueller · 31 Oct 1998 23:26:18 · Top

In response to Terry Barron's guess that a majority of dancers might well
favor talk-throughs at formal balls, I will simply note that in the San
Francisco branch, the decision is made by the teachers.
mimi mueller - SF

On Thu, 29 Oct 1998 21:01:22 -0800 "tlb" <tlb@best.com> writes:
>Otto Oberdan:
>>In support of no briefings at formal balls, Don MacQueen asks
>(rhetorically):
>>>Why shouldn't we aspire to the highest possible level?
>>
>>How could anyone find fault with such aspiration?
>
>Often enough though, the end result at our (SF branch) formal balls
>are a
>certain percentage of sets that scramble through the dance. I know
>because
>I'm often in the balcony (sitting out a dance I'm unsure about) seeing
>it
>happen.
>
>This not what I could describe as the "highest possible level" of SCD.
> I
>think a ballroom where all (or most) sets are dancing well is a higher
>level
>of attainment than one where X% of the attendees are able to do 15+
>dances
>without briefings.
>
>There are many in the San Francisco branch who would much prefer to
>have
>briefings at formal balls. It would be interesting sometime to tally
>the
>members and really see how many favor briefings at formal events and
>how
>many oppose the practice. I suspect it is an influential minority
>that are
>anti-briefings.
>
>~~~Terry Barron
>San Jose, CA
>
>
>
>
>
>--
>"tlb" <tlb@best.com>
>
>

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14081 · tlb · 1 Nov 1998 19:40:33 · Top

>In response to Terry Barron's guess that a majority of dancers might well
>favor talk-throughs at formal balls, I will simply note that in the San
>Francisco branch, the decision is made by the teachers.
>mimi mueller - SF

Yes, like I said, an influential minority. FWIW, I received a number of
private email messages from people who share the view that I expressed
below, and would like to see a tally of opinions.

However, I have no illusions that this would happen or anything will change.
Mostly, I've found both the Branch Committee and Teachers' Committee to be
open to suggestions and responsive to local dancers' preferences. But, not
on the subject of briefs at formal balls.

~~~Terry Barron
San Jose, CA

>>Often enough though, the end result at our (SF branch) formal balls is a
>>certain percentage of sets that scramble through the dance. I know
because
>>I'm often in the balcony (sitting out a dance I'm unsure about) seeing it
happen.
>>
>>This not what I could describe as the "highest possible level" of SCD. I
>>think a ballroom where all (or most) sets are dancing well is a higher
level
>>of attainment than one where X% of the attendees is able to do 15+ dances
>>without briefings.
>>
>>There are many in the San Francisco branch who would much prefer to have
>>briefings at formal balls. It would be interesting sometime to tally the
>>members and really see how many favor briefings at formal events and how
>>many oppose the practice. I suspect it is an influential minority that is
>>anti-briefings.
>>
>>~~~Terry Barron
>>San Jose, CA

>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>"tlb" <tlb@best.com>
>>
>>
>
>

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14099 · Don MacQueen · 2 Nov 1998 08:20:23 · Top

Oberdan, Terry, and others have put forth good arguments in favor of
briefings at formal balls. Yes, briefings are helpful. Yes, they make it
easier to do the dances.

But consider some differences between fancy dress balls and other social
dances. At a ball, we expect a nicely decorated hall (and a band of
enthusiastic
volunteers responds, and we all truly appreciate their efforts). The
musicians dress more nicely, and clearly put more effort into their
arrangements,
spend more time practicing, and aim for a higher level of accomplishment.
And the dancers, of course, are expected to dress in their best, since it is,
after all a formal dress ball. So everbody and everything is expected to
aim for
a higher level at such events. Except, perhaps, the dancers? Why should the
dancers be let off the hook, so to speak, and be given "business as usual" with
respect to briefings? I can say from personal experience that the absence of
briefings provides significant motivation to learn the dances. And it is,
in the
final analysis, learning the dances that leads to doing them well.

At 9:38 AM -0800 11/1/98, tlb wrote:
>>In response to Terry Barron's guess that a majority of dancers might well
>>favor talk-throughs at formal balls, I will simply note that in the San
>>Francisco branch, the decision is made by the teachers.
>>mimi mueller - SF
>
>Yes, like I said, an influential minority. FWIW, I received a number of
>private email messages from people who share the view that I expressed
>below, and would like to see a tally of opinions.
>
>However, I have no illusions that this would happen or anything will change.
>Mostly, I've found both the Branch Committee and Teachers' Committee to be
>open to suggestions and responsive to local dancers' preferences. But, not
>on the subject of briefs at formal balls.
>
>~~~Terry Barron
>San Jose, CA
>

As to "influential minorities" being the reason for no briefings around here,
I doubt it. For example, I oppose briefings at formal balls, and I don't
believe
that I have had any influence whatsoever. Although teachers are a minority
of the
branch, and they are indeed influential in the sense that they make decisions
for the branch, they don't live in a vacuum either. I wouldn't assume that the
SF Branch teachers are unanimous on this issue. It is my understanding that
the question has been debated off an on for many years.

>
>
>>>Often enough though, the end result at our (SF branch) formal balls is a
>>>certain percentage of sets that scramble through the dance. I know
>because
>>>I'm often in the balcony (sitting out a dance I'm unsure about) seeing it
>happen.
>>>

I've spent plenty of time sitting out dances I don't know well enough.
But I don't believe that the scrambling is due _primarily_ to a lack of
briefings.
It happens plenty with briefings.

>>>This not what I could describe as the "highest possible level" of SCD. I
>>>think a ballroom where all (or most) sets are dancing well is a higher
>level
>>>of attainment than one where X% of the attendees is able to do 15+ dances
>>>without briefings.

I guess the point being made is that 80% of the sets doing well with briefings
is better than 60% of the sets doing well without briefings, just to pick some
numbers out of a hat. But "highest possible level" is more than X% of sets
doing well, where X is large. Really knowing a dance well leads to a higher
level of dancing; therefore things that move people in that direction are
good. I think it is a good thing for a Branch to say to its dancers, in
essence, "We expect more of you at this event." I can not, in my heart,
find anything wrong with that message, and that is the message that
no-briefings-at-balls sent to me when I was a new and developing dancer.

>>>
>>>There are many in the San Francisco branch who would much prefer to have
>>>briefings at formal balls. It would be interesting sometime to tally the
>>>members and really see how many favor briefings at formal events and how
>>>many oppose the practice. I suspect it is an influential minority that is
>>>anti-briefings.

And I'm sure there are many who like them without briefings. I grew up with
formal
events without briefings. I welcome the challenge, and I find that it
enhances the
exhilaration of dancing. To me it is part of the nature of the experience;
it's part
of what makes a formal ball a formal ball, and not just another dance.
I would be very disappointed if our Branch were to change.

>>>
>>>~~~Terry Barron
>>>San Jose, CA
>
>>>

Having attempted to argue in favor of the no-briefings position, as "a good
thing to do"
as a matter of principle (in contrast to a personal preference), I also think
the position is a little bit self-contradictory, because what in fact
happens is that before each dance almost everyone is madly studying the dance
program, briefing themselves.

-Don

-----------------
Don MacQueen
Livermore, California USA
macq@ccnet.com
-----------------

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14100 · Richard L. Walker · 2 Nov 1998 08:48:50 · Top

The "magic, yet frantic, self-" briefing moment adding elegance to
the occasion. heh heh (ducking)

Actually, that fairly well summarizes why to and why not to have
briefings. After that one just chooses whether or not a briefed
or an unbriefed event is what you wish to attend.

I do find I'm not getting into my formal duds very often. To the
organizers who do brief formal events, thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: Don MacQueen <macq@ccnet.com>

...Having attempted to argue in favor of the no-briefings
position, as "a good thing to do" as a matter of principle (in
contrast to a personal preference), I also think the position is a
little bit self-contradictory, because what in fact happens is
that before each dance almost everyone is madly studying the dance
program, briefing themselves.

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14234 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 4 Nov 1998 08:21:47 · Top

>[Don:]
>Oberdan, Terry, and others have put forth good arguments in favor of
>briefings at formal balls. Yes, briefings are helpful. Yes, they make it
>easier to do the dances.
>
>But consider some differences between fancy dress balls and other social
>dances...

Don, there is a certain logic to your portrayal. However there are a couple
of unstated assumptions that don't stand up to close scrutiny:

(Assumption 1) "Briefings are an _informal_ activity". That is purely a
personal association that may be shared with or engendered by your close
associates. In our area the notion of applying a label of "formal" or
"informal" to briefings is non sequitur. I think of formality as having
mostly to do with dress, although I think there may be a deportment or
behavioral component as well.

(Assumption 2) "Dancers prepare less thoroughly for dances which will be
briefed". A good briefing should take no more than about 30 seconds. It is
intended to remind a dancer who has already learned the dance, the sequence
of formations and transitions and to get all the dancers in the set doing
the same dance. 30 seconds is far too short a time for someone to learn a
dance, so anyone expecting to use a briefing to learn a dance is misguided.
If you are thinking of a verbal description that goes on for a few minutes,
that is a talkthrough, probably with teaching content, and is not a
briefing.

(Assumption 3) "_Higher Level_ is a desirable state". When I try to pin
down what might be meant by _higher level_, I get into trouble: Fancier?
More Magical? Mystical? Elevated? More Fun? More Funny? Hysterical? More
Satisfying? More Difficult? Dressier? More Frustrating? More Annoying? More
Primitive? More Sophisticated? More Pompous? More Pedantic? More Effort?
More Macho? More Feminine? More Aluring? More Flirtatious? ...Now perhaps
you appreciate my quandry, more or less! ;)

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14238 · Ian Price · 4 Nov 1998 10:02:29 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>(Assumption 1) "Briefings are an _informal_ activity". That is purely a
>personal association that may be shared with or engendered by your close=

>associates. In our area the notion of applying a label of "formal" or
>"informal" to briefings is non sequitur. I think of formality as having
>mostly to do with dress, although I think there may be a deportment or
>behavioral component as well.

This 'assumption' is shared by a lot more people than a few 'close
associates'. Also "our area" is not the centre of the Universe. (As
everyone knows, Toronto is <grin>)

>(Assumption 2) "Dancers prepare less thoroughly for dances which will be=

>briefed". A good briefing should take no more than about 30 seconds. It =
is
>intended to remind a dancer who has already learned the dance, the
sequence
>of formations and transitions and to get all the dancers in the set doin=
g
>the same dance. 30 seconds is far too short a time for someone to learn =
a
>dance, so anyone expecting to use a briefing to learn a dance is
misguided.
>If you are thinking of a verbal description that goes on for a few
minutes,
>that is a talkthrough, probably with teaching content, and is not a
>briefing.<

The rebuttal to this argument, doesn't. I for one am not convinced that a=

very simple dance of four standard figures (such as those we hear the RSC=
DS
publiations committee rejects) cannot be mastered on a 30-second briefing=

by a Mensa member. Trouble is, everyone and his dog THINKS they could be
members of Mensa if only they filled in the application form, and therefo=
re
even if they SHOULDN'T get up for what someone's told them is an easy
dance, they DO. By the time they realise it ain't gonna be a doddle, it'=
s
too late to back out. So how do you put a stop to this? Don't tempt them
with a briefing!

-2chter

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14272 · Courtney Cartwright · 5 Nov 1998 04:58:25 · Top

As I've been reading through this thread, the thought occurs that you folks
are all just plain spoiled.... There's you folks with classes available
every night of the week, monthly social dances, numerous balls available
throughout the year, etc.

Those of us in the hinterland where we have one class a week with very mixed
abilities -- we just can't consider holding a formal ball or a social
without briefing. If I tried to set up a ball with no briefing at all, I'd
probably find myself in the hall with two or three dancers and a band -- If
I can round one up.

Having said that, I have been to balls and dances where the briefing was
anything but brief, where the briefing was unintelligible and definitely
unhelpful. But there are some MC's out there who do a beautiful job in
under 30 seconds, and it does help with the sociability and flow of the
evening. But, if the MC is unprepared, is simply reading the briefing from
the ball program, etc. I agree, it is disturbing to the flow and feel of
the evening.

Far more disturbing to the flow of the evening, IMHO, is the widespread practice
of having a different MC for each part of the ball program. Usually, this
is a nod to the local teachers, or the people on the ball committee, or what
have you. But I find, there is usually too large a break between sections
of the ball, the rhythm of the evening doesn't flow as well, and often the
band has to develop a new rapport with each successive MC. I feel it's far
better to put one person in this spot and let them control the flow of the
entire evening. But that's just me.

HERES ANOTHER THOUGHT to throw around.
When I first started dancing here, cue sheets were usually given out to the
class a few weeks before the ball. The dances were usually in alphabetical
order, or no particular order. The order of the dances was not published,
and a ball program booklet was not given to the dancers. Instead, the MC
would set up a Poster with the dance cues written on it for the next dance
on an easel at the top of the hall. The dancers would crowd around the
poster to brief themselves through the dance and then the MC would ask for
sets to be formed. The idea was no prebooking of dances could happen --
other than perhaps, let's dance such and such -- assuming it wasn't one of
the extras that might get cut, but then, no one knew what the extras were...
The other thing was that this stimulated social contact and discussion of
the cues -- it seemed friendlier than everyone with their noses in their
personal books. We never had more than 4 or 5 sets so we could easily get
by with one or possibly 2 easels for everyone to see...
This obviously doesn't work in the context of a FORMAL ball -- though we
used to use it as such, but perhaps in the context of a smaller social
dance. Just an idea, and not even my own, but then, that's what this group
is for -- sharing ideas.

Thanks for your time,

--
Courtney Cartwright
Tucson, Arizona
ccartwri@primenet.com

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14294 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 5 Nov 1998 16:26:16 · Top

We usually have several different people divide the job of doing
briefings at our ball, but the reason for involving more than one person
is not to "give a nod to" them. Rather it is to give the others a
break.

It is difficult for the person briefing to get a chance to dance, since
s/he is typically standing at the top of the room preparing to brief the
dance when partners are taken and sets are formed. Unless they book ahead
or an extra couple is needed at the end to form up a set, briefers may not
get to do much dancing. Dividing up the briefing duties gives those
responsible a more opportunities to dance and socialize. I understand the
drawbacks of multiple briefers, but there are some good reasons for it, too.

--Lara Friedman~Shedlov
Minneapolis, MN

>
> Far more disturbing to the flow of the evening, IMHO, is the widespread practice
> of having a different MC for each part of the ball program. Usually, this
> is a nod to the local teachers, or the people on the ball committee, or what
> have you. But I find, there is usually too large a break between sections
> of the ball, the rhythm of the evening doesn't flow as well, and often the
> band has to develop a new rapport with each successive MC. I feel it's far
> better to put one person in this spot and let them control the flow of the
> entire evening. But that's just me.
>
> HERES ANOTHER THOUGHT to throw around.
> When I first started dancing here, cue sheets were usually given out to the
> class a few weeks before the ball. The dances were usually in alphabetical
> order, or no particular order. The order of the dances was not published,
> and a ball program booklet was not given to the dancers. Instead, the MC
> would set up a Poster with the dance cues written on it for the next dance
> on an easel at the top of the hall. The dancers would crowd around the
> poster to brief themselves through the dance and then the MC would ask for
> sets to be formed. The idea was no prebooking of dances could happen --
> other than perhaps, let's dance such and such -- assuming it wasn't one of
> the extras that might get cut, but then, no one knew what the extras were...
> The other thing was that this stimulated social contact and discussion of
> the cues -- it seemed friendlier than everyone with their noses in their
> personal books. We never had more than 4 or 5 sets so we could easily get
> by with one or possibly 2 easels for everyone to see...
> This obviously doesn't work in the context of a FORMAL ball -- though we
> used to use it as such, but perhaps in the context of a smaller social
> dance. Just an idea, and not even my own, but then, that's what this group
> is for -- sharing ideas.
>
> Thanks for your time,
>
> --
> Courtney Cartwright
> Tucson, Arizona
> ccartwri@primenet.com
>
>
>

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14297 · Smith, Kent · 5 Nov 1998 17:23:53 · Top

This thread about the number of MCs began with several observations about
the problems of having multiple MCs: one, a concern for the pace of events,
including the length of intervals, and another, the fact that the band has
to develop rapport with multiple briefers.

I understand why one person might not want to and might not be able to do a
good job of briefing every dance on a lengthy program, but there can be
multiple briefers and still one overall "master of ceremonies" who takes
charge of the general pace of the event, watches that intervals don't drag
on too long, stays attuned to the needs of the dancers and band, acts as the
point person for comments about tempos and sound, defines the general
procedures for announcing and organizing the next dance (8 bars of music
followed by the announcement to form sets or vice versa, etc.), etc. Being
a briefer is not the same as being an MC.

I'm neutral on the number of briefers, having had delightful evenings with
one and with many. But I have seen lots of problems with multiple MCs.
Changing MCs during an interval too often means the baton will be dropped
and we'll wait too long while it's being picked up again.

Kent (Connecticut, USA)

Briefings at formal balls?

Message 14304 · Norah Link · 5 Nov 1998 21:10:04 · Top

>>> <strathspey-request@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de> 05/11/98 09:25 am >>>
It is difficult for the person briefing to get a chance to dance, since
s/he is typically standing at the top of the room preparing to brief the
dance when partners are taken and sets are formed...
<<<

It is for this reason that the person briefing is the one person in the room I
will gladly pre-book a dance with. I hope others who generally (please note the
word "generally", i.e. allowing exceptions) frown on pre-booking feel the same
way!

Norah

Briefings (not at the Asilomar Ball)

Message 13902 · Fred Collins · 28 Oct 1998 22:16:57 · Top

Hi
By way of introduction my name is Fred Collins, drummer with The Scottish
Accent, and I would like to comment on the never ending saga of briefing.
As a dancer at the height of its popularity in Scotland briefing never
existed.If you were first couple and did'nt know it you changed places with
a couple that did, after all it is a social evening and dancing is for fun.
That was then and now is now so to briefing I believe Don MacQueen has a
similar idea to what I had in mind;
Club night...total briefing
Monthly dance...first eight bars or if new or difficult total briefing
Ball...No briefing
Then of course always remember the social aspect and change places!

Fred

----------
">"From: Don MacQueen <macq@ccnet.com>
">"To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
">"Subject: Re: Briefings (not at the Asilomar Ball)
">"Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:00:19 -0800
">"
">"With all due respect, I disagree, vigorously. (I mean, wth the "pity"
part
">"of Oberdan's note, not the "stellar" part!)
">"
">">From a personal point of view, I find it very rewarding to dance dances
">"that I know well enough to do without briefings. With the additional
">"challenge comes additional reward. I also think that the sense of
teamwork
">"of a set is enhanced when the dance is done without briefing--a stronger
">"sense of "were all in this together, working together and depending on
one
">"another."
">"
">"I understand what it is like to be standing in line at a formal ball,
about
">"to start a dance I'm not entirely sure I know well enough, and knowing
that
">"there will be no briefing to help. It's daunting. I also understand that
">"the lack of briefings poses an extra challenge to dancers not from the
host
">"branch, who have, perhaps, less opportunity to learn the dances. However,
">"in the case of the SF Branch, not all teachers teach to the Asilomar Ball
">"program, so that the difference in preparation between the
">"host-branch-dancer and the non-host-branch-dancer is not necessarily that
">"much. My personal repertoire of dances that I can do at the drop of a
hat,
">"without reminders of any sort, is very short. Perhaps 6. Maybe a dozen.
So
">"I need reminders. But I still don't want briefings at a full-scale formal
">"ball.
">"
">">From a more philosophical point of view, I think it is good to have
">"graduated levels of activities and events. Starting with weekly class,
">"where dances are actually taught, to the social part of class (often in
the
">"later part of the evening) when dances almost always are given
">"talk-throughs, and are often given walk-throughs, moving up to monthly
">"parties, at which talk-throughs are expected and appropriate (but only
">"occasional walk-throughs), moving up to semi-formal parties (sort of
midway
">"between a monthly parties and formal balls with briefer briefings and
very
">"rarely walk-throughs), and on up to the highest level, formal balls with
no
">"briefings. (We are indeed fortunate in S.F. to have a large enough branch
">"to support the whole range of events.) Leaving out the highest level
">"strikes me as selling one's self short (both at the individual level, and
">"for a Branch as a whole). Why shouldn't we aspire to the highest possible
">"level?
">"
">"-Don
">"
">">
">">I have been to a number of Asilomar weekends and balls and every one was
a
">">stellar event. However, it is a pity that SF continues with a policy of
no
">">briefings at the ball. As some others have noted, well-prepared and
">">well-delivered briefings do not take time away from dancing. SF has many
">">very talented people and I would imagine that individuals invited to
brief
">">at the ball would do superbly, and would add greatly to the social
success
">">of the evening.
">">
">">Oberdan.
">">
">">Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA
93010-1611
">">Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com
">"
">"
">"-----------------
">"Don MacQueen
">"Livermore, California USA
">"macq@ccnet.com
">"-----------------
">"
">"
">"
">"

Dance Instructions - was Briefings

Message 13747 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 24 Oct 1998 18:58:47 · Top

John Bray wrote;

> What has been an unexpected problem has been getting the instructions
> to the dances.

It seems to me that one of the uses of "Strathspey" is that you
can ask for help in circumstances like this - either use the
big data base, if you have the correct software (I don't), or put
out a general query - IMHO the first question should be "can you
tell me the source" (maybe the teacher does have the instructions, but
doesn't know it - I finished up assembling my own data base of dances
for which I did have the instructions just to solve this problem; it
was so embarrassing to tell people I had never heard of a dance, only
to find it several weeks later when I was looking for something else.)

The second question, depending on the degree of urgency, is "Can
you please let me have the instructions?" - (and I'm sure someone
will help - its up to your conscience then in whether you buy the
original instructions, say from TACBooks.)

On this topic, I have hand written instructions, which I think
I obtained from "Strathspey", for a dance called Indian River Strathspey;
I have written "Senyk" as the deviser; can anyone let me know
whether I have the right deviser, and if so how to contact them?

Thanks

Malcolm

--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
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Dance Instructions - was Briefings

Message 13760 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 21:28:09 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>On this topic, I have hand written instructions, which I think
I obtained from "Strathspey", for a dance called Indian River Strathspey;=

I have written "Senyk" as the deviser; can anyone let me know
whether I have the right deviser, and if so how to contact them?<

Rings a couple of local bells, Malcolm. We have a neighbourhood in North
Vancouver here called "Indian River", not far from where I live. Also the=

(now retired) founder and pipe major of the Triumph Street Pipe Band was
one Hal Senyk, which of course is not a very common name, and he would ha=
ve
been perfectly capable of writing a tune of that name. Less likely he wou=
ld
have devised an SCD though, but I'll ask around at a Vancouver Branch Par=
ty
tonight and see what I can find out for you.

Regards
-2chter

PS How does one send 'hand written instructions' by e-mail? Just curious.=

Dance Instructions - was Briefings

Message 13768 · John Cahill · 24 Oct 1998 22:54:14 · Top

>
> PS How does one send 'hand written instructions' by e-mail? Just curious.
>
> --

Scan them in and attach them as a gif or a jpeg.

You're welcome.

-John-

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