strathspey Archive: Dance Cards

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Dance Cards

Message 44440 · Christina France · 3 Mar 2006 10:22:16 · Top

Here we go its Friday lets be a little controversial, I detest dance
cards. As was said earlier people only dance with those they know, some
people never get a partner unless they know a great deal of people in the
hall. Give me asking someone standing or sitting whether they would like to
dance anyday.
Christina

Dance Cards

Message 44442 · ninian-uk · 3 Mar 2006 10:41:55 · Top

Pia & Christina,

Pia, The friendliness of most SCD parties will mean that even if I don't
know anyone, one of the 'regulars' will usually take pity on me, and THEY
will ask ME. And even a novice like me occasionally plucks up the courage
to ask an unknown lady. <grin>

Christina, Hear, Hear! I'm glad you hate dance cards too. The problem with
the sort of dances where dance cards are used is that one cannot go alone,
one must have a partner. No! I'll revise that... As a single man, I'm useful
as a man to partner a 'spare' lady - if I was a single woman, I might not be
quite so welcome, as I would then be a 'problem' in need of solving.

David
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, UK

Dance Cards

Message 44444 · Martin · 3 Mar 2006 11:18:43 · Top

I shall perhaps shortly be in the position of the loan male dancer, and find
out for myself the pros & cons of dance cards, or lack of, in this
situation.
I see no reaon why I should not have a good time dancing with all sorts of
nice partners -- except that I imagine it will be a place where everyone
will already have a partner. Not because it's a group that dances regularly
together, but because people will be coming from a very wide area,
strangers, and more likely to come in pairs than singly. There will be no
regulars to look after the out-of-towners.

I shall be quite happy to invite ladies to dance with me, though some may
prefer to dance with their husbands. I can invite man-less ladies to dance
with me, but that could mean that their friend may remain partnerless (could
cause hard feelings, if they had planned on sticking together).

I could also ask other men to dance with me, but doubt I would be very well
received.

If by chance there are dance cards, I shall be able to book early each
evening. More likely, as each dance is announced, I shall go round looking
for someone free, and after several refusals, return to my seat because sets
are made up, or dance at the bottom of the hall with whoever is left over
('cause no-one wants to dance with her!)

It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Martin,
about to pack his bags,
in Grenoble, France.

Dance Cards

Message 44451 · Pia Walker · 3 Mar 2006 12:49:32 · Top

Martin

A gentleman like you will have no problems.

Have a nice weekend

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
mj.sheffield
Sent: 03 March 2006 10:19
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Dance Cards

I shall perhaps shortly be in the position of the loan male dancer, and find
out for myself the pros & cons of dance cards, or lack of, in this
situation.
I see no reaon why I should not have a good time dancing with all sorts of
nice partners -- except that I imagine it will be a place where everyone
will already have a partner. Not because it's a group that dances regularly
together, but because people will be coming from a very wide area,
strangers, and more likely to come in pairs than singly. There will be no
regulars to look after the out-of-towners.

I shall be quite happy to invite ladies to dance with me, though some may
prefer to dance with their husbands. I can invite man-less ladies to dance
with me, but that could mean that their friend may remain partnerless (could
cause hard feelings, if they had planned on sticking together).

I could also ask other men to dance with me, but doubt I would be very well
received.

If by chance there are dance cards, I shall be able to book early each
evening. More likely, as each dance is announced, I shall go round looking
for someone free, and after several refusals, return to my seat because sets
are made up, or dance at the bottom of the hall with whoever is left over
('cause no-one wants to dance with her!)

It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Martin,
about to pack his bags,
in Grenoble, France.

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Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44464 · simon scott · 3 Mar 2006 21:51:56 · Top

I don't think "dance cards" should be thought of as a purely SCD custom.
I believe I'm right that they were a custom from across Europe (later
taken abroad with many other social customs of course) and used at a
time when it would not have been the done thing for a lady to ask a
gentleman to dance. Instead she would have a "dance card" on a ribbon at
her wrist on which interested gentlemen might sign their name for a
dance on the evening program. A delightful custom I think, albeit
perhaps no longer fitting our more liberal ways. I don't believe they
were carried my men, who presumable had to have a good memory for the
number of dances he had booked, and with whom. I suspect that he did not
choose as many different partners as some do today.

In "taking the floor" I also think that some things have changed. I am
not (obviously by what I see written) nearly as convinced as some of you
that the floor must be cleared between each dance. I believe that one
can engage in conversation and be "socially active", which is part of
the evening, while remaining on the danceable part of the floor, without
it appearing improper. This seems also to be custom, something that
we've all heard, including myself, but not been given any really valid
reason for. From a very quick glance through the Manual index I didn't
see anything that addressed the matter. (Did I miss a page or paragraph)

I certainly don't think that George Meikle, or any other band leader
should feel under the slightest pressure to start the next dance, before
his time, just because he sees sets forming. The MC, together with the
band, should surely set the pace of the evening. Actually "demanding"
that the formed sets be cleared seems a little heavy to me. When the
floor fills and I am MC, rather than complaining I prefer to say "I see
you are all ready for this next wonderful dance 'The Reel of
..whatever). Also, there are very often practical reasons of space etc
and those mentioned by Sylvia Miskoe when clearing the floor is not the
preferred thing to do.

I must admit that I do tend to say "If you are ready and keen to dance,
then show it! !"

Simon
Vancouver

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44466 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 3 Mar 2006 22:31:41 · Top

These I believe are still used at some vintage and pilgrimage Balls here in
the American South. Usually a lady will reserve the 1st and last dances for
her husband or Beau and all other dances would be claimed by admirers. While
I'm not sure a lady couldn't ask a man, she could use her charms to ask,
pointing out where a particular gent was "saved" a particular dance and pout
about it. "Why Charles! My feelings are hurt, you haven't asked me to dance
and my dance card is all filled up, but I saved you the Virgina Reel, that's
my favorite dance of all! What? I know it's your favorite also! That's why I
saved it for you!"

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
> I don't think "dance cards" should be thought of as a purely SCD custom.

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44468 · simon scott · 3 Mar 2006 23:22:43 · Top

I was going to add that ladies usually have their "own special" way of
asking, on many occasions more affectively than the men. Isn't that
life ! !

Simon
Vancouver

These I believe are still used at some vintage and pilgrimage Balls here
in the American South. Usually a lady will reserve the 1st and last
dances for her husband or Beau and all other dances would be claimed by
admirers. While I'm not sure a lady couldn't ask a man, she could use
her charms to ask, pointing out where a particular gent was "saved" a
particular dance and pout about it. "Why Charles! My feelings are hurt,
you haven't asked me to dance and my dance card is all filled up, but I
saved you the Virgina Reel, that's my favorite dance of all! What? I
know it's your favorite also! That's why I saved it for you!"

Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "simon scott" <simon.scott@telus.net>
> I don't think "dance cards" should be thought of as a purely SCD
> custom.

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44472 · SMiskoe · 4 Mar 2006 14:42:23 · Top

The same thing happens at contra dances. It's called Center Set Syndrome.
Contra dance etiquette does not include clearing the floor between dances.
Avid dancers tend to congregate in the center of the hall, rushing to the top
of the floor as soon as the caller announces teh next dance. Organizers
decry the habit but can't keep it from happening.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44467 · George Meikle · 3 Mar 2006 23:13:00 · Top

Simon Scott wrote:-

> In "taking the floor" I also think that some things have changed. I am
> not (obviously by what I see written) nearly as convinced as some of you
> that the floor must be cleared between each dance. I believe that one
> can engage in conversation and be "socially active", which is part of
> the evening, while remaining on the danceable part of the floor, without
> it appearing improper.

Whilst I agree that things have changed in SCD'ing, I do not necessarily
agree that it is an improvement. I was referring to those dances I play at
where some dancers DO NOT leave the floor at all and often just stand there
in the same area they have just danced in. At best they may swap partners
within that same set of dancers whilst waiting for the band to strike up
again. I am sorry, but I do not see anything "socially (attr)active" in
that? I thought dancing was supposed to be a social event? I have no problem
with people interacting on the dance floor between dances, but feel that it
is quite bad mannered to actually line up before the dance has been
announced, as well as being discourteous to the majority of other dancers
who follow the normal dance etiquette. I often find that whilst MC's fully
agree with my concerns they frequently admit to being too frightened to say
anything to stop it happening.

George Meikle
Lothian Scottish Dance Band

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44473 · Jill Herendeen · 4 Mar 2006 16:22:49 · Top

My rather historical understanding of dance cards is that they were useful
for a) very popular girls organizing their partners in a civilized way, and
for less popular girls pretending they were waiting for their partner to
appear when in fact they lacked one; and b) making certain of getting a
partner whom you know really knows how to, say, tango, for the sole tango on
the program, if you're a real tango afficianado (or polka, or waltz, or
whatever). I daresay they would cut down on the time needed to find a new
partner. Mind you, I am NOT speaking from personal experience. I can
report that my great-aunt had a scrap book of dance cards saved from
ballroom dances (NOT scd) she'd attended in her youth.
As for meeting partners in the middle of the floor...in my dim & distant
past I recall being admonished, in ballroom-dance lessons, that dance floors
were NEVER to be anything but circumnavigated (in-between dances, that is).
Is this concept foreign to SCD? Or just completely passe? Or both? --Jill
H., Lyons, NY
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Meikle" <george.meikle@btinternet.com>
To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 5:13 PM
Subject: RE: Dance Cards and the floor

> Simon Scott wrote:-
>
>> In "taking the floor" I also think that some things have changed. I am
>> not (obviously by what I see written) nearly as convinced as some of you
>> that the floor must be cleared between each dance. I believe that one
>> can engage in conversation and be "socially active", which is part of
>> the evening, while remaining on the danceable part of the floor, without
>> it appearing improper.
>
> Whilst I agree that things have changed in SCD'ing, I do not necessarily
> agree that it is an improvement. I was referring to those dances I play at
> where some dancers DO NOT leave the floor at all and often just stand
> there
> in the same area they have just danced in. At best they may swap partners
> within that same set of dancers whilst waiting for the band to strike up
> again. I am sorry, but I do not see anything "socially (attr)active" in
> that? I thought dancing was supposed to be a social event? I have no
> problem
> with people interacting on the dance floor between dances, but feel that
> it
> is quite bad mannered to actually line up before the dance has been
> announced, as well as being discourteous to the majority of other dancers
> who follow the normal dance etiquette. I often find that whilst MC's fully
> agree with my concerns they frequently admit to being too frightened to
> say
> anything to stop it happening.
>
> George Meikle
> Lothian Scottish Dance Band
>
>

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44474 · Ron Mackey · 4 Mar 2006 23:25:01 · Top

In the dim & distant past I have found the Dance Card quite a
useful tool. For instance, when attending a dance where a friend also
will attend (even one from the same class but going with a different
group ) one can arrange to meet on the floor for a certain favourite
dance and have a reminder of the assignation. It is those who fill the
list before arriving or before the first dance who give them a bad
reputation. Those with an excellent memory don't need them but how
many of that type of clever-clogs are there? :~) There must be very
few indeed who can attend a dance without any 'appointments' and
dance every dance they wish. I only know of one but he is a respected
teacher and an excellent partner as I have seen from the sidelines on
many occasion!
As for clearing the floor, that can be a difficult proposition in
most dance halls I can think of even the Younger Hall. Given a full hall
there is hardly any room on the sides and once one has gone back to
the end seats is awkward to (even unlikely one will) fight out of the
press of people to get back for the next dance in good time, if at all.
The only Ballroom I can think of with that sort of room is The
Seymour Hall but that means going through into the sitoutery which
again makes things difficult for the keen dancer.
So it usually boils down to most prospective 'next dancers'
milling around in a mob trying to find a partner on the outskirts of the
floor while endeavouring to remain good mannered.
As always, it is usually a few who spoil it by being pushy and -
er - overconfident(?!).

Dance Cards and the floor

Message 44475 · Alexandre Rafalovitch · 5 Mar 2006 04:42:25 · Top

New Manual (June 2005), page 115, section 8.6, etiquette:
At the end of each dance the dancers should be reminded to clear the
floor and to wait for the band's introduction to the next dance.

Just a reference.

Regards,
Alex.

On 3/3/06, simon scott <simon.scott@telus.net> wrote:
>
> In "taking the floor" I also think that some things have changed. I am
> not (obviously by what I see written) nearly as convinced as some of you
> that the floor must be cleared between each dance. I believe that one
> can engage in conversation and be "socially active", which is part of
> the evening, while remaining on the danceable part of the floor, without
> it appearing improper. This seems also to be custom, something that
> we've all heard, including myself, but not been given any really valid
> reason for. From a very quick glance through the Manual index I didn't
> see anything that addressed the matter. (Did I miss a page or paragraph)

Dance Cards

Message 44450 · Pia Walker · 3 Mar 2006 12:49:09 · Top

Us Spare Ladies just grab what we can get :>)

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
ninian-uk
Sent: 03 March 2006 09:42
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Dance Cards

Pia & Christina,

Pia, The friendliness of most SCD parties will mean that even if I don't
know anyone, one of the 'regulars' will usually take pity on me, and THEY
will ask ME. And even a novice like me occasionally plucks up the courage
to ask an unknown lady. <grin>

Christina, Hear, Hear! I'm glad you hate dance cards too. The problem with
the sort of dances where dance cards are used is that one cannot go alone,
one must have a partner. No! I'll revise that... As a single man, I'm useful
as a man to partner a 'spare' lady - if I was a single woman, I might not be
quite so welcome, as I would then be a 'problem' in need of solving.

David
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, UK

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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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