strathspey Archive: Young people and attittudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Previous thread: The Roberts
Next thread: DANCE: Teviot Square

Young people and attittudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Message 21581 · Pia Walker · 22 Jun 2000 11:58:54 · Top

Hi Peter
Since many of us are (excessively ?) fond
> of this type of dancing that would be a pity.

This is why you are so young looking, isn't it????

To make any "customer" survey worth while, it should not only be the present
customers who are asked, as they are "towing the line", it should also be
past dancers i.e. "Why did you stop", and non-dancers i.e. "Why haven't you
started" - this is the only way you can get the full picture. plus of
course the older generation should be asked: "What do you do for young
people?" - and this is where I think the interesting though predictable
answer will be shown: NOT A LOT - I'm sure there are a lot of Branches out
there, who do nothing for children and young people .

Over the years we have had many discussion here on how to make people feel
welcome, and have always spoken of adults. So we should ask ourselves -
what do we do to make kids of all ages welcome? Do we have classes? Do we
treat these youths as fellow dancers? Do we mingle with them? - are they
invited to dances/classes with "grown ups" on an equal basis?
Alternatively, do we go down/up to their level, to join in their fun?
Without begin condescending and stuck up?

Wow! 2 hobby horses in as many days!

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Hastings <prh@roe.ac.uk>
To: <strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 8:39 AM
Subject: RE: Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

>
> Terry Harvey's point is a good one and far too seldom acknowledged in the
> UK. There are groups (not many) who attract and retain young dancers and
> there needs to be a wider understanding of what can be learned from the
> way that they operate. I am perhaps fortunate to have spent most
> of my dancing life in such groups. If that understanding is not developed
> and acted on, Malcolm Brown's vigorous and athletic form of SCD (as per
> the RSCDS) will surely die out. The Youth Committee of the
> Society is currently canvassing young members of the RSCDS about their
> views on dancing. Young dancers who dance the RSCDS form of SCD but are
> not members of the Society probably need to be consulted also.
>
>
> Peter Hastings
> Royal Observatory
> Edinburgh
> :)
>
>
> SCD (per the RSCDS) - whenever I can
> ceilidh - seldom
> reeling - not had the opportunity
>
>
> --
> Peter Hastings <prh@roe.ac.uk>
>
>

Young people and attittudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Message 21592 · Stronshiray · 22 Jun 2000 18:08:21 · Top

Being a young person myself, I can speak firsthand of the problems that exist
in getting young people to start dancing. I've done it for five years, since
I was nine, and I don't think I'll ever stop, but there has only ever been
one other person below college age in my class, and she is the daughter of a
dancer. (It must be said that my class is the class at Bryn Mawr College,
but as far as I know, none of the other classes in our branch have young
people.) The main problem is that teen-agers, and younger, find it difficult
to understand how spending an evening with adults could be fun. This leads
to the question: Well, couldn't we get a group of teenagers, so they'd feel
more comfortable? This isn't so easy. You have to get that group in in the
first place. So it goes in a sort of loop--you can't get them in until
they're in. Also, these teen-agers find it hard to believe that you can
dress up and go and do something that is rather regimented, and still have
fun. The other problem is that the young people who already do a form of
Scottish dancing, i.e., Highland, turn up their noses at SCD.
I'm not saying that anybody should stop trying to get young people, but it is
a more universal problem than many seem to think.
Regards,
Eleanor Mulhern
RSCDS DVB

Young people and attittudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Message 21611 · Bryan McAlister · 23 Jun 2000 03:28:06 · Top

In article <b8.768fd38.268377ac@aol.com>, Stronshiray@aol.com writes
>The other problem is that the young people who already do a form of
>Scottish dancing, i.e., Highland, turn up their noses at SCD.
I think however that the statement above is the relevant issue at least
so far as Scotland is concerned. If I were to describe RSCDS, which I
take part in and enjoy, I would say that Miss Milligan had taken
traditional Scottish dancing (which I dont think was quite as moribund
as is made out) and gym mistressised it. This process happened to fit
in with the social patterns of that period and thus was born an
institution and a style of dancing.
There is nothing particularly wrong in that, arguably there were lots of
benefits in that the RSCDS style has spread around the world as a formal
dancing style in a way that, for example, Austrian lederhosened bottom
spanking has not.

In Scotland there has been a big upsurge in interest in ceilidh dancing
among young people and more recently this has started to go further in
that it is possible to learn country dances and do them in a ceilidh
context without all the formality of the Branch with their RSCDS "gym
mistresses". I think that this is exceedingly healthy in that arguably
some of the balance is swinging back toward a more informal scenario.
The RSCDS must at all costs avoid the trap of telling them they're doing
it wrong.

Putting it in perspective, while there were always dancing masters
touring around villages and fermtouns it was likely that there has
always been outlets for formal and informal Scottish Country Dancing.
It can only be a good thing that in recent times our youth take the
opportunity to do Broon's Reel rather then having to do The Duke of
Perth all the time. Remember the night of the Scottish Parliament
referendum? It was Step Dancing of the type we used to think of as Cape
Breton Style that got on the telly.

So where is this all taking us - in Scotland there is a young generation
who are discovering traditional dancing and doing it in their own way.
If there is a problem in all this it is that the various dance
communities perceive themselves to be exclusive or possessing of the
true faith and thus offend against the spirit of Dancing which is
basically all about having fun, getting sweaty and indulging in pleasant
rhythmical activity preferably with the opposite sex. Flirting - leave
it to the lechers...


Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
Mobile phone 07801 793849
Please note new FAX number - UK 0870 052 7625 International 44 870 052 7625

Young people and attitudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Message 21599 · Richard L. Walker · 22 Jun 2000 20:07:01 · Top

Of course, we do all that and more. We make it impossible for them to join
the RSCDS until they are interested in other things. Sometimes we make it
impossible for them to join dance classes until they are older.

In theory, this is to make certain the adults do not have to baby-sit. In
practice, there are 9 year olds who love to learn dances and they behave as
adults in class. (We have had two -- and yes we are careful where
strathspeys are concerned.) There are also young adults, of the acceptable
age, who could care less about learning dances. I dumped the age rule and
explain to the parents that we do no babysitting. If the kids would rather
run around the room and play, or if they demonstrate a lack of interest on a
regular basis (not those little spurts of energy that I'm guilty of from
time to time) we simply ask them to reconsider coming to dance class - and
we could be more blunt, but have never had to be. I wouldn't trade our
group of kids for any number of RSCDS membership cards. They are regular
dancers with no special status.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Pia Walker [mailto:piawalke@nascr.net]
...So we should ask ourselves -
what do we do to make kids of all ages welcome? Do we have classes? Do we
treat these youths as fellow dancers? Do we mingle with them? - are they
invited to dances/classes with "grown ups" on an equal basis?
Alternatively, do we go down/up to their level, to join in their fun?
Without begin condescending and stuck up?

Young people and attitudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Message 21603 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 22 Jun 2000 20:17:41 · Top

Richard,

My son Jamie was an excellent dancer when he was age 7! In fact, could out
dance many old hand SCDers! He was interested and was talented however, his
younger brother Ian was not as interested...and remained so. I think alot
has to do with the leadership and interest. I have been to classes where the
kids do run around the room and cause disruption. Much of the problems in
those classes is the fact the parents don't assert their authority and the
leadership won't say anything until the class has been disrupted.

Tom Mungall

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard L Walker <rlwalker@granis.net>

> In theory, this is to make certain the adults do not have to baby-sit. In
> practice, there are 9 year olds who love to learn dances and they behave
as
> adults in class. (We have had two -- and yes we are careful where
> strathspeys are concerned.) There are also young adults, of the
acceptable
> age, who could care less about learning dances. I dumped the age rule and
> explain to the parents that we do no babysitting. If the kids would
rather
> run around the room and play,
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<SNIP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Previous thread: The Roberts
Next thread: DANCE: Teviot Square
A Django site.