strathspey Archive: Young people and attittudes.

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Young people and attittudes.

Message 21594 · Miriam L. Mueller · 22 Jun 2000 18:55:50 · Top

You make a good point. There is a youth class (under 18) in the
Sacramento, California branch - a couple of years ago I attended that
Branch's annual ball and saw them, appearing to delight in long dresses
and kilts. They danced Bonnie Anne with lightness and enthusiasm, looking
as if they rarely touched the floor. A lift to the hearts of those with
older feet.
I don't know where or how they draw in those young dancers. The Golden
Gate (San Francisco Bay area) also has children's classes.
Miriam Mueller - SF

On Thu, 22 Jun 2000 10:07:40 EDT writes:
> 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
> --

Young people and attittudes.

Message 21596 · Coletta Busse · 22 Jun 2000 19:36:01 · Top

My daughter danced for a while when she was a teenager but then she refused
to SCD for exactly the reason Terry brought up in his posting (regarding the
SCD illustration). She enjoyed SCDing until one DOM (read dirty old man) too
many in the set put her off.
Most of the kids that dance in Sacramento (and Lafayette and Livermore),
came together for a Children's Ball last April. There was about 80 dancers
(and probably twice that number spectators, family mostly). It was a grand
sight. A lot of these kids started because their parents SCD and many of
them are Home Schooled. They use the SCD as physical education, and for
socializing. The teachers in Lafayette and Livermore are Grammar School
teachers by trade and are excellent with the kids. Sheena has even started a
"family night" in Livermore (separate from the regular adult class which is
on another night). She teaches the kids the first half of the evening while
Don teaches the adults. Then after tea they all get together and dance. I
understand they have had good success with this format.
I was unable to interest my own children in SCDing. My son was one of the
original members of Sheena's Livermore class (9 years ago!). He has gotten
to "cool" to SCD anymore, but the seed is planted, and I bide.
Where I am going with all this stuff is there are many ways to catch a fish.
Set a fish to catch a fish (talk about mixing metaphors!)
Afterschool programs are always looking for ways to keep their kids busy.
There are possibilities there as well as youth groups. To catch a fish you
have to go where the fish are.
I am especially impressed with Sheena's approach. Too often parents dump
their kids and "run errands" or sit and watch the kids' activity. Preparing
separately, kids having time with kids, grown ups having time with grown
ups. Then they come together to participate in a joint activity sets such a
splendid example for the kids (and the exercise and fun don't hurt us
parents either)
It also trains kids to dance and as they grow these fish will hook others.

Coletta Busse
Milpitas CA.
SF Branch

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