strathspey Archive: Unpublished Programs/Multiple MC's

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Unpublished Programs/Multiple MC's

Message 14292 · Edwin Nealley · 5 Nov 1998 15:53:26 · Top

>>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.<<

In the Delaware Valley, the normal practice is to have multiple MC's,
with one or two Ball Chairmen. The Ball Chairmen can take
responsibilty for coordinating the ebb and flow of the evening, rather
than relying on the MC's. Another reason for multiple MC's is so no
one teacher has to prepare 18 briefings. This allows an MC to really
hone 4-6 briefings and keep them brief - definitely to be desired!

>>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 . . . this stimulated social contact and discussion of the cues
-- it seemed friendlier than everyone with their noses in their
personal books<<

I have not seen this used at Scottish dances, but the annual formal
English ball in Philadelphia does use this system. As you say, it
less than ideal for formals. What I see is that people tend to "bow
and pounce", barely taking the time to thank the previous partner
before grabbing for the next, and then wandering on over to the poster
to see what will be danced. Not at all to my taste.

This also does not allow for dancers to avoid dancing dances for which
they are ill-prepared either physically or mentally. I feel that when
a dance is more than I can dance (for injury, inability to remember
the figures of a complicated dance, just plain being too tired to be a
good partner, etc.), I would rather have some idea of the program to
help me plan out the evening in advance. (INFJ - for those know
Myers-Briggs)

But perhaps in a less formal evening this could work well . . .

>that's what this group is for -- sharing ideas<

Amen!

==
Edwin Nealley
(215) 322-1100x5262

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Unpublished Programs/Multiple MC's

Message 14296 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 5 Nov 1998 17:23:25 · Top

On Thu, 5 Nov 1998, Edwin Nealley wrote:

> >>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.

In well-controlled situations, multiple MCs can be an asset for the
reasons outlined re Deleware Valley. But they must be up there for their
proficiency at briefing, not their reward for work behind the scenes.

{snip: cue sheets & order of program}

Cue sheets ahead of time for less well-known dances are a must. For the
entire program, at least a few hours before the dancing starts.

But we find that we have to put the entire program up just before the
dancing starts to minimize the advance booking of dances. Yes, people do
need to be able to plan how many dances they will be able to dance and
to know where the 'lemonaid' ones are, but they also need help in avoiding
booking their entire evening ahead of time.

What's wrong with that, you say? Would you invite a group of people who
don't necessarily know each other to your home and then ignore them?
Would you accept an invitation to someone's home and then avoid them?

The biggest compliment I can get is to have someone come up to me after
one of our socials and tell me that they were new to the group but felt as
though everyone wanted to dance with them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

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