strathspey Archive: Elitism

Previous thread: Request for Class Info.
Next thread: elitist thread

Elitism

Message 15534 · Bryan McAlister · 20 Jan 1999 23:47:11 · Top

The following is quoted from an article in REEL NEWS - 25, a newssheet
circulated in the West Lothian area by West Lothian Charities Dance
Committee.

It was written by John Carswell a good friend of mine, and copied with
his permission.

For some time now I have been trying out the word _elitism_ on all sorts
of dancers. I understand that any specialist organisation is likely to
develop in this way but if it wants to renew itself by drawing in new
young blood it must remember its own origins. What has happened now is
that the RSCDS have danced on tiptoes right away from Book1, its
erstwhile bread and butter, leaving these basic dances to the reelers,
the farmers, and the bright young ceilidh dancers to carry on with
vigour and energy. These are the dancers maintaining the traditions
which we once claimed to be looking after. We are in danger of being
marginalised unless we get back to our grass roots now and again. How
elitist are you or your group? Do you have an 8 x 32 strathspey as the
last of the evening? I have yet to see anything as shaming as the last
Society AGM which had TWO strathspeys in the last four dances. When will
we get the message? Young people want to finish an evening on a
structured build up not a wind down.
--
Bryan McAlister

Elitism

Message 15535 · RuddBaron · 21 Jan 1999 00:12:56 · Top

In a message dated 1/20/99 4:48:45 PM Eastern Standard Time,
Bryan@bryanmac.demon.co.uk writes:

<< Young people want to finish an evening on a
structured build up not a wind down. >>

--- True, but I have been to a Ball with the Eightsome Reel as the last dance.
That was a bit much.

s/RBJ

Elitism

Message 15536 · Ian Price · 21 Jan 1999 03:30:18 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>It was written by John Carswell a good friend of mine, and copied with
his permission.<

I'm afraid I found it a bit obscure. Is it supposedly elitist to have the=

Strathspeys at the end of the program or not?

My perspective of where the pendulum is presently at (with apologies to
WSC), is that we who finish up the evening with a clatter (and dance the
dances from memory) are now the elitists, since we now seem to be in the
minority in North America at least.

>Young people want to finish an evening on a
>structured build up not a wind down.

Some of us old farts like it that way too. =

-2chter

Elitism

Message 15537 · The_Healys · 21 Jan 1999 09:16:54 · Top

Ian Price writes of John Carsewell's article in the West Lothian
Branch newssheet::
> I'm afraid I found it a bit obscure.

I suggest that is because readers of Reel News and others who have
listened to John over the last few years (and I _mean _ listened
as opposed to heard) have a context in which to put his views on
Strathspeys at the end of programmes. This is a view he also
recently expressed at the Open Forum in Glasgow.

John's general premise (if I may be permitted to interpret) is
that the RSCDS is elitist. The principal objective of the RSCDS
is to encourage Scottish Country Dancing and it fails to do so
because it only teaches, encourages and develops one form of SCD -
the RSCDS style. In John's view (and I have a lot of sympathy) the
Society has an obligation to develop and encourage the other
styles extant in Scotland generally nowadays referred to as
Ceilidh and Reeling.

=46rom this general premise comes a leap of logic that every dance
programme should be welcoming to all styles of dancers and there I
part company with John. By accepting that there are different
styles, one then has to cater for them. That means there will be
some dance programmes which are geared towards specific groups
practising one particular style. Certainly programmes should
encourage cross-fertilisation with the Reelers expanding their
list of dances and perhaps exploring a few more strathspeys than
just the Foursome (but still in their own style). The 'RSCDS'
style groups should match this by sometimes modifying their
programmes to encourage other style dancers to attend. This does
not (IMO) mean that all programmes should, or even can, be all
things to all people at all times. We old farts (it takes one to
know one, Ian) also want to <... finish an evening on a
structured build up not a wind down> but that does not necessarily
exclude a strathspey as part of that structure. If John's plea is
for programme devisers to give more thought to programmes and
avoid 'heavy' strathspeys at the end of the evening, he has my
wholehearted support but if it is a general rule to avoid
strathspeys at the end of a programme, I beg to disagree. And, my
disagreement has nothing to do with the elitist argument which is
about style not content.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

PS Bryan, I am sure you will in any event but could you pass a
copy of this to John and I will look forward to a continuation of
the discussion next time I see him. Thanks

Elitism

Message 15538 · Michelle C. Nogales · 21 Jan 1999 09:51:59 · Top

My personal favorite dance to end a ball is the Reel of the 51st
Division - and if the men are "elitist" enough to want all-male sets, why
then, I'll be elitist too and form an all-ladies set! Whee!
As for ending on a strathspey, I find my feet and legs are much
too tired at the end of a long evening to maintain proper form through a
long strathspey, which I find takes a good deal more control than a
faster dance. I'd much sooner end on a livelier note!
Michelle Nogales
Not too old (I hope!) at 29
San Francisco Bay Area

___________________________________________________________________
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com/getjuno.html
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

Elitism

Message 15539 · Val Stannard · 21 Jan 1999 10:18:16 · Top

Ian Price wrote > I'm afraid I found it a bit obscure. Is it supposedly
elitist to have the Strathspeys at the end of the program or not? <

I dance to enjoy myself, I couldn't care less if it's 'the done thing' /
elitist to end on a Strathspey. Personally I would prefer a reel / jig and
one that doesn't require too much brain power. By the nature of it aren't
Strathspeys more genteel and precise - I am not sure that for the last
dance I don't want to let my hair down and be a little more reckless. After
an evening dancing to a really good band haven't you wanted to end on a
'high'? How many times have you danced Montgomeries Rant [as the last
dance] and the 4s have stepped in to set along side the 3s, or someone tries
to make the reel of 3 on the side into a reel of 4? It happens round my
area but then perhaps we aren't elitist enough?

Val

Val@stannard50.freeserve.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------
Val Stannard,
Bridlington, E. Yorkshire, UK
Tel: 01262-400472

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------------

Elitism

Message 15691 · Ron.Mackey · 29 Jan 1999 01:37:02 · Top


> I dance to enjoy myself, I couldn't care less if it's 'the done thing' /
> elitist to end on a Strathspey. Personally I would prefer a reel / jig and
> one that doesn't require too much brain power. By the nature of it aren't
> Strathspeys more genteel and precise - I am not sure that for the last
> dance I don't want to let my hair down and be a little more reckless. After
> an evening dancing to a really good band haven't you wanted to end on a
> 'high'? How many times have you danced Montgomeries Rant [as the last
> dance] and the 4s have stepped in to set along side the 3s, or someone tries
> to make the reel of 3 on the side into a reel of 4? It happens round my
> area but then perhaps we aren't elitist enough?
>
> Val

Hi,
For those who do not tire, is it no longer the habit to finish with
a rousing Polka or (for the less rotatable) A Schottische ?
We always used to finish like that and some used to encore them!
You always get a few with inexhaustable energy.
( \\- ' Yes but don't you usually find they're a bit thick?
( //- No, they're quite all right when they've calmed down.
( \\ Oh, - well then.....)
:))
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Elitism

Message 15708 · Cecilia Stolzer Grote · 29 Jan 1999 20:11:53 · Top

<For those who do not tire, is it no longer the habit to finish with a
rousing Polka or (for the less rotatable) A Schottische ?>

We usually end the "official" program with a reel or jig, but the band
always continues playing, first a waltz, then on to polka, hambo, etc. I=
t
seems as long as people are still on the floor dancing, the band will kee=
p
on playing.

Cecilia Stolzer-Grote
RSCDS SF Branch

Elitism

Message 15596 · Ron.Mackey · 24 Jan 1999 22:21:51 · Top

>
> My perspective of where the pendulum is presently at (with apologies to
> WSC), is that we who finish up the evening with a clatter (and dance the
> dances from memory) are now the elitists, since we now seem to be in the
> minority in North America at least.

> Some of us old farts like it that way too.

> -2chter

That sounds a touch elitist to another old fart with a lousy memory !
0o :)
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Elitism

Message 15613 · Bryan McAlister · 26 Jan 1999 00:39:44 · Top

John Carswell's article seems to have generated a good response, so I've
invited him round to view the replies and make his response.

As some of you will know John is a member of the RSCDS Strategic
planning group, he is also the organiser of the Linlithgow Palace dances
in summer which introduce traditional Scottish dances to tourists,
holiday makers and dancers in large numbers.
The article was of course his own personal viewpoint and not that of the
RSCDS.

--
Bryan McAlister

Elitism

Message 15540 · Peter Hastings · 21 Jan 1999 10:29:16 · Top

All activities requiring aptitude and application are by their nature
elitist - particularly in the era of the couch potato.

So what ?

Can any of our linguistic contributors provide chapter and verse on when
the term elitist became pejorative in the UK ? (Private replies, please)

> ...I have been to a Ball with the Eightsome Reel as the last dance.
> That was a bit much.

...but only because, as a four couple dance, it has a good chance of
excluding people from actually doing the last dance. As with other
contributors, my own preference is for something with a bit of zip and not
too much brain power required. If it ends with a circle round and back (as
in a humungous circle round and back) well and good.

Peter Hastings (elitist hooligan)
Royal Observatory
Edinburgh
(:

Elitism

Message 15541 · S.M.D.Phillips · 21 Jan 1999 13:21:35 · Top

I don't often join in with a me too - it is a waste of space, but I do agree
wholeheartedly with what Val says in this message.
I have heard and listened to John Carswell at several AGMs now. The first
time, I agreed with everything he said, - for the 1st two minutes. After
that, *I felt* that he ruffled everyone's feelings, and did himself and his
message to the Society no good at all. Now, I and I suspect many others,
pay him no attention at all, which is a pity. We need the dissenters and
the non-orthodox thinkers to make the rest of us think again about what we
are doing and why, but they need to be able to persuade us to listen. It
needs to be a dialogue - just as it takes two to tango, we need - for most
of the time - eight people to form a set.
Stella Phillips
Dundee

sphillips@sol.co.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Val Stannard <Val@stannard50.freeserve.co.uk>
To: SCD letters <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: 21 January 1999 08:21
Subject: Elitism

>Ian Price wrote > I'm afraid I found it a bit obscure. Is it supposedly
>elitist to have the Strathspeys at the end of the program or not? <
>
>
>I dance to enjoy myself, I couldn't care less if it's 'the done thing' /
>elitist to end on a Strathspey. Personally I would prefer a reel / jig and
>one that doesn't require too much brain power. By the nature of it aren't
>Strathspeys more genteel and precise - I am not sure that for the last
>dance I don't want to let my hair down and be a little more reckless.
After
>an evening dancing to a really good band haven't you wanted to end on a
>'high'? How many times have you danced Montgomeries Rant [as the last
>dance] and the 4s have stepped in to set along side the 3s, or someone
tries
>to make the reel of 3 on the side into a reel of 4? It happens round my
>area but then perhaps we aren't elitist enough?
>
>Val
>
>
>Val@stannard50.freeserve.co.uk
>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
>---------------
>Val Stannard,
>Bridlington, E. Yorkshire, UK
>Tel: 01262-400472
>
>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
>----------------
>
>
>--
>"Val Stannard" <Val@stannard50.freeserve.co.uk>
>
>

Elitism

Message 15542 · Edwin Nealley · 21 Jan 1999 14:49:11 · Top

>the RSCDS have danced on tiptoes right away from Book >1, its
erstwhile bread and butter, leaving these >basic dances to the
reelers, the farmers, and the >bright young ceilidh dancers to carry
on with vigour >and energy. These are the dancers maintaining the
>traditions which we once claimed to be looking after. >We are in
danger of being marginalized unless we get >back to our grass roots
now and again.

I have to agree. The challenge is to involve dancers seeking
more-complicated dances and those seeking simple high-energy dances in
a program or event. The balance is critical to continued success.

It's certainly something that we are trying to deal with in Delaware
Valley - we just had a case recently at a basic social dance where
basic dancers were "put off" by a program that was over their heads.

Of course, getting back to the grass roots has other values too. I
think the Society as a whole needs to examine the inherent flexibility
of the folk process in SCD versus the structure that it must maintain
to make it universally accessible. Not an easy chore!

==
Edwin Nealley
(215) 322-1100x5262

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

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15545 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 21 Jan 1999 17:35:48 · Top

On Thu, 21 Jan 1999, Edwin Nealley wrote in response to the 'elitism'
thread: {snip}

> I have to agree. The challenge is to involve dancers seeking
> more-complicated dances and those seeking simple high-energy dances in
> a program or event. The balance is critical to continued success.
>
> It's certainly something that we are trying to deal with in Delaware
> Valley - we just had a case recently at a basic social dance where
> basic dancers were "put off" by a program that was over their heads.

This problem is just one of those that fit under the 'elitism' concept.
I believe that 'strathspey' can be of help here. Each of us knows a dance
or two that is easy for beginners and a genuine challenge for advanced
dancers. Some of these dances belong on social programs.

I offer Lady Auckland's Reel, a strathspey (not for the end of the
program, but for the first third as it is two-couple. This dance (Bk 18)
is comfortable for beginners and those who are beyond being challenged,
but is a difficult dance for It-may-be-a-social,-but-I'm-a-demo-dancer
types. It has excellent social aspects -- plenty of opportunity to dance
with others and with one's partner. Its major drawback is that the
original tune needs help. (Not having live music, I could always do it to
a decent tune.)

Wind that Shakes the Barley and Miss Nancy Frowns are two other dances
that can be managed by beginners/physically challenged or galumped through
(demonstrated) by superior dancers. They have great music. Their main
disadvantage is that few people are taught to be social in reels, i. e.,
dance WITH (Yes, I have raised my voice) all five other dancers in
parallel-but-opposing reels.

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

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15546 · John P. McClure · 21 Jan 1999 18:14:31 · Top

I think this is a very good idea. Here are a few that I find are good for
programmes with a mixed audience:

Tribute to the Borders (RSCDS leaflet)
St. Andrews Fair (5/82)
The Old Man of Storr (Childrens Book)
Glasgow Lasses (Book 34)

Peter McClure (Winnipeg, MB)

Music Makars change of address

Message 15547 · Etienne Ozorak · 21 Jan 1999 18:40:40 · Top

Hi,

Sorry to burden the whole list.

The "Makars" will be moving this spring (not sure exactly when) to:
27744 Hickory Corners Road
Guys Mills, Pennsylvania 16327
814-789-3695

The change has been made to our website at:
www.toolcity.net/~etozorak/makars.html

There will be no change to our internet addresses.

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15580 · Martin.Sheffield · 23 Jan 1999 14:19:38 · Top

> Each of us knows a dance
>or two that is easy for beginners and a genuine challenge for advanced
>dancers.

No, sorry. I can't think of any dance that would fit both descriptions.
>I offer Lady Auckland's Reel, a strathspey ...

A strathspey? !
For beginners? ! !

Do you people know what a beginner is?

A beginner is a person who has not learnt any SCD. He has probably never
even seen any serious SCD, and may even never have learnt any dancing at
all. He has no idea of steps, rhythm, formations, progressions ...

A beginner is a person that you hope, with a little encouragement, may one
day be part of the dancing community, but who will need a lot discreet
training before he will resemble what *we* call a dancer (discreet because
he probably doesn't want to be trained, be taught, to learn, memorize, make
an effort, or in any way be treated as a school kid) .

One or two beginners lost in a sea of dancers who are comfortable enough to
integrate them, will soon find their feet.
A room full of beginners at the mercy of one MC is a different matter. And,
personally, I wouldn't dream of doing a strathspey in such circumstances.
Nor would I expect them to get through "Strip the Willow" that is often
regarded as an easy dance.

>Wind that Shakes the Barley and Miss Nancy Frowns are two other dances
>that can be managed by beginners...

Could we organize an exchange?
You send me some of your beginners, I'll send you some of mine (and I don't
mean members of my "beginners" class -- I mean Beginners.

The place of dance in the English-speaking world means that everyone gets a
head start compared with those from other cultures and traditions. In
France, we may be nearer to Scotland than many of the strathspey readers,
but culturally, it is another world.

So what do you do when faced with a room full of people that, for all you,
know may be not just beginners, but innocent non-dancers?

This is what I do:
Canadian Barn dance,
Lucky Seven (circle dance, probably English, but gets them moving with
fairly obvious phrasing)
Joe MacDiarmid's jig (even if individuals or couples get lost, the set
still retains some shape)
Gay Gordons (what a laugh)
Highland reel (trios, everyone does the same thing at the same time, easy
round the room progression)
British Man of War (ditto. I believe the dance has other titles)
Cumberland square,
Waltz country dance (you can usually count ona few people having learnt to
waltz, and if they havn't, they don't seem to mind).

With lively tuneful music, they enjoy themselves. What more can you ask for?

Any other suggestions?

Martin,
Grenoble, France.
------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/
Cycling, country dancing ...

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15582 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 23 Jan 1999 18:43:50 · Top

On Sat, 23 Jan 1999, M Sheffield wrote:

> > Each of us knows a dance
> >or two that is easy for beginners and a genuine challenge for advanced
> >dancers.
>
> No, sorry. I can't think of any dance that would fit both descriptions.
> >I offer Lady Auckland's Reel, a strathspey ...
>
> A strathspey? !
> For beginners? ! !
>
> Do you people know what a beginner is?

I was talking about the level of beginner from a beginners' class who is
ready to attend a social.

> Could we organize an exchange?
> You send me some of your beginners, I'll send you some of mine (and I don't
> mean members of my "beginners" class -- I mean Beginners.

I think we have the same definitions -- I assumed that 'Beginners' meant
members of a beginners class and had coming to class for some time.

> So what do you do when faced with a room full of people that, for all you,
> know may be not just beginners, but innocent non-dancers?

I used to use my list of dances with no progression, no footwork, etc. I
now use Jo and Susie's books, which I recommend highly. I have cards with
some raw beginners' dances on them in the of front of my active lesson
book.

P. S. I have found that a group of raw beginners over the age of fifty is
best introduced to Scottish country dancing with a strathspey (after the
preliminary dances) The faster music is not only too fasst for the older
persons muscles, it's a bit to fast for their brain-to-muscle connection.

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

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15612 · Bryan McAlister · 26 Jan 1999 00:39:11 · Top

In article <Pine.A41.3.96.990123113232.70438B-100000@elk.uvm.edu>,
Priscilla M. Burrage <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu> writes
>On Sat, 23 Jan 1999, M Sheffield wrote:
>
>> > Each of us knows a dance
>> >or two that is easy for beginners and a genuine challenge for advanced
>> >dancers.
>>
>> No, sorry. I can't think of any dance that would fit both descriptions.
>> >I offer Lady Auckland's Reel, a strathspey ...
>>
>> A strathspey? !
>> For beginners? ! !
>>
>> Do you people know what a beginner is?
>
Come off it. teaching a strathspey is not hard and beginners don't find
it that difficult.
Nowadays I regularly teach ceilidh dancers at weddings, birthday parties
etc. a strathspey and it gets rave responses - strathspeys wow, nobody
else does this at ceilidhs.. great to see you are keeping up the
traditions etc....

We do it like this...
I get out on the floor with my radio mike and teach the step - setting
step and forwards and back, this doesn't take long, after all they are
no harder than a Line dance grapevine.

Then we teach a 4x32 bar strathspey called Easie Peasie, in which I
tried to avoid the obvious difficulties that occur in strathspeys,
namely..
. slow turgid music - we use a solo fiddle with keyboard and guitar
backing, usually one of the great Gow or Marshall strathspeys, played
with spirit by Iain Fraser. Remember the distinguishing feature of the
Strathspey is the rhythm, not the step,
. endless repetition - it uses a 4 x32 bar format
. the confusing _to a new dancer_ progression from 1st to 2nd couple
position, normally encountered in an 8x32 3 couple dance
. strange _to a new dancer_ figures like allemandes which frequently
occur in the simpler strathspeys

Easie Peasie goes like this _ I've used ceilidh speak not rscds speak_

1-4 1st couple set and change places with right hand
5-8 1st couple set and change back to their place
9-16 1st and 2nd couples dance right hand star, left hand star back
17-24 1st, 2nd and 3rd couples join near hands and dance down and back
25-32 1st couple followed by couples 2-4 cast off, 1st couple form arch
at bottom, other couples dance through, leaving 2nd couple ready to
start 2nd time around.

I have tried to give dancers a clear pointer as to where they are in the
dance by using the device first 8 bars - one couple, second 8 bars - 2
couples, third 8 bars three couples and so on.
I don't particularly like the Form arch and couples 2-4 dance through
figure but it has the advantage that everyone understands it.

I would repeat we do this at weddings, birthday parties, fund raising
dances etc. not specialist ceilidhs with experienced ceilidh dancers.

On a related topic..

I was discussing Country Dancing recently with a caller who does Irish
Set Dancing, who is also a significant figure on the folk scene in
Central Scotland. In the course of discussion this individual said ....I
was calling at a dance recently and someone came up and requested the
Duke of Perth, I knew at once he was a complete tosser... How do country
dancers get this kind of reputation? _It is one fairly frequently
encountered on the traditional music circuit_. It is because of the
mannered steps, demeanour etc. etc. that have been fostered in RSDCS
dancing over the years and the reluctance to actually get out there and
keep the traditional dances in common usage on all occasions.

--
Bryan McAlister

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15621 · Martin.Sheffield · 26 Jan 1999 12:31:42 · Top

>>> A strathspey? !
>>> For beginners? ! !
>>>
>>> Do you people know what a beginner is?

Bryan wrote:
>Come off it. teaching a strathspey is not hard and beginners don't find
>it that difficult.

I still think a stylish strathspey is the hardest thing to learn. Anyone
can march to the music -- much as we do in the Barn dance -- but to get a
graceful flow fitting the music is another matter.

>no harder than a Line dance grapevine.

It's not a question of putting the feet in the right place at the right
time. It's getting people to feel the music and have the whole body
involved. It takes strength and control as well as a touch of theatre, the
desire to play a role and play it right. (Are you the same person while
dancing spey as you are in a reel or in everyday life?)

>tried to avoid the (...) slow turgid music

an unfortunate choice of words, perhaps. There are some great tunes
available and frequently used, and if they were not slower than jigs, we
wouldn't recognize them as belonging to the category "strathspey" (unless
born in a previous century, perhaps).

When they can do a reel well, then let them have a go at a spey, and only then.
A poorly done reel may still be fun; a poorly done spey is nothing.

Martin,
Grenoble, France.
------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/
Cycling, country dancing ...

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15694 · Ron.Mackey · 29 Jan 1999 01:37:13 · Top

>
> I still think a stylish strathspey is the hardest thing to learn. Anyone
> can march to the music -- much as we do in the Barn dance -- but to get a
> graceful flow fitting the music is another matter.
>
> >no harder than a Line dance grapevine.
>
> It's not a question of putting the feet in the right place at the right
> time. It's getting people to feel the music and have the whole body
> involved. It takes strength and control as well as a touch of theatre, the
> desire to play a role and play it right. (Are you the same person while
> dancing spey as you are in a reel or in everyday life?)

I think that Martin is setting unnecessary standards here. The
start of any sort of activity implies imperfect standards of
performance. One doesn't _expect_ beginners to do any footwork well
in the first year of dancing SCD so why expect control, elegance & so
on when first dancing a strathspey.
It usually takes years to dance well so why ban a s'pey because it
is done with a shuffling step and a high lifted hop?
Not many dancers in the later years are able to do a good s'pey
but one of the reasons for that is the very slow tempo used in the
modern s'pey. It used to be done at Highland speed but few could do
a fling at modern tempi.
That is if they got a proper s'pey tune to dance to!
I think that the s'pey music recently recorded by some _very_ well
considered musicians is so slow as to be virtually undancable in a
social context. :(
Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15700 · Eric T. Ferguson · 29 Jan 1999 12:43:32 · Top

Ron Mackey wrote:
> Not many dancers in the later years are able to do a good s'pey =

> but one of the reasons for that is the very slow tempo used in the
> modern s'pey. It used to be done at Highland speed but few could do =

> a fling at modern tempi.
> That is if they got a proper s'pey tune to dance to!
> I think that the s'pey music recently recorded by some _very_ well
> considered musicians is so slow as to be virtually undanceable in a
> social context. :(

Does anyone know of any attempts to dance s'peys anew at the older (faste=
r)
speeds? What does it feel like? How is it appreciated? Does it make =
the
s'pey quite a different dance? I would expect so. I would love to have =
a try.

Eric

Eric T. Ferguson
Eindhoven, Netherlands,
temporarily in South Africa
reply to: e.ferguson@antenna.nl, not to the From: address.

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15716 · Murray Wilson · 30 Jan 1999 03:08:19 · Top

At 08:31 29/01/99 PST, you wrote:
>Ron Mackey wrote:
Not many dancers in the later years are able to do a good s'pey
but one of the reasons for that is the very slow tempo used in the
modern s'pey. It used to be done at Highland speed but few could do
a fling at modern tempi.
That is if they got a proper s'pey tune to dance to!
I think that the s'pey music recently recorded by some _very_ well
considered musicians is so slow as to be virtually undanceable in a
social context. :(

>Eric wrote
>Does anyone know of any attempts to dance s'peys anew at the older (faster)
speeds? What does it feel like?(snip) IMO, Bloody awfull!! How is it
appreciated? (snip) It is not!! Does it make the s'pey quite a different
dance?(snip) Yes,it stuffs it up! I would expect so.(snip) Good. I would
love to have a try.Why don't you Eric, just once.:-))))))

Murray Wilson
Auckland NZ

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15721 · Bryan McAlister · 30 Jan 1999 14:02:07 · Top

In article <1.5.4.32.19990130010655.006784e8@pop3.ix.net.nz>, Murray
Wilson <murky@ix.net.nz> writes
> I would
>love to have a try.Why don't you Eric, just once.:-))))))
>
Just make sure when you do you use a musician or band who can play them
well. Makes all the difference.
--
Bryan McAlister

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15720 · Bryan McAlister · 30 Jan 1999 14:01:59 · Top

In article <MAPI.Id.0016.002e6665726775733030303830303038@MAPI.to.RFC822
>, Eric T. Ferguson <e.ferguson@mweb.co.za> writes
>
>Does anyone know of any attempts to dance s'peys anew at the older (faster)
>speeds? What does it feel like? How is it appreciated? Does it make the
>s'pey quite a different dance? I would expect so. I would love to have a try.
>
>Eric
>
>Eric T. Ferguson
>Eindhoven, Netherlands,
>temporarily in South Africa
>reply to: e.ferguson@antenna.nl, not to the From: address.
>
>
Yes we play them at a faster pace, I suppose natural fiddlers tempo is
best way to put it. i.e. it feels right.
I think it gives a great feel to the step, you are able to let your body
absorb the groove as it were in a way that doesn't happen as you stand
about between moving your feet at the slower paces. Alasdair Fraser
calls it 18th century rock and roll.
Basically the step is different.
--
Bryan McAlister

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15729 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 31 Jan 1999 14:22:23 · Top

Bryan wrote;

> Yes we play them at a faster pace, I suppose natural fiddlers tempo is
> best way to put it. i.e. it feels right.
> I think it gives a great feel to the step, you are able to let your body
> absorb the groove as it were in a way that doesn't happen as you stand
> about between moving your feet at the slower paces.

I may be wrong, but when I played some of my Tim Wright recordings
they were fine to dance to, but they managed to get through 32 bars
of strathspey in under a minute - I put this down to the fact that
the sound was fiddle based, so the sound didn't give a hard "kick"
as it would with a piano - I found I could still pull through smoothly
despite the increase in speed, whereas if you just speed up a
current recording it starts to become skip change.

Malcolm
--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
|_| _|_| Connecting via NETCOM Internet Ltd
|_|

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15725 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 30 Jan 1999 16:12:33 · Top

Eric enquired;

>
> Does anyone know of any attempts to dance s'peys anew at the older (faster)
> speeds? What does it feel like? How is it appreciated? Does it make the
> s'pey quite a different dance?

Well yes, but not intentionally; we were holding a New Year's Eve dance,
and started Lord Elgin's Reel shortly before midnight - after the first
time through I signalled to the MC that as we were cutting things
a bit tight, to speed it up a bit; (there's nothing so useful as a variable
speed!); after the next repeat I signalled again ... and we were now
starting to motor ....however midnight was approaching, and we needed
to get the drinks handed out, so the music went up another notch....
the last time through it was difficult to work out whether we were
dancing a slightly slow reel or a very rapid strathspey, apart from
the setting steps!

I'm not sure that "appreciated" is the right word ... most people
were in histerics by the end!

Malcolm


--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
|_| _|_| Connecting via NETCOM Internet Ltd
|_|

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15726 · Ian Price · 30 Jan 1999 20:13:19 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>Alasdair Fraser
calls it 18th century rock and roll.<

I didn't know he had said that, and that's interesting because I
characterise it that way also.

One essential ingredient of all forms of dance music whether SCD or
anything else, is a BACK-BEAT, and in the SCD area very few achieve it or=

even understand what is required. =

I can't even describe it in words (such is the power of musical expresiio=
n
in its own right), but can only quote examples from the eras of Swing
(Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey) or 'classic' Rock 'n' Roll (Little Richard,
Jerry Lee Lewis). I suppose the word most people use to try to convey the=

concept is 'lift'; whatever the term, it is that which results in your
dancing three feet off the floor, 'on air' as it were - and you will
recognise it when you hear it becdause you float up to that
"one-metre-above-grade" automatically.

And Alasdair is quite right, most of the better 18th century tunes are
suitable for this treatment.

-2chter

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15736 · Ron.Mackey · 1 Feb 1999 02:12:12 · Top

>
> One essential ingredient of all forms of dance music whether SCD or
> anything else, is a BACK-BEAT, and in the SCD area very few achieve it or
> even understand what is required.
>
> I can't even describe it in words (such is the power of musical expresiion
> in its own right), but can only quote examples from the eras of Swing
> (Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey) or 'classic' Rock 'n' Roll (Little Richard,
> Jerry Lee Lewis). I suppose the word most people use to try to convey the
> concept is 'lift'; whatever the term, it is that which results in your
> dancing three feet off the floor, 'on air' as it were - and you will
> recognise it when you hear it becdause you float up to that
> "one-metre-above-grade" automatically.
>
> And Alasdair is quite right, most of the better 18th century tunes are
> suitable for this treatment.
>
> -2chter

One of the Bands which used to give the floating and effortless
feeling was Ian Powrie in the earlier days. We always said that
we saved shoe-leather when he played at Porchester Hall in London
and we all invariably finished up at someone's pad for a post
mid-night party as we were all on such a high (not described as that
in those days) that we wouldn't have been able to sleep if we had
gone home to bed !
Well, that's what _we_ said !!
It was a marvellous sensation though.

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15763 · Maghi King · 1 Feb 1999 19:16:33 · Top

Try using Cape Breton music - it's much faster, does change the dance
and is great fun!

Maghi

Eric T. Ferguson wrote:
>
> Does anyone know of any attempts to dance s'peys anew at the older (faster)
> speeds? What does it feel like? How is it appreciated? Does it make the
> s'pey quite a different dance? I would expect so. I would love to have a try.
>
> Eric

--
Please note my new e-mail address (old address was king@divsun.unige.ch)
Maghi King | E-mail: Margaret.King@issco.unige.ch
ISSCO, University of Geneva | WWW: http://issco-www.unige.ch/
54 route des Acacias | Tel: +41/22/705 71 14
CH-1227 GENEVA (Switzerland) | Fax: +41/22/300 10 86

Faster Strathspeys?

Message 15783 · Colleen Putt · 2 Feb 1999 13:29:49 · Top

Steady on there, Maghi. You don't want to kill them! :>)
Cheers,
Colleen
> Try using Cape Breton music - it's much faster, does change the dance

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15719 · Martin.Sheffield · 30 Jan 1999 08:54:02 · Top

>>
>> I still think a stylish strathspey is the hardest thing to learn.
>
> I think that Martin is setting unnecessary standards here.

Me? Setting standards?
I never thought anyone would say that!
:-)

It's not so much a matter of setting standards, as being realistic (imho)
about what people can do.

>why expect control, elegance & so
>on when first dancing a strathspey.
> (...) why ban a s'pey because it
>is done with a shuffling step and a high lifted hop?

Because I don't think many people enjoy a spey if they haven't first learnt
to move elegantly with the music. And if they aren't enjoying it, why force
it upon them?
And, if they can only get through the dance by doing the step you
described, Ron, then they are reinforcing the acquisition of wrong steps,
making the learning of better stepwork still more difficult.

But I don't "ban" speys from the program. I just try not to push beginners
into doing them if I feel they are not ready for it. Let them learn first
the structure of the dances, where their corners are, how many steps it
takes to get from A to B, etc, before imosing on them the unnatural
restraint needed to*dance* to slower rhythms.

I do agree with Ron's critisicm of modern tempi, however, and avoid using
any recording where 32 spey bars last more than 60 seconds (8x32 must last
less than 8 minutes).
Limits ones choice quite a lot, unfortunately.

------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/
Cycling, country dancing ...

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15731 · Bob McNaughton · 31 Jan 1999 17:29:51 · Top

Sorry, I missed some of this topic of discussion.
I'm with you in this case, Martin. If dancing is to be "social", we need
"people" with whom to dance. The more people there are; the more social the
dance. There is no need to turn people away or to limit the dance
programme.
I am certain there are others who, like me, learn by doing. If we don't
dance, we'll never learn how.
Not only "when first dancing a strathspey". Many of us have little
"control, elegance & so on " after years of dancing. Please, don't exclude
us.

Bob McNaughton 16-1002 Dufferin Ave. Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7H 2C1
306-244-8283 mailto:lauraig@home.com omnia interrogate

-----Original Message-----
From: M Sheffield <martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: January 30, 1999 01:00
Subject: Re: Dances for socials (was Elitism)

... why expect control, elegance & so on when first dancing a strathspey.
(...) why ban a s'pey because it
is done with a shuffling step and a high lifted hop?
------------------ http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/
Cycling, country dancing ...
M Sheffield <martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>

Dances for socials (was Elitism)

Message 15750 · Bryan McAlister · 1 Feb 1999 11:13:38 · Top

In article <v01530500b2d775b5c95d@[164.138.184.219]>, M Sheffield
<martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> writes
>>>
>>> I still think a stylish strathspey is the hardest thing to learn.
>>
>> I think that Martin is setting unnecessary standards here.
>
>Me? Setting standards?
>I never thought anyone would say that!
>:-)
>
>It's not so much a matter of setting standards, as being realistic (imho)
>about what people can do.
>
>>why expect control, elegance & so
>>on when first dancing a strathspey.
>> (...) why ban a s'pey because it
>>is done with a shuffling step and a high lifted hop?
>
>Because I don't think many people enjoy a spey if they haven't first learnt
>to move elegantly with the music. And if they aren't enjoying it, why force
>it upon them?

Should we not be questioning why there is so much emphasis on elegance.

Consider the music firstly, strathpeys are not necessarily elegant, most
are wonderful fiery exciting pieces of fiddle music which possess a
spectacularly groovy rhythm.

How one justify slowing them down so they lose much of that quality, and
then change the style to a leisurely, albeit elegant, balletic style
which has lost that quality.

Surely we must have reached a point where Strathspeys should be
recovered, their tempo and style restored and the irreparably slow ones
ie those that aren't strathspeys at all given their own category. I
dont have any problem with that and certainly would not object to
dancing these dances.

The world of Country dancing would gain significantly in that it would
have gained an additional type of dance - the slow thingy, and regain
some respectability amongst other traditional dancers and musicians by
sorting this difficulty out.
--
Bryan McAlister

Elitism

Message 15548 · Ian Price · 21 Jan 1999 20:41:21 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>We old farts (it takes one to
>know one, Ian) also want to <... finish an evening on a
>structured build up not a wind down> but that does not necessarily
>exclude a strathspey as part of that structure. <

I have to qualify my earlier statement by agreeing that a properly-steppe=
d,
short, non-lyrical, well-known, and popular Strathspey can be a high
energy dance and in no way a wind down - but how many meet all of the abo=
ve
criteria, particularly when announced by MCs as "now let's all wind down
with a nice slo-o-o-w Strathspey"?

Is this whole issue just based on inappropriate programming, or is there
something deeper here? Dare we assert that routine talking through of
dances at social functions is an attempt to counter the dreaded and
obviously pejorative 'elitism'? =

Nice incidentally to see some of the 'elitist-and-proud-of-it' crowd
standing up to be counted. =

-2chter

Elitism

Message 15555 · Donald F. Robertson · 22 Jan 1999 08:35:04 · Top

"Michelle C. Nogales" wrote:
>
> My personal favorite dance to end a ball is the Reel of the 51st
> Division - and if the men are "elitist" enough to want all-male sets, why
> then, I'll be elitist too and form an all-ladies set! Whee!

Hello, Michelle,

I, too, like to end on a fast dance. However, my gripe has been with
ending on obscure dances. I think that most _party_ programs should
always end on a well-known, and relatively easy, dance so that the most
dancers, whatever their level of experience, can dance at least the last
dance. (However, I favor Reel of the Royal Scots -- I love the circular
flow of that dance. And, while I do enjoy doing 51st Division with the
men, I definitely like to end a party dancing with a woman!)

When I first started Scottish dancing, I was used to going to clubs and
jumping up-and-down in time to whatever sort of industrial music they
were playing. The problem was, clubs _start_ dancing at around ten or
so. So, a Scottish party would end just about the time I was
emotionally ready to get started! I actually found adapting to that
quite hard, and had to spend an hour or two winding down after
wonderfully exciting -- but early -- dances.

-- Donald
_________________________
Donald F. Robertson
San Francisco

donaldrf@hooked.net

Donald's Space Exploration page:
http://www.hooked.net/~donaldrf/index.html

The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually
we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of
inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to
reclaim a little more land. -- Thomas Huxley.

Elitism

Message 15562 · Ian Brown · 22 Jan 1999 13:26:42 · Top

For someone who is genuinely confused by this discussion of elitism can
anyone help me understand what they mean by it? Perhaps then I can decide
where I fit?
In particular, the discussion has included reference to strathspeys as
the last dance on a programme. No one has, I think, spoken up in favour
of the last dance being a strathspey. Rather, it has generally been
agreed the last dance should be high-energy, well known and preferably
something that everyone can do, presumably ruling out five couple dances
as they tend to leave up to four couples dismissed to the sidelines.
Is it elitist to try to dance the steps and the formations to the best of
one's ability?
Is it elitist to insist that everyone else should do the same, or is that
simply rude?
Is it elitist to do some homework before the dance, or is it just common
sense, when practical?
Is it elitist to dance always with one's own circle of friends? I would
plead guilty to this more often than I would wish and would like to do
something about it.
Is it elitist to refuse to remove one's jacket (or tie) however
uncomfortable?
Is it elitist to make anyone who does so, feel uncomfortable?
Is it elitist to restrict programmes to RSCDS dances?
Are these common problems?
I have to say in my experience they aren't. I have found most dancing
groups very welcoming and always ready to welcome the inexperienced. This
obviously means the more experienced dancers are regularly taught the
setting step in order to accommodate those who have never seen it before.
Mostly this is born with equanimity, though some groups are able to split
into more experienced and less experienced classes and this helps solve
the problem.
Long may it remain so, and let those who would wish to introduce
competition join with those few who would prefer not to dance with
beginners, or indeed anyone less skilled than themselves. They can enjoy
each other's company as the rest of us get on with enjoying our dancing.
Ian Brown
Harrogate

Elitism

Message 15574 · Dianna Shipman · 23 Jan 1999 05:09:47 · Top

When I get confused on a word meaning I always go back to the dictionary to
start over - Webster's on "elite" lists:
a socially superior group
a powerful minority group
a typewriter type providing 12 characters per inch (oops - don't think that
one applies)

A related concept is that of a "clique" - a narrow exclusive circle or group
of persons

I don't think it's elitist to dance steps and formations to the best of
one's ability -- as long as you don't consider those who are dancing to the
best of their ability but whose best is not as precise as yours as socially
inferior and someone you won't dance with as a partner and avoid dancing in
the same set with

I don't think it's elitist to do homework before a dance -- assuming that
everyone has been given adequate "homework" materials -- However, if some
dancers are excluded in the teaching of dances or the distribution of dance
descriptions, then it's unreasonable to expect those excluded to dance as
well, even when doing their best (i.e. groups that have multilevel classes
with social/ball programs made up predominantly of dances only taught at the
highest level).

I think it is elitist to ALWAYS dance with one's own circle of friends -- in
that case I think the "circle of friends" should hold private parties and
only dance with each other - however, the problem of not knowing who knows
which dances and not knowing many of the people at a ball does make it
difficult to dance with newcomers/strangers.

I think it's crazy not to remove a jacket or tie if you're uncomfortable --
such suffering in silence seems not only elitist but masochistic.

Restricting programs to RSCDS dances? I'm not sure how that's defined --
there are many popular dances that are not published by RSCDS -- I like the
criteria that I read somewhere that a good program should have 80% of its
dances readily dancible by 80% of the people who would like to attend.

When a group (whether a branch or a local association or other type of
group) has a minority group that has managed to become powerful and who
considers themselves superior (both as dancers and socially) and who make
many distinctions (both subtle and unsubtle) on that basis, then to my mind
that's elitist -- and when such a group is so firmly entrenched as to be
almost impossible to budge - i.e. they hang on year after year running for
office or making sure their hand picked candidates stay in office -- I
consider that a bad result (whether you label it "elitism" or something
else - I don't know what other word would better describe such a situation.
And I consider it a bad result whether the members of such a group are in
fact better dancers or from a "superior" social group - my experience has
been that such individuals usually arrive at their conclusions purely
subjectively without reference to any objective standard of dance ability or
social superiority. I prefer to consider all people equal socially and
acceptable as dancers as long as they're willing to be sociable and are
doing their best at dancing.

Dianna Shipman
Houston, Texas

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Brown <ianb@cktec.co.uk>
To: 'strathspey' <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: Friday, January 22, 1999 5:42 AM
Subject: RE: Elitism

>
>For someone who is genuinely confused by this discussion of elitism can
>anyone help me understand what they mean by it? Perhaps then I can decide
>where I fit?
>In particular, the discussion has included reference to strathspeys as
>the last dance on a programme. No one has, I think, spoken up in favour
>of the last dance being a strathspey. Rather, it has generally been
>agreed the last dance should be high-energy, well known and preferably
>something that everyone can do, presumably ruling out five couple dances
>as they tend to leave up to four couples dismissed to the sidelines.
>Is it elitist to try to dance the steps and the formations to the best of
>one's ability?
>Is it elitist to insist that everyone else should do the same, or is that

>simply rude?
>Is it elitist to do some homework before the dance, or is it just common
>sense, when practical?
>Is it elitist to dance always with one's own circle of friends? I would
>plead guilty to this more often than I would wish and would like to do
>something about it.
>Is it elitist to refuse to remove one's jacket (or tie) however
>uncomfortable?
>Is it elitist to make anyone who does so, feel uncomfortable?
>Is it elitist to restrict programmes to RSCDS dances?
>Are these common problems?
>I have to say in my experience they aren't. I have found most dancing
>groups very welcoming and always ready to welcome the inexperienced. This
>obviously means the more experienced dancers are regularly taught the
>setting step in order to accommodate those who have never seen it before.
>Mostly this is born with equanimity, though some groups are able to split
>into more experienced and less experienced classes and this helps solve
>the problem.
>Long may it remain so, and let those who would wish to introduce
>competition join with those few who would prefer not to dance with
>beginners, or indeed anyone less skilled than themselves. They can enjoy
>each other's company as the rest of us get on with enjoying our dancing.
>Ian Brown
>Harrogate
>
>--
>Ian Brown <ianb@cktec.co.uk>
>
>

Elitism

Message 15578 · Pia · 23 Jan 1999 13:42:11 · Top

----------
> From: Dianna Shipman <diannashipman@worldnet.att.net>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Elitism
> Date: 23 January 1999 02:55

> I don't think it's elitist to dance steps and formations to the best of
> one's ability --
I would call this good sense, as doing a step and a formation correct,
allows you to execute said with as little wasted energy as possible.

> I think it is elitist to ALWAYS dance with one's own circle of friends --
in
> that case I think the "circle of friends" should hold private parties and
> only dance with each other - however, the problem of not knowing who
knows
> which dances and not knowing many of the people at a ball does make it
> difficult to dance with newcomers/strangers.

I agree, why go to dances if you only deal with people you see every day -
I will go back to my rantings from last year - if you are at a ball, dance
at least one dance with a person you don't know at all. This way everybody
should get mixed well and truly.
>
> I think it's crazy not to remove a jacket or tie if you're uncomfortable
--
> such suffering in silence seems not only elitist but masochistic.

Has other ladies suffered from jackets which has remained on the gentleman
all night for several dances running?

Furthermore, I think it is a pity that some people in the danceworld think
they are better than others, because they are better dancers (are they, who
says?), know more important people, have danced for so many years etc etc.
Especially if they because of their perception of selfimportance, exclude
themselves from us mere mortals - it is their loss not ours. Pity them,
rather than envy them.

I think as you get more involved in a pastime, especially something like
dancing, where you always working with your own body, striving to improve
that body, you start to look more and more inward - this is OK for solo
dancers, but death to dancing as a team, group etc, where other opinions
are just as important as yourself.

The only way we can prevent Elitism is for each of us strive to accept
other people as they are - warts and all. Don't exclude others, because
they do not fit into your expectations of SCD and the way it is done. I
agree that some people protest to much and too voluble, and thereby cause
other people to tune out, however, they only do so, because they are
passionate. Why do we not hear opinions from others? Why do we only hear
from the same people all the time - do you not think your opinions are
valuable, or don't you care? And by the way - I do not only mean negative
comments, far too often the only time we hear comments from people it is
moans and groans.

Hereby endeth the lesson.

Pia

Elitism

Message 15581 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 23 Jan 1999 18:31:40 · Top

On Sat, 23 Jan 1999, Pia Walker wrote:

> Furthermore, I think it is a pity that some people in the danceworld think
> they are better than others, because they are better dancers (are they, who
> says?), know more important people, have danced for so many years etc etc.
> Especially if they because of their perception of selfimportance, exclude
> themselves from us mere mortals - it is their loss not ours. Pity them,
> rather than envy them.

Perhaps they do not think they are more important -- perhaps they were
trained in highland or professional ballet where the angle of the head is
part of dancing and that angle says "I'm superior" to others in the set.

Ah, but they can still smile at us, you say. Well, let me give you an
example: At the very first dance of an evening, I joined a set of
strangers with my partner. As I walked into the set, the joints in my
legs were telling me that they were not necessarily interested in moving
very much. I was not smiling and had what the modern dancer calls 'inner
focus.' Then I noticed a friend across the room and smiled at her. One
of the strangers in the set looked at me and said to the others, "She is
human after all," not a very friendly comment at best.

By this example, I am pointing out that people do jump to conclusions
about "perceptions of self-importance," etc.

I'd be intersted in the opions of others about perceptions of elitism.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Elitism

Message 15583 · Miriam L. Mueller · 23 Jan 1999 19:51:34 · Top

TWO strathspeys to finish up an evening? Our branch always finishes up
with rousing familiar dance (De'al Amang the Tailors for instance), which
helps tremendously when you're exhausted after dancing all night and the
music and joy carry you through one more dance - and the frequent encore.
When our program-planners get carried away with dances too esoteric or
specialized, party attendance drops and it's back to the basic - having
fun.
Perhaps some San Francisco branch teachers will convey some of the
practices that keep a fairly good balance here. (I would like to see
more local dances turning up on party programs, but when they do they
tend to be teachers' dances rather than those by some of our talented
membership.)

Elitism

Message 15585 · Ian Price · 23 Jan 1999 22:41:55 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>I'd be intersted in the opions of others about perceptions of elitism.<

The trick is not to give a damn, from either perspective.

I am amused by the postings on this topic where people feel they have to
justify themselves. It's a bit like the perennial, "Of course I'm not
racist, but ..."

I was interested however to see that secondary dictionary defininition of=

the word as 'a powerful minority'. Please everyone recognise the autocrat=
ic
style of management of the RSCDS for what it is, and if you won't support=

elitism don't belong to the Society! Neither is it a candidate for a
democratic revolution.

Personally I like their autocratic style, it focuses on the maintenance o=
f
traditional standards (or used to anyway).

-2chter

PS Yes I am hung over from a Burns supper - so what?

Elitism

Message 15589 · E23787423 · 24 Jan 1999 14:20:54 · Top

Michelle
If you really are looking at an "elitist" Reel of the 51st with
an all male set then I do hope that they are strictly "elitist" enough to have
a five couple male set. As per the original and danced in the prison camp in
St Valery.

Cheers
Bob
ex Highland Brigade Scotland.

Elitism

Message 15615 · Lee Fuell · 26 Jan 1999 01:16:59 · Top

Priscilla,

Re:

> Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 11:31:17 -0500 (EST)
> From: "Priscilla M. Burrage" <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Elitism
> Reply-to: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de

> I'd be intersted in the opions of others about perceptions of elitism.

Perhaps rather than talking about a somewhat esoteric word like
"elitism," which can be either perjorative or complimentary,
depending on the speaker's intent and listener's bias, perhaps we
should simply discuss our opinions about proper behavior in an SCD
context. Few people can do much to control what they feel, and
feeling "better" than someone else, while perhaps not admirable, is
unfortunately a feeling many people experience. What people can do,
however, is have the self-awareness that they have these feelings,
and control their behavior in a socially acceptable way.

So the question, I think, is not "What is elitism?" but "What is
socially accepted behavior at SCD functions?" The issue is more
"etiquette" than "elitism." In fact, I think the RSCDS would do a
great service by addressing the issue of etiquette in teacher
certification, and require teacher candidates to demonstrate
proficiency in etiquette instruction in the certification process.
Perhaps they do; I'm not a teacher. Frankly, I'd be more pleased to
see a universally-accepted and applied standard of etiquette for SCD
than an universal standard for precisely how to do pas de basque.
This would make attending dances in other areas much more pleasant
and sociable.

In my limited experience, I've found great disparity in standards of
etiquette from location to location. Some of the things I've been
taught that I have seen violated from time to time include:

- Dance only the first and last dance (if possible) with your date,
and ask others to dance the other dances.

- Don't ask a partner to dance a second time if there are other
potential partners with whom you have not yet danced.

- Don't ask someone to dance a dance if you aren't confident of your
ability to do the dance.

- Politely decline a request to dance if you don't know the dance
well enough to get through it (remember, there are 5-7 other people
in the set, and it's not fair to them to risk bringing their set to a
screeching halt). Of course, if the person asking says, "Don't
worry, I can get you through it," you can reconsider - but give them
that option.

- Know your own ability well enough to comply with the above
standard, and make an effort to obtain briefs for dances at upcoming
events and review them beforehand.

- Join sets from the bottom, not top or middle.

I have no idea if the above "standards" are in any way universal;
they are just things teachers and more experienced dancers have told
me from time to time (and in some cases things I've learned the hard
way). In two years of SCD, I've not received any "formal"
instruction in SCD etiquette, nor have I seen the subject included as
a workshop seminar or anything. Should it be? I vote yes, but
would like to hear others' opinions.

Lee

Lee Fuell & Patty Lindsay
(fuell@infinet.com; plindsay@infinet.com)
Cincinnati Branch RSCDS
http://www.infinet.com/~plindsay/rscds

Elitism

Message 15616 · Alan Twhigg · 26 Jan 1999 01:22:41 · Top

Guess I should rise to Mimi's challenge, since I'm currently the
coordinator for the SF Branch's monthly social programs. Our teachers'
committee has over the years evolved a formula that is designed to
create a balanced program for the Branch-sponsored monthly dances. Since
this gets a bit esoteric for the readership, I won't go into all the
details; you can write me privately if you want them.

In general terms, we maintain a Branch repertoire list, updated
periodically, that is intended to include local favourites and cover the
range of dance types, levels, and formations. Half of each social
program is drawn from this list, and we cycle the dances on the
programs, so that any one dance typically appears for three months.
However, the cycles are staggered so that 5 new dances come on each
month as 5 that have "run their course" are cycled off.

In addition to this "numbers game", we try to ensure that programs are
fun and can appeal at various levels of experience. I was interested in
the "80% rule" that was mentioned a couple days ago; one of our rules
exactly conforms to this, as our guideline specifies 3 "advanced" dances
out of the 15 on each program. Of course, "advanced" is a very
subjective description!

One further note, and then I'll be quiet: besides having fun, our
socials support the teaching agenda by introducing new dances to the
community and cycling through a variety of formations during the year.
While the local classes vary a good deal in how much time they spend
working on the program dances, teachers can look to the programs for
source material for lessons if they choose. I'm not sure, when Mimi
speaks of "teachers' dances", whether she means dances devised by
teachers, or ones that are so contrived that they make wonderful lessons
but are socially unappealing. We try to serve a lot of different
purposes with our monthly socials, and not every program can perfectly
achieve all of them. The Branch has various other functions, from formal
balls to very casual class parties, that are not structured around the
teaching session and can serve some of the other needs of the dance
community.

-Alan Twhigg, SF Bay Area.

Miriam L. Mueller wrote:
>
> TWO strathspeys to finish up an evening? Our branch always finishes up
> with rousing familiar dance (De'al Amang the Tailors for instance), which
> helps tremendously when you're exhausted after dancing all night and the
> music and joy carry you through one more dance - and the frequent encore.
> When our program-planners get carried away with dances too esoteric or
> specialized, party attendance drops and it's back to the basic - having
> fun.
> Perhaps some San Francisco branch teachers will convey some of the
> practices that keep a fairly good balance here. (I would like to see
> more local dances turning up on party programs, but when they do they
> tend to be teachers' dances rather than those by some of our talented
> membership.)
>
> --
> "Miriam L. Mueller" <mimimueller@juno.com>

Etiquette (was Elitism)

Message 15630 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 26 Jan 1999 17:25:00 · Top

In the RSCDS Twin Cities Branch, we have started holding a beginner's ball
every year in December. In the weeks leading up to the ball we make a
conscious effort to include ball etiquette in the class curriculum. We
also send out a one page guide explaining what to expect and etiquette
tips to every person who registers for the ball. This guide was inspired
by the one posted on the University of Edinburgh New Scotland Country
Dance Society Web Site entitled "So Its Your First Dance"
(http://www.ed.ac.uk/~nscds/NSCDS/first.html). If anyone is interested in
seeing a copy of our guide, let me know and I can send it to you.

--Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota

>
> I have no idea if the above "standards" are in any way universal;
> they are just things teachers and more experienced dancers have told
> me from time to time (and in some cases things I've learned the hard
> way). In two years of SCD, I've not received any "formal"
> instruction in SCD etiquette, nor have I seen the subject included as
> a workshop seminar or anything. Should it be? I vote yes, but
> would like to hear others' opinions.
>
> Lee

Etiquette (was Elitism)

Message 15631 · Stefan Barthel · 26 Jan 1999 17:36:54 · Top

>In the RSCDS Twin Cities Branch, we have started holding a beginner's ball
>every year in December. In the weeks leading up to the ball we make a
>conscious effort to include ball etiquette in the class curriculum. We
>also send out a one page guide explaining what to expect and etiquette
>tips to every person who registers for the ball. This guide was inspired
>by the one posted on the University of Edinburgh New Scotland Country
>Dance Society Web Site entitled "So Its Your First Dance"
>(http://www.ed.ac.uk/~nscds/NSCDS/first.html). If anyone is interested in
>seeing a copy of our guide, let me know and I can send it to you.

Would be good to have such information available on the strathspey
server,
either a page or a link. Anselm?

--------------------------------------------------------
Stefan Barthel bast@net24.de
Spardorfer Strasse 40a
D-91054 Erlangen ++49 / 9131 / 20 66 11 (p.)
++49 / 911 / 688 667 71 (d.)

http://home.net24.de/bast
--------------------------------------------------------

Etiquette (was Elitism)

Message 15633 · Ian Brockbank · 26 Jan 1999 18:04:51 · Top

Lara wrote:

> In the RSCDS Twin Cities Branch, we have started holding a beginner's ball
> every year in December. In the weeks leading up to the ball we make a
> conscious effort to include ball etiquette in the class curriculum. We
> also send out a one page guide explaining what to expect and etiquette
> tips to every person who registers for the ball. This guide was inspired
> by the one posted on the University of Edinburgh New Scotland Country
> Dance Society Web Site entitled "So Its Your First Dance"
> (http://www.ed.ac.uk/~nscds/NSCDS/first.html). If anyone is interested in
> seeing a copy of our guide, let me know and I can send it to you.

I also have a section on etiquette in the hints and tips section of my
web
page - http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/scd/tips/ (the etiquette page
is
http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~ibb/scd/scd/tips/Etiquette.html ). If you
think
I'm missing anything, please tell me and I'll add it in.

Cheers,

Ian
--
Ian Brockbank, Indigo Active Vision Systems, The Edinburgh Technopole,
Bush Loan, Edinburgh EH26 0PJ Tel : 0131-475-7234 Fax : 0131-475-7201
email : ian@indigo-avs.com (work) or Ian.Brockbank@bigfoot.com (home)

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15634 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 26 Jan 1999 18:23:01 · Top

WARNING: Long message

I have already had a couple of requests, so here is the text of our
Etiquette Guide. When formatted as an MS Word document it fits on one
sheet of paper (both sides).

As state earlier, it was inspired by and partially adapted from the guide
on the Edinburgh University New Scotland Country Dance Society web site.
Note that in some cases it reflects our local practice and may not be
universal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If a rock falls on an egg
Lara Friedman~Shedlov Too bad, too bad for the egg
laradf@mail.si.umich.edu If an egg falls on a rock
Too bad for the egg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*********************************

So It's Your First Dance?
A Beginner's Guide to What to Expect and What to Do

BEFOREHAND:
* If you have pre-registered for a dance, very often, a set of notes for
the dances on the program will be sent to you. Look over these notes
ahead of time. Maybe even "dance" them on the kitchen table with salt and
pepper shakers. Many of the dances will be done in class during the weeks
before the ball.

* Don't feel compelled to bring a date. In Scottish country dancing, it
is customary to change partners throughout the evening, even if one has
come with a date.

* Many ball organizers will schedule a walk-through the afternoon before
the dance. Consider attending if you are unfamiliar with or not sure of
some of the dances.

WHAT TO WEAR:
* Whatever you wear, make sure you can dance in it!

* Men are always encouraged to wear a kilt at a ball, but don't feel you
have to stay away if you don't have one. At a formal ball, other formal
wear such as a suit and tie would be appropriate. At a semi-formal ball
like the Beginner's Ball, a nice pair of trousers and shirt would be
appropriate attire. On the other hand, if you've never worn the kilt
before, a ball is the perfect opportunity to borrow or rent one to try
out.

* Ladies, a Scottish country dance ball may be your golden opportunity to
wear those bride's maid dresses and prom gowns you thought you'd never be
able to wear again. Unless you are up for an Oscar, there just aren't
many opportunities to really dress up these days, but a ball is one of
those few times. Of course, if you don't have an Yves St. Laurent lying
around, never fear. An attractive skirt and top or dress will do quite
nicely.

* Ghillies or other soft-soled leather dance slippers are the typical
footwear for all dances for both men and women. If you haven't got a
pair, any soft-soled shoes will do in a pinch, even Keds. For the safety
of themselves and other dancers, ladies should not dance in high heels.
Stocking feet will work but may be dangerously slippery.

AT THE DANCE:
* There are usually very few walk-throughs at a ball, so try to look over
the dance notes beforehand. If you have been going to classes, you will
have already danced most of the dances on the Beginner's Ball program at
least once before. At most balls, the dances are "briefed" (i.e. the
notes are read aloud) just before they are danced as a reminder.

* A copy of the dance notes (i.e. brief instructions for dances) is
usually distributed at the ball. At more formal balls, these are often in
the form of little booklets. Men usually keep them in their sporrans, but
since women's formalwear rarely has pockets, they usually have more of a
challenge. Many more formal balls will provide a ribbon to tie the notes
to your waist or wrist. Consider bringing a safety pin or two to
facilitate this.

* After more popular dances and old favorites, dancers may call for an
encore. If a dance is repeated, it is usually once and to the bottom,
unless the MC says otherwise.

* Balls usually begin with a Grand March and customarily end with a
closing waltz or a polka. Often the evening ends with everyone singing
"Auld Lang Syne."

WHAT'S A GRAND MARCH ANYWAY?
* The Grand March is often used to start off a ball. It is simply a
march around the room with a partner, usually to the music of a piper. It
is extremely easy -- no fancy footwork or formations -- and very suitable
for normally non-dancing partners who may have attended the ball with you.

* When the Grand March is announced, find a partner and line up. If
they've come with a date, most people partner up with that person for the
Grand March, but if you've come alone don't feel bashful about just asking
someone. It doesn't matter if the person is the same sex.

GENERAL DANCE ETIQUETTE:
* Some people continue the habit of "booking" partners for dances later in
the evening. Many people consider it rude to do so for the whole evening.

* Feel free to ask anyone of either sex to dance. It is customary to
dance with many different partners throughout the evening. Beginners
shouldn't be afraid to ask more experienced dancers to dance.

* Form sets when the dance is announced or the band signals the next dance
by playing the opening bars of music. It is considered rude to take the
floor before one of these two signals has been given.

* Always join sets from the bottom, never dash into the middle or the top
of a set that has already formed.

* If you are the top couple, it is customary to count off the couples so
each dancer knows if s/he is first couple, second couple, etc. If after
counting off the sets you find that more couples are needed to complete
the set, hold up fingers indicating how many couples are needed. The MC
will announce it.

* After each dance is completed, you should thank your partner and the
other dancers in your set. It is also considered polite to escort your
partner from the dance floor.

TIPS FOR LESS EXPERIENCED DANCERS:
* Be aware of and open to cues your partner and the other members of the
set may be giving you as you do the dance. A good partner will try to
help you through a dance and remind you what comes next.

* Don't feel you must skip a ball if you don't know all the dances. Few
people at a ball know all the dances. They just look like they do and
practice gives the ability to look at the dance notes quickly, watch
carefully and work out (i.e. guess) what is coming next. For example, if
you are 2nd corner and something is happening to 1st corners, it is likely
that you will be doing the same in the next phrase. You can also glance
over at the person dancing in your same position in the set next to you.
Most importantly, keep an eye on your partner and watch for cues.

* If the program indicates a dance is recommended for more experienced
dancers, consider sitting that one out. Don't let other dancers bully you
into doing a dance if you are uncomfortable with it, just to make up a
set.

* If you mess up, which most people do during the evening, however
experienced, don't panic! Sort out the set so that you can all dance the
next time through.

* The vast majority of experienced dancers are eager to encourage and help
you, and want to make your ball experience fun. If you run across one of
those rare stinkers who won't dance with you or gives you a dirty look if
you make an error, DON'T let it discourage you.

MOST OF ALL, SMILE AND ENJOY YOURSELF!

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15637 · RuddBaron · 26 Jan 1999 19:59:28 · Top

In a message dated 1/26/99 11:23:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
laradf@si.umich.edu writes:

<< * Men are always encouraged to wear a kilt at a ball, but don't feel you
have to stay away if you don't have one. At a formal ball, other formal
wear such as a suit and tie would be appropriate. At a semi-formal ball
like the Beginner's Ball, a nice pair of trousers and shirt would be
appropriate attire. On the other hand, if you've never worn the kilt
before, a ball is the perfect opportunity to borrow or rent one to try
out. >>

--- Since when is a suit formal?

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15639 · Norah Link · 26 Jan 1999 20:11:33 · Top

Ladies attending their first ball might appreciate being warned to do the
"pas-de-basque" test on their dress... :-> I also do a strathspey setting test.

Norah

>>> <strathspey-request@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de> 26/01/99 11:22 am >>>

* Ladies, a Scottish country dance ball may be your golden opportunity to
wear those bride's maid dresses and prom gowns you thought you'd never be
able to wear again. Unless you are up for an Oscar, there just aren't
many opportunities to really dress up these days, but a ball is one of
those few times. Of course, if you don't have an Yves St. Laurent lying
around, never fear. An attractive skirt and top or dress will do quite
nicely.

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15640 · Pia · 26 Jan 1999 20:59:58 · Top

Try having the man from the next set practice his setting steps on your
dress / skirt - This can be extremely embarassing/hilarious/etc.... if the
skirt happens to have an elasticated waist ......

Pia

----------
> From: Norah Link <norah@cae.ca>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG -Reply
> Date: 26 January 1999 18:02
>
> Ladies attending their first ball might appreciate being warned to do the
> "pas-de-basque" test on their dress... :-> I also do a strathspey
setting test.
>
> Norah
>
> >>> <strathspey-request@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de> 26/01/99 11:22
am >>>
>
>
>

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15642 · Melanie Pratt · 26 Jan 1999 21:01:20 · Top

I agree. When shopping for a dress, I always do a few pas-de-basques
and petronellas
in the aisle of the Ladies Department. The sales personnel, who never
seem to be there
when you truly need them, always appear out of thin air as I am
"bouncing and twirling"
looking at me as though I was "not playing with a full deck of marbles"
(G. Keillor).
Sometimes I explain, sometimes I don't, it's more fun that way!
Melanie the Seanachie

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Norah Link [SMTP:norah@cae.ca]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 1:12 PM
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: Re: Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG -Reply
>
> Ladies attending their first ball might appreciate being warned to do
> the
> "pas-de-basque" test on their dress... :-> I also do a strathspey
> setting test.
>
> Norah
>
> >>> <strathspey-request@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de> 26/01/99
> 11:22 am >>>
>
> * Ladies, a Scottish country dance ball may be your golden opportunity
> to
> wear those bride's maid dresses and prom gowns you thought you'd never
> be
> able to wear again. Unless you are up for an Oscar, there just aren't
> many opportunities to really dress up these days, but a ball is one of
> those few times. Of course, if you don't have an Yves St. Laurent
> lying
> around, never fear. An attractive skirt and top or dress will do
> quite
> nicely.
>
>
> --
> Norah Link <norah@cae.ca>

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15643 · Richard L. Walker · 26 Jan 1999 21:13:38 · Top

I already know I'm going to regret asking this, BUT:
what is the "pas de basque" test and how is it passed or failed?

Richard L Walker
rlwalker@granis.net
Pensacola, FL 32504-7726 USA

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15645 · S.M.D.Phillips · 26 Jan 1999 21:55:05 · Top

In other words, make sure you have room to move. Some ladies' skirts and
dresses appear to be designed only for standing up straight!
Stella Phillips
-----Original Message-----
From: Richard L Walker <rlwalker@granis.net>
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: 26 January 1999 19:19
Subject: RE: Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG -Reply

>I already know I'm going to regret asking this, BUT:
>what is the "pas de basque" test and how is it passed or failed?
>
>Richard L Walker
>rlwalker@granis.net
>Pensacola, FL 32504-7726 USA
>
>
>

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15648 · Melanie Pratt · 26 Jan 1999 22:50:34 · Top

Richard,
A lady needs to have a "roomy" skirt or a bas-de-basque jete will look a
bit "peely wally."
And to try a petronella or a strathspey setting step is out of the
question in a straight skirt
unless you hike the stupid thing half-way up your thighs!
Melanie the Seanachie
mpratt@ohiohistory.org
Columbus OH

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard L Walker [SMTP:rlwalker@granis.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 2:14 PM
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: RE: Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG -Reply
>
> I already know I'm going to regret asking this, BUT:
> what is the "pas de basque" test and how is it passed or failed?
>
> Richard L Walker
> rlwalker@granis.net
> Pensacola, FL 32504-7726 USA
>

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15659 · Ian Price · 27 Jan 1999 05:07:01 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>I already know I'm going to regret asking this, BUT:
>what is the "pas de basque" test and how is it passed or failed?<

Aren't the best dresses the ones that passed the test but look as though=

they might fail :-)?

-2chter

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15669 · Pia · 27 Jan 1999 19:57:10 · Top

I guess it depends from whose view (point)

Another Test is will the dress get caught up in sporrans, skean-dhu's, and
kilt pins, when casting - its an absolutely must.

pia

----------
> From: Richard L Walker <rlwalker@granis.net>
> To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
> Subject: RE: Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG -Reply
> Date: 26 January 1999 19:14
>
> I already know I'm going to regret asking this, BUT:
> what is the "pas de basque" test and how is it passed or failed?
>
> Richard L Walker
> rlwalker@granis.net
> Pensacola, FL 32504-7726 USA
>
>

Etiquette (was Elitism) LONG

Message 15679 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 28 Jan 1999 02:55:47 · Top

>Another Test is will the dress get caught up in sporrans, skean-dhu's, and
>kilt pins, when casting - its an absolutely must.

The test, or that the dress get caught up???

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

was - Elitism -- now - old style

Message 15599 · Ron.Mackey · 24 Jan 1999 23:22:22 · Top

Pia was saying :-
>
> > I don't think it's elitist to dance steps and formations to the best of
> > one's ability --
> I would call this good sense, as doing a step and a formation correct,
> allows you to execute said with as little wasted energy as possible.

On steps -
I was pulled into a set of 'The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh'
the other night after dancing the two previous nights and having
played a game of Golf in half a gale of wind.
Needless to say the old bones were complaining a bit and as the music
started I flinched as it came over as very fast.
It was originally fast but that was because it was crammed on
to a 10' record. This was a forgotten speed control!
I suddenly had the idea to dance it the 'county' way, i.e. on the
front foot as Bill Clements described in his speech and to give arms
in the turns. My partner fell in with it and we sailed through it in
great style. It transformed the dance and I can recommend it as a fun
thing to try. Quite an education, too.
So, forget the skip change of step for once, live a little!

Cheers, Ron :)

< 0 Ron Mackey,(Purveyor of Pat's Party Pieces)
'O> Mottingham,
/#\ London. UK.
l>
Ron.Mackey@btinternet.com

Elitism (huh?)

Message 15556 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 22 Jan 1999 09:33:56 · Top

>particularly when announced by MCs as "now let's all wind down
>with a nice slo-o-o-w Strathspey"?

elitism schmelistism.

Sorry, I guess I just don't relate to this problem. In the 12 years our
young branch [all right, "local association"--who's idea was it to replace
a nice 1 syllable name with a 7 syllable treatise?] has been around, it has
never occurred to anyone here to end a dance program with a Strathspey. I
love Strathspeys, but not for the last dance. Always something snappy and
preferrably ending with a circle, but not necessarily. It has nothing to do
with elitism, just what we think is a fun way to end a party.

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

Previous thread: Request for Class Info.
Next thread: elitist thread
A Django site.