strathspey Archive: Jig or Reel?

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Jig or Reel?

Message 49374 · Breest, Anja · 3 Aug 2007 14:02:44 · Top

How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
If you do NOT have music already.

What I mean is, sometimes a new dance (idea) just pops up in the mind.
You know it is a fast one. But you don't have a specific music for it, just
the dance itself.

How would you diced if it will be a jig or a reel in the future?
Are there "rules" about it?
F.e. "the more set, the more Jig"?

(If this has been discussed before, please tell me where to find in the
archiv)

Greetings,
Anja

Cologne, Germany

---
"Who is Who" - Ball
22.9.2007, Abtei Brauweiler
Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
http://www.rscds-cologne.de

Jig or Reel?

Message 49375 · Sophie Rickebusch · 3 Aug 2007 14:21:47 · Top

You could always try dancing it (in your head if you don't happen to have a set
handy) to reel and jig tunes and see what feels best. I'd try several different
tunes of each type, as one particular tune may just happen not to suit the
dance.

Cheers,
Sophie

Selon "Breest, Anja" <gir@grs.de>:

>
>
> How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
> If you do NOT have music already.
>
> What I mean is, sometimes a new dance (idea) just pops up in the mind.
> You know it is a fast one. But you don't have a specific music for it, just
> the dance itself.
>
> How would you diced if it will be a jig or a reel in the future?
> Are there "rules" about it?
> F.e. "the more set, the more Jig"?
>
> (If this has been discussed before, please tell me where to find in the
> archiv)
>
> Greetings,
> Anja
>
> Cologne, Germany
>
>
> ---
> "Who is Who" - Ball
> 22.9.2007, Abtei Brauweiler
> Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
> http://www.rscds-cologne.de
>
>

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Jig or Reel? also figure & tempo?

Message 49381 · Timothy Wilson · 3 Aug 2007 16:25:07 · Top

Anja,

Sophie's reply best explains my approach when a dance I've devised has not
been inspired by a particular tune or piece of music. She is absolutely
right that trying different types of tunes will help to determine whether
the dance feels best to a driving reel or a hornpipe, for example.

A related issue for me is how some figures "feel" or "dance" better to jig
or reel tunes. Double triangles--for me--feels better to dance to jig-time
tunes; conversely, I find set to corners and partner (hello-goodbye setting)
much more satisfying to dance to reel-time tunes. I'd be curious if anyone
has taken a look to see if there is a tendency for certain figures to exist
in a particular tempo.

Tim Wilson
San Francisco, CA USA

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Jig or Reel?

Message 49382 · Etienne Ozorak · 3 Aug 2007 17:56:29 · Top

Yes. To some extent, what you are looking for is music that will fit the
character of the dance. A bit like trying to find the right pair of shoes.

Etienne

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sophie Rickebusch" <sophie.rickebusch@free.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 8:21 AM
Subject: Re: Jig or Reel?

> You could always try dancing it (in your head if you don't happen to have
> a set
> handy) to reel and jig tunes and see what feels best. I'd try several
> different
> tunes of each type, as one particular tune may just happen not to suit the
> dance.
>
> Cheers,
> Sophie
>
> Selon "Breest, Anja" <gir@grs.de>:
>
>>
>>
>> How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
>> If you do NOT have music already.
>>
>> What I mean is, sometimes a new dance (idea) just pops up in the mind.
>> You know it is a fast one. But you don't have a specific music for it,
>> just
>> the dance itself.
>>
>> How would you diced if it will be a jig or a reel in the future?
>> Are there "rules" about it?
>> F.e. "the more set, the more Jig"?
>>
>> (If this has been discussed before, please tell me where to find in the
>> archiv)
>>
>> Greetings,
>> Anja
>>
>> Cologne, Germany
>>
>>
>> ---
>> "Who is Who" - Ball
>> 22.9.2007, Abtei Brauweiler
>> Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
>> http://www.rscds-cologne.de
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Sophie Rickebusch
> FR - St Martin d'Heres
>

Dance scottish week

Message 49386 · Pia Walker · 5 Aug 2007 19:42:34 · Top

What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week? 7-15 September - any good
ideas on what to do?

Pia

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Dance Scottish week

Message 49387 · suepetyt · 5 Aug 2007 20:22:32 · Top

The Dumfries Branch is having a free evening of dancing on Tuesday 11th
September (details on www.dumfries-rscds.org ) and it is their 60th
Anniversary ball on 22nd September (slightly outside the Dance Scottish
week, but has been arranged for a year or so).

Sue Petyt
Lochmaben

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Pia
Sent: 05 August 2007 18:43
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Dance scottish week

What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week? 7-15 September - any good
ideas on what to do?

Pia

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Dance scottish week

Message 49388 · Patricia Ruggiero · 6 Aug 2007 04:08:52 · Top

Pia asked:
> What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week? 7-15
> September - any good ideas on what to do?

About a hundred of us will be dancing our feeties off at Scottish Weekend at
Camp Timber Ridge, West Virginia, USA, Friday night to Sunday noon
(9/14-16). There are probably still some openings...

Pat

Dance scottish week

Message 49389 · Martin · 6 Aug 2007 09:16:03 · Top

Le 5 août 07 à 19h42, Pia a écrit :

> What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week?

Whether we dance or not, all the Grenoble club will begin the new
season by inciting their colleagues, friends and family to take up
our favorite pastime.

Deciding where, when and what to dance is easy, compared with the
perennial chore of recruitment.

Martin

Dance scottish week

Message 49391 · Pia Walker · 6 Aug 2007 10:42:26 · Top

Its necessary though. If you need posters for Dance Scottish Week, which
could be used for recruitment too, let me know and I can pass on the
request.

pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Martin Sheffield
Sent: 06 August 2007 08:16
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Dance scottish week

Le 5 août 07 à 19h42, Pia a écrit :

> What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week?

Whether we dance or not, all the Grenoble club will begin the new
season by inciting their colleagues, friends and family to take up
our favorite pastime.

Deciding where, when and what to dance is easy, compared with the
perennial chore of recruitment.

Martin

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Dance scottish week

Message 49392 · Martin · 6 Aug 2007 10:55:02 · Top

Le 6 août 07 à 10h42, Pia a écrit :

> If you need posters for Dance Scottish Week, which
> could be used for recruitment too, let me know and I can pass on the
> request.

Good idea. If you can meet up with Sophie at St A, she could bring
some back with her.
(She will probably get to read this).

Martin

Dance scottish week

Message 49394 · Pia Walker · 6 Aug 2007 12:28:48 · Top

I'll get her some

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Martin Sheffield
Sent: 06 August 2007 09:55
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Dance scottish week

Le 6 août 07 à 10h42, Pia a écrit :

> If you need posters for Dance Scottish Week, which
> could be used for recruitment too, let me know and I can pass on the
> request.

Good idea. If you can meet up with Sophie at St A, she could bring
some back with her.
(She will probably get to read this).

Martin

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Dance scottish week

Message 49395 · Dick&Maureen Daniel · 6 Aug 2007 12:35:22 · Top

>From: Martin Sheffield : Mon, 6 Aug 2007 09:16:03 +0200
>Le 5 août 07 à 19h42, Pia a écrit :
>
>Whether we dance or not, all the Grenoble club will begin the new season
>by inciting their colleagues, friends and family to take up our favorite
>pastime.
>
>Deciding where, when and what to dance is easy, compared with the
>perennial chore of recruitment.
>
>Martin
>
Looks like recruitmant is not a problem peculiar only to Scotland. Would be
interesting to know what age bands you are managing to attract, and whether
they tend to be white/blue collar.
No need to reply. Just idle musing on my part.
Regards,
Dick Daniel
by Glasgow

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Dance scottish week

Message 49396 · Jan Rudge · 6 Aug 2007 15:49:28 · Top

> What is everyone doing for Dance Scottish Week? 7-15 September - any good> ideas on what to do?

There is a Dance Scottish Week page on the RSCDS London Branch website
which lists all the SCD events happening in the London area (up to 60 miles radius).

http://www.rscdslondon.org.uk/html/dance_scottish.html

London Branch is holding open-air dances in Kensington Gardens on
Saturdays 8th and 15th September (2-4pm by the Bandstand, near
the Round Pond). These are completely free and open to everyone
in the park at the time... We have a caller and live music (a piper and
a band) which tends to draw people in!

These aren't really "recruitment" events for the Branch as they mostly
attract tourists (including many from abroad), but if the weather is fine
then everybody has a good time which is the main idea anyway.

Do come and join in if you're passing through London on either of
those dates!

BTW the next "proper" Branch dance is the following Saturday 22nd Sept
at St Columba's Church as usual, with Dave Hall and his band.
http://www.rscdslondon.org.uk/html/new_season.html

Best regards,

Jan

Beaconsfield, UK
RSCDS London Branch


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Dance scottish week

Message 49397 · Martin · 6 Aug 2007 16:16:21 · Top

Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :

> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.

Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
(students that have left Grenoble again anyway).

The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
for longer.

Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
have faded away for that very reason.

Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
office-workers/teachers/research/retired.

Same as everywhere else?

Martin

Dance scottish week

Message 49398 · Pia Walker · 6 Aug 2007 17:07:57 · Top

Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)

Have you not got e-mails to the people who have left either the area or
never turned up again - you could always ask why they decided not to come
back. A kind of 'Customer Survey'

And you could always inform the students that wherever they go in the world
there is SCD in some form or shape, and you would be happy to help them find
a class outside your area.

Re recuitment: Why not hold a 'taster' day - it is done by a lot of
other groups - and let people come in off the street - never mind their
footwear, attire etc. do some easy dances - children's dances etc. without
too many changes of direction - have a bit of a party atmosphere and try and
get people hooked that way (I suppose one could even have such a thing
publicly in a shopping centre etc). It doesn't have to be on the usual
dance night - it could be during the day/on a weekend - anytime.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Martin Sheffield
Sent: 06 August 2007 15:16
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: Dance scottish week

Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :

> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.

Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
(students that have left Grenoble again anyway).

The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
for longer.

Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
have faded away for that very reason.

Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
office-workers/teachers/research/retired.

Same as everywhere else?

Martin

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16:16

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Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49401 · 0AM7L@SIA · 7 Aug 2007 01:19:09 · Top

They invariably give a palatable 'excuse' (not the real _reason_ they
dropped out): They're taking up something else, caring for an aged parent,
working long hours. They won't admit they just didn't like it! (As if that
would hurt our feelings.)

I have 'chased down' a few folks who had some real potential. At first they
won't admit they didn't like it, and some will 'stick with their story'.
After prodding, one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
aerobic (not just standing around learning footwork & formations or doing
warm-ups). They wanted a good one-hour workout, then to go have coffee.

I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
boring, ya gotta admit!

It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)

Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.

We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

There's also a segment (I believe large) looking for a partner, not just for
dance. Since many groups are comprised of mostly seniors, the pickin's
aren't there, so they move on.

As for checking with folks when they drop out, I'd feel intruded on if
someone called me. If I didn't come back, it's _obvious_ I didn't like it!
It's an invasion of privacy to inquire. Even if an experienced dancer were
rude to a beginner, he/she won¹t tell you that anyway.

Margaret Sarna
Michigan
> Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)
>
> Have you not got e-mails to the people who have left either the area or
> never turned up again - you could always ask why they decided not to come
> back. A kind of 'Customer Survey'
>
> And you could always inform the students that wherever they go in the world
> there is SCD in some form or shape, and you would be happy to help them find
> a class outside your area.
>
> Re recuitment: Why not hold a 'taster' day - it is done by a lot of
> other groups - and let people come in off the street - never mind their
> footwear, attire etc. do some easy dances - children's dances etc. without
> too many changes of direction - have a bit of a party atmosphere and try and
> get people hooked that way (I suppose one could even have such a thing
> publicly in a shopping centre etc). It doesn't have to be on the usual
> dance night - it could be during the day/on a weekend - anytime.
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Martin Sheffield
> Sent: 06 August 2007 15:16
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Dance scottish week
>
>
> Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :
>
>> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
>> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.
>
> Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
> say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
> Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
> young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
> (students that have left Grenoble again anyway).
>
> The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
> phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
> more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
> improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
> for longer.
>
> Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
> have faded away for that very reason.
>
> Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
> office-workers/teachers/research/retired.
>
> Same as everywhere else?
>
> Martin
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
>

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49402 · Martin · 7 Aug 2007 09:37:28 · Top

Le 7 août 07 à 01h19, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :

> ... one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
> aerobic (not just standing around ...

I think that is probably a widespread preference among the younger folk.

> Learning SCD is slow and boring, ya gotta admit!

It need not be.

> ... it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
> of footwork, formations & timing.

I was talking about new-comers, beginners * ! * ! * ! *

As long as there are beginners around, such things are banned here.
We try to get them moving, mixing, even laughing. No, we do not use
RSCDS book 1; my inspriration is English country dancing (no
footwork), round dances, ceilidh dances.
Doing dances that are simple ('cause everyone is doing the same thing
at the same time) but enjoyable ('cause you are not standing
listening to a teacher's verbosity), which may not be "real" SCD, I
think a new-comer gets a better idea of the spirit of social dancing
which we are aiming at (when the details have been added). At the
same time the leader can get see who are the natural dancers moving
with the music (yes, even without fancy steps) and which ones will
need to see steps broken down into their simplest elements.

I have never had any new person come along because, having seen SCD
somewhere, they want to learn the intricacies. As for warm-ups (big
laugh!) how many actually get their heels off the floor?

That is the cue for someone to write back and tell me:
"So that is the reason why people don't come back to Grenoble"

To which I can only say that last September's recruitment period was
the first time that my way of getting new people into SCD has not
worked.

Martin

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49403 · Pia Walker · 7 Aug 2007 09:55:23 · Top

So people won't give you the right answer - giving excuses why they don't
turn up again - why not ask them what would make them change their mind -
and see what that brings.

Give out a small questionnaire - let people fill it in at the end of the
session (If it is a taster session - 1 hour should be adequate). "You came
to our SCD taster session, in order to tailor it to your needs, we would
like to know how we can make it even better". And end it with - "We hope
you enjoyed yourself, please leave your contact details, so we can inform
you of further developments" You then could get back to each individual
in person and if possible solve the issues they have - at the very least
make them feel that they were important. You could perhaps throw in a
question like - what was your expectations before you turned up to the first
class.

And if people want exercise, (and I suspect most people who turn up to a
dance class for the first time do), why not give it to them? Less emphasis
on standing around learning steps, more on moving. (OK shoot me for
treason :>) We are in a very competitive market place, and we need to
tailor our product towards the customers' needs. Which today mostly is -
exercise, because we sit down too much and fun because we work to hard. A
social life and doing something completely different also comes into the
equation. As time to do leisure is at a premium, it has to be near you and
it has to be accessible. I personally can only participate in things,
which are available when I have the time to do them. This does mean that I
can't go religiously to every weekly class - I need to be able to dip in and
out of leisure activities, if the activity do not allow me to do that, I
won't do that activity. It takes me longer to learn a new activity, but
that is my choice.

With regard to paying - I know very few people who will sign up in advance
to a series of classes if they have not idea what they are letting
themselves in for - I certainly wouldn't.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Don
& Margaret Sarna
Sent: 07 August 2007 00:19
To: Strathspey items
Subject: Polling folks who don't come back

They invariably give a palatable 'excuse' (not the real _reason_ they
dropped out): They're taking up something else, caring for an aged parent,
working long hours. They won't admit they just didn't like it! (As if that
would hurt our feelings.)

I have 'chased down' a few folks who had some real potential. At first they
won't admit they didn't like it, and some will 'stick with their story'.
After prodding, one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
aerobic (not just standing around learning footwork & formations or doing
warm-ups). They wanted a good one-hour workout, then to go have coffee.

I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
boring, ya gotta admit!

It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)

Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.

We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

There's also a segment (I believe large) looking for a partner, not just for
dance. Since many groups are comprised of mostly seniors, the pickin's
aren't there, so they move on.

As for checking with folks when they drop out, I'd feel intruded on if
someone called me. If I didn't come back, it's _obvious_ I didn't like it!
It's an invasion of privacy to inquire. Even if an experienced dancer were
rude to a beginner, he/she won¹t tell you that anyway.

Margaret Sarna
Michigan
> Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)
>

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16:16

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49404 · Anselm Lingnau · 7 Aug 2007 11:09:05 · Top

Pia wrote:

> And if people want exercise, (and I suspect most people who turn up to a
> dance class for the first time do), why not give it to them?

The problem with this is that if the main thing you're looking for is a
work-out, SCD will never be able to compete with your friendly neighbourhood
gym. SCD is certainly better than sitting on the couch all day, but an hour
of SCD isn't really the same as an hour of high-impact aerobics (been there,
done that). Selling SCD to people as a fat-burner is unlikely to work.

Which shouldn't really be a problem, as SCD has lots of nice properties that
ought to make it attractive even to people who wouldn't want to be seen dead
in a leotard (this would describe probably half of my class). When we talk
recruitment, we ought to emphasise SCD's strong aspects, such as the social
interaction, the enjoyment of (low-impact) movement in a non-competitive
setting, the intellectual challenge, the possibility to join a dance pretty
much everywhere in the world, and so on, rather than get into comparisons
where SCD can only look weaker than other pastimes.

I think we have to live with people trying SCD and not liking it. It's their
prerogative. During the Irish step dance craze we had a number of people come
in to our group who were apparently looking for something along the lines of
Riverdance (since Scottish and Irish folk music are so alike the dancing must
be too, yes?). There is no way we can accommodate these people within the
context of SCD, so they leave again. On the other hand, we do get people who
find they like SCD the way we teach it -- with some footwork and some
standing around -- and who decide to stay. Right now we're not out for world
domination, and the number of newcomers approximately equals the number of
people who, for some reason or other, have to leave, so it looks as if we can
keep going. (Actually, we're now negotiating with the university intra-mural
sports people in order to have a weekend workshop for beginners as part of
their programme, as well as subsidised -- by us -- fees for students joining
our group, so some goodness may come out of that.)

Also, we're not Scientology -- if people decide to, they're free to stay away
and we won't come after them for reasons unless they tell us of their own
accord. As it turns out, some of our dancers have recently started families,
but apparently have been so desperate to go back to dancing that we have had
two or three baby cots in a corner for more than a few dance nights this
year. I'm happy to say that we must be doing something right.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
So, because a group of men in London, England allegedly wanted to blow up
planes flying over the atlantic but are now in jail, I can't bring water on a
commuter flight from Rockford to Des Moines. Makes sense to me, I guess.
-- Anonymous, after the foiled terrorist attack on 10 August 2006

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49411 · 0AM7L@SIA · 9 Aug 2007 15:41:59 · Top

Ditto, Agree, and Ditto to Anselm's 3 statements!

We can't re-write SCD, all we can do is find a way to keep folks long enough
that SCD begins to 'click.'

Can't speak for elsewhere, but in Michigan you can't even _find_ a class
that lets you just show up whenever and pay a pitiful few dollars. (I've
done the research.) Whether it's tennis, belly dance, calligraphy or scuba
lessons--you pay for 6-8-10 ahead of time. No refunds after the first
class. You quit and the institution keeps the money.

We've _never_ had a 'boring' teacher. SCD is just, by nature, a long slow
process. And forget the head rolls, swinging legs, backward marching, and
other boring, tedious, overdone warm-ups. (When's the last time a dance
called for "rolling your head" or "shrugging your shoulders"?)

When new folks spend/waste 15 minutes out of a 1- or 2-hour class, they take
off running. Not what they had in mind when they came for Scottish Country
Dancing.

So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of them to ensure they stay a
while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it seems at _first_.

Margaret

> The problem with this is that if the main thing you're looking for is a
> work-out, SCD will never be able to compete with your friendly neighbourhood
> gym. SCD is certainly better than sitting on the couch all day, but an hour
> of SCD isn't really the same as an hour of high-impact aerobics (been there,
> done than other pastimes.
>
> I think we have to live with people trying SCD and not liking it. It's their
> prerogative.
>
> Also, we're not Scientology -- if people decide to, they're free to stay away
> and we won't come after them for reasons unless they tell us of their own
> accord.

Anselm

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49412 · Martin · 9 Aug 2007 17:01:20 · Top

Le 9 août 07 à 15h41, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :

> So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of them to ensure they
> stay a
> while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it seems at _first_.

Cynical -- but perhaps the best strategy!

Martin

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49413 · Steven Epstein · 9 Aug 2007 17:25:22 · Top

IMHO this is NOT a good idea. I think you will find
even fewer people willing to make the commitment and
it will likely engender negative feelings about SCD in
your community, locally.

SCD has many hurdles for newbies to overcome that
other form such as contra, ceilidh, and even ECD
don't. The only other social dance forms I can think
of that also have significant hurdles are modern
ballroom/swing and international folk dance. Newbies
who approach the former usually WANT to learn and
participate of their own accord; no one is introducing
them to some weird kind of activity, while IFDancers
accept the fact that their dance form is beyond the
pale :) and tolerate people who just drop in from time
to time, aren't really devoted and don't work hard to
dance well.

Mimicking the Arthur Murray approach in SCD with
"contracts" is not the way to go. You are revealing
your frustration which will definitely be picked up on
by those you are hoping to attract.

Steve Epstein
Lancaster, PA, USA

--- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> wrote:

>
> Le 9 août 07 à 15h41, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :
>
> > So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of
> them to ensure they
> > stay a
> > while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it
> seems at _first_.
>
> Cynical -- but perhaps the best strategy!
>
> Martin
>
>
>


____________________________________________________________________________________
Looking for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo! FareChase.
http://farechase.yahoo.com/

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49414 · Miriam L. Mueller · 9 Aug 2007 18:01:47 · Top

I don't know what other classes are doing, but when I dropped in
on my first Scottish Country class we danced - then we were shown the
step, and then we danced some more.
In the beginning class, after warmups with trying the step a few
times, we danced. Step work was interspersed and kept short. Progression
was built into the selection of beginning dances so that by the time the
concept was officially introduced we recognized it as something we had
already been doing.
When I began, we started and ended the evening with the
experienced dancers, which helped. But what helped even more was going to
monthly party dances after only a month or so - sure, we could dance only
two or three dances, and those clumsily, but everyone was having so much
fun it was infectious and a great incentive.
I wonder whether retention is higher in those classes that have
beginner sessions at the start of classes, with experienced dancers
helping out, and then segue into the experienced class. ??
Miriam / Mimi Mueller San Francisco

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49416 · 0AM7L@SIA · 11 Aug 2007 14:25:15 · Top

They don't want to pay ahead, let 'em try to find something where they can
just 'show up' when it's convenient. (They won't find it around here.)

Another negative about letting beginners just show up 'whenever' is that
they don't learn SCD at the rate they should. I know someone who's been
coming & going for 5 years, yet dances like a first-year learner. The
total lack of dedication to SCD shows, and affects all of us.

Folks wouldn't sign a 'contract'. They merely pay for several weeks in
advance, just like they do for bridge, tennis, tango or cooking lessons.

In metro Detroit, it's typical to pay $80 up front for 8 lessons in
Whatever. (Of course, the teachers are paid, and facilities nice--including
air-conditioning.)

M

> IMHO this is NOT a good idea. I think you will find
> even fewer people willing to make the commitment and
> it will likely engender negative feelings about SCD in
> your community, locally.
>
> SCD has many hurdles for newbies to overcome that
> other form such as contra, ceilidh, and even ECD
> don't. The only other social dance forms I can think
> of that also have significant hurdles are modern
> ballroom/swing and international folk dance. Newbies
> who approach the former usually WANT to learn and
> participate of their own accord; no one is introducing
> them to some weird kind of activity, while IFDancers
> accept the fact that their dance form is beyond the
> pale :) and tolerate people who just drop in from time
> to time, aren't really devoted and don't work hard to
> dance well.
>
> Mimicking the Arthur Murray approach in SCD with
> "contracts" is not the way to go. You are revealing
> your frustration which will definitely be picked up on
> by those you are hoping to attract.
>
> Steve Epstein
> Lancaster, PA, USA
>
> --- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
>
>>
>> Le 9 août 07 à 15h41, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :
>>
>>> So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of
>> them to ensure they
>>> stay a
>>> while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it
>> seems at _first_.
>>
>> Cynical -- but perhaps the best strategy!
>>
>> Martin
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> ______
> Looking for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo!
> FareChase.
> http://farechase.yahoo.com/

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49417 · Steven Epstein · 11 Aug 2007 21:02:59 · Top

At the weekly swing dance group I attend, there is a
beginners' group lesson prior to the dance. The dance
is just that, not a class but individual couple
dancing to recorded music, with a few gimmicky things
thrown in to keep the evening lively, such as a line
dance like the shim-sham, or a snowball dance (one
couple starts, then splits up, each taking new
partners, they dance, split up, etc).

The beginners' lesson is actually free. You can then
pay five dollars to attend the dance if you like. You
can come to as many beginners' lessons as you like,
and never pay. Throughout the rest of the week, there
are various classes for those who wish to learn
advanced things. These are generally pay in advance
for "x" number of classes and are not continuous but
only offered from time to time. So there might be a
four-week basic lindy series, and then, not until a
few months later, will there be the advanced lindy
series, while in between, there might be a west coast
swing series. Finally, several months later, there
will be another basic lindy series, taught by people
who didn't teach the first series. There are also
guest instructors on weekends with intensive day-long
workshops, special parties, etc.

None of this is attempted to be forced down anyone's
throat. You can be as great or as lousy a dancer as
you like, and as committed or not as you like. You can
learn slower or faster. However, if you are really,
really lousy or really, really uncommitted, you are
eventually going to quit, because you're not having
any fun. Oh, the area I live in is 1 - 2 hours from a
really large city (Baltimore or Philadelphia) and
consists of many small towns and a handful of small
cities under 75,000 population, but the swing dances
(there are several groups) are packed to the gills,
mostly with college students and recent college
graduates. One group actually had to curtail high
school students from attending on certain evenings; it
was getting too crowded, so great is the enthusiasm
for swing. If you think, well, this is because swing
is mainstream, it's not. Tune your radio into any top
40 station and try to find a format of music from the
'20's through '50's, all suitable for dancing. Kids
listen no more to Benny Goodman and Count Basie than
they do to Brahms, or Jimmy Shand.

My point is, swing dancing sells itself. All the rest
of what we do just facilitates it. Dyed-in-the-wool
SCDers (you bet that pun was intended) may think their
dance form is the tops and that accordions and
bagpipes make for the best music ever, but others
apparently disagree. Maybe SCD has to change after
all, just a little bit.

Your scheme I fear may result in a transitory blip
followed by a prolonged dip.

Steve Epstein
Lancaster, PA, USA

--- Don & Margaret Sarna <dssarna@sprintmail.com>
wrote:

> They don't want to pay ahead, let 'em try to find
> something where they can
> just 'show up' when it's convenient. (They won't
> find it around here.)
>
> Another negative about letting beginners just show
> up 'whenever' is that
> they don't learn SCD at the rate they should. I
> know someone who's been
> coming & going for 5 years, yet dances like a
> first-year learner. The
> total lack of dedication to SCD shows, and affects
> all of us.
>
> Folks wouldn't sign a 'contract'. They merely pay
> for several weeks in
> advance, just like they do for bridge, tennis, tango
> or cooking lessons.
>
> In metro Detroit, it's typical to pay $80 up front
> for 8 lessons in
> Whatever. (Of course, the teachers are paid, and
> facilities nice--including
> air-conditioning.)
>
> M
>
> > IMHO this is NOT a good idea. I think you will
> find
> > even fewer people willing to make the commitment
> and
> > it will likely engender negative feelings about
> SCD in
> > your community, locally.
> >
> > SCD has many hurdles for newbies to overcome that
> > other form such as contra, ceilidh, and even ECD
> > don't. The only other social dance forms I can
> think
> > of that also have significant hurdles are modern
> > ballroom/swing and international folk dance.
> Newbies
> > who approach the former usually WANT to learn and
> > participate of their own accord; no one is
> introducing
> > them to some weird kind of activity, while
> IFDancers
> > accept the fact that their dance form is beyond
> the
> > pale :) and tolerate people who just drop in from
> time
> > to time, aren't really devoted and don't work hard
> to
> > dance well.
> >
> > Mimicking the Arthur Murray approach in SCD with
> > "contracts" is not the way to go. You are
> revealing
> > your frustration which will definitely be picked
> up on
> > by those you are hoping to attract.
> >
> > Steve Epstein
> > Lancaster, PA, USA
> >


____________________________________________________________________________________
Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
http://sims.yahoo.com/

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49418 · Hanny Budnick · 12 Aug 2007 01:38:37 · Top

Steve's swing dance experience is certainly interesting! Alas, there is one
major difference between any kind of couple dancing and SCD:
SCD is GROUP DANCING, or set dancing if you will, typically with four couples
to a set. And because of its group nature, the analogy of a chain with a weak
link suggests itself. SCD has no place for one star in an otherwise non-star
set. Individuals are important as members of the set first and as partners
second. In a couple dance situation, where everyone wants to dance (and the
gender balance is okay - or doesn't matter) there is at most one individual who
has to sit out for lack of a partner. You all know how different that situation
is in SCD settings... How to convey all those differences to a beginner and/or
a casual attender often takes longer than their patience holds out. None of
that instant gratification here.....

Hanny Budnick, Philadelphia - forever grateful for Geoffrey Selling's
leadership

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49419 · Steven Epstein · 12 Aug 2007 08:45:14 · Top

Of course, group dancing is different than couple
dancing, but my point was that SCD's problem is a
relative lack of popularity, and this won't be helped
by even the mildly coercive strategies as were being
proposed, quite the contrary.

Perhaps a better strategy is closer coordination with
related kinds of dance groups, if you aren't doing
that. Try not to schedule your classes and socials
when the ECD group has theirs. Even avoid scheduling
against contradances, if possible, even if the people
in your don't contradance. The contradancers certainly
won't do Scottish if you schedule against them. Make
all these dancers aware of who you are, by attending
and participating in their events -- wholeheartedly.
Learn who the Morris and other English ritual dancers
are -- they like footwork and can learn SCD easily if
they so choose. The Philadelphia area has a very
lively and growing SCD community and I think such
coordination and communication is part of the reason.

Steve Epstein
Lancaster, PA, USA

--- Hanny Budnick <kyrmyt@cavtel.net> wrote:

> Steve's swing dance experience is certainly
> interesting! Alas, there is one
> major difference between any kind of couple dancing
> and SCD:
> SCD is GROUP DANCING, or set dancing if you will,
> typically with four couples
> to a set. And because of its group nature, the
> analogy of a chain with a weak
> link suggests itself. SCD has no place for one star
> in an otherwise non-star
> set. Individuals are important as members of the
> set first and as partners
> second. In a couple dance situation, where everyone
> wants to dance (and the
> gender balance is okay - or doesn't matter) there is
> at most one individual who
> has to sit out for lack of a partner. You all know
> how different that situation
> is in SCD settings... How to convey all those
> differences to a beginner and/or
> a casual attender often takes longer than their
> patience holds out. None of
> that instant gratification here.....
>
> Hanny Budnick, Philadelphia - forever grateful for
> Geoffrey Selling's
> leadership
>


____________________________________________________________________________________
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's
Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.
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Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49421 · Pia Walker · 12 Aug 2007 18:27:34 · Top

Have I lost something (having been away) - are you actually saying that
there should be a set time limit for people to learn? Are you also saying
that people should sign a contract to participate?

I personally thing that you would have to be really, really bitten by
something in order to sign a contract, and then I can't see the necessity.
And if you have come back as a beginner for 5 years running, they must be
enjoying it even if they are not brilliant, so that's a plus in my book and
shows a great deal of dedication.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Don
& Margaret Sarna
Sent: 11 August 2007 13:25
To: Strathspey items
Subject: Polling folks who don't come back

They don't want to pay ahead, let 'em try to find something where they can
just 'show up' when it's convenient. (They won't find it around here.)

Another negative about letting beginners just show up 'whenever' is that
they don't learn SCD at the rate they should. I know someone who's been
coming & going for 5 years, yet dances like a first-year learner. The
total lack of dedication to SCD shows, and affects all of us.

Folks wouldn't sign a 'contract'. They merely pay for several weeks in
advance, just like they do for bridge, tennis, tango or cooking lessons.

In metro Detroit, it's typical to pay $80 up front for 8 lessons in
Whatever. (Of course, the teachers are paid, and facilities nice--including
air-conditioning.)

M

> IMHO this is NOT a good idea. I think you will find
> even fewer people willing to make the commitment and
> it will likely engender negative feelings about SCD in
> your community, locally.
>
> SCD has many hurdles for newbies to overcome that
> other form such as contra, ceilidh, and even ECD
> don't. The only other social dance forms I can think
> of that also have significant hurdles are modern
> ballroom/swing and international folk dance. Newbies
> who approach the former usually WANT to learn and
> participate of their own accord; no one is introducing
> them to some weird kind of activity, while IFDancers
> accept the fact that their dance form is beyond the
> pale :) and tolerate people who just drop in from time
> to time, aren't really devoted and don't work hard to
> dance well.
>
> Mimicking the Arthur Murray approach in SCD with
> "contracts" is not the way to go. You are revealing
> your frustration which will definitely be picked up on
> by those you are hoping to attract.
>
> Steve Epstein
> Lancaster, PA, USA
>
> --- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
>
>>
>> Le 9 août 07 à 15h41, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :
>>
>>> So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of
>> them to ensure they
>>> stay a
>>> while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it
>> seems at _first_.
>>
>> Cynical -- but perhaps the best strategy!
>>
>> Martin
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> ______
> Looking for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo!
> FareChase.
> http://farechase.yahoo.com/

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Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49422 · adriana linden · 12 Aug 2007 19:49:45 · Top

Having taught beginners for about 10 years now, I have zero problems with
people with shallow learning curves. I have a few people that have progressed
very slowly, but ARE progressing consistently, are enthusiastic and a pleasure
to have in the class, even if it takes them much longer than some other folks
to get comfortable with our dance form. In fact I have great respect for them
for being willing to make a commitment to learn something that does not come as
easily to them as it does to some others.

IMHO, one problem with keeping beginners locally these days is that:

(1) with the aging of our Branch, some experienced dancers are now having
problems with the physical and mental demands of dances or that even "old
favourites" are becoming a challenge, let alone the new dances. Ergo, they are
much less able to help new dancers at social events in even simpler dance.

(2) there are so many new dances to tempt people who put together programmes,
that sometimes we forget that even "old favourites" are totally brand new to
new dancers.

(3) Many of the newer dances are not so much built up of the common building
blocks that we teach beginners to get them going, the allemendes, poussettes,
down the middle and up, etc and instead have, large sections of dances that are
more complex to remember... many 2 bar bits that make for a lot of chunks of
information to remember. Lovely, but more challenging in the memory department.

The result is that on any social programme, new and newer dancers are sometimes
very limited as to dances they can join in on, without getting pulled or
prodded, or, even worse, getting the feeling that their participation caused a
set to break down, and feeling very awkward and embarrassed as a result.

Also, in the past, people were usually quite a bit more willing to wait 2 or 3
years to be able to start enjoying socials, as many did. However, people are
not as patient these days. And also, since we seem to draw the bulk of our
membership from a white-collar demographic, this group has greater stress and
less free time than people did, say, 20 years ago. They may be interested in
learning, yes, but they also want relaxation and social part as well, and since
our socializing is through dance parties/socials, they do not feel part of the
gang for quite some time, unless, a sometimes happens, they are brought into
SCD through friends that sort of mentor them until they get comfortable in our
community.

Of course, to get back to the topic of this thread of messages, when folks do
find out that they will be "beginners" for a while, that while they are very
welcome and urged to attend socials and balls (and pay for a ticket to attend),
where people will be very friendly to them, that they will be wallflowers at
the dance for a while.

And when some people twig to that, it does not appeal, to the extent they drift
away.

Of course, another problem is, while we would like to also attract younger
dancers, our branch is somewhat more grey in aspect ;-) Younger newcomers are
not so much interested in socializing with folks who are their parents' and
grandparents' ages, except on an friendly acquaintance basis. In non-work
activities, they often are looking for peers in age and life experience... for
fun, friendship, and yes, dating.

Locally, to improve the situation at socials, we are hoping to work with a
core set of dances this year, which will limit the number of new dances that
pop up on any programme, and we hope that will help the situation with
beginners (allowing them to join in a few more dances on each programme with
confidence), and, also, help raise the standard of dancing somewhat. Time will
tell!

The greying of the Branch? In the short term, hair dye? LOL ;-)

Adriana Linden
Montreal QC

--- Pia <pia@intamail.com> wrote:

> Have I lost something (having been away) - are you actually saying that
> there should be a set time limit for people to learn? Are you also saying
> that people should sign a contract to participate?
>
> I personally thing that you would have to be really, really bitten by
> something in order to sign a contract, and then I can't see the necessity.
> And if you have come back as a beginner for 5 years running, they must be
> enjoying it even if they are not brilliant, so that's a plus in my book and
> shows a great deal of dedication.
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of Don
> & Margaret Sarna
> Sent: 11 August 2007 13:25
> To: Strathspey items
> Subject: Polling folks who don't come back
>
> They don't want to pay ahead, let 'em try to find something where they can
> just 'show up' when it's convenient. (They won't find it around here.)
>
> Another negative about letting beginners just show up 'whenever' is that
> they don't learn SCD at the rate they should. I know someone who's been
> coming & going for 5 years, yet dances like a first-year learner. The
> total lack of dedication to SCD shows, and affects all of us.
>
> Folks wouldn't sign a 'contract'. They merely pay for several weeks in
> advance, just like they do for bridge, tennis, tango or cooking lessons.
>
> In metro Detroit, it's typical to pay $80 up front for 8 lessons in
> Whatever. (Of course, the teachers are paid, and facilities nice--including
> air-conditioning.)
>
> M
>
> > IMHO this is NOT a good idea. I think you will find
> > even fewer people willing to make the commitment and
> > it will likely engender negative feelings about SCD in
> > your community, locally.
> >
> > SCD has many hurdles for newbies to overcome that
> > other form such as contra, ceilidh, and even ECD
> > don't. The only other social dance forms I can think
> > of that also have significant hurdles are modern
> > ballroom/swing and international folk dance. Newbies
> > who approach the former usually WANT to learn and
> > participate of their own accord; no one is introducing
> > them to some weird kind of activity, while IFDancers
> > accept the fact that their dance form is beyond the
> > pale :) and tolerate people who just drop in from time
> > to time, aren't really devoted and don't work hard to
> > dance well.
> >
> > Mimicking the Arthur Murray approach in SCD with
> > "contracts" is not the way to go. You are revealing
> > your frustration which will definitely be picked up on
> > by those you are hoping to attract.
> >
> > Steve Epstein
> > Lancaster, PA, USA
> >
> > --- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> Le 9 août 07 à 15h41, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :
> >>
> >>> So the trick is getting that inve$tment out of
> >> them to ensure they
> >>> stay a
> >>> while, no matter how boring, slow or tedious it
> >> seems at _first_.
> >>
> >> Cynical -- but perhaps the best strategy!
> >>
> >> Martin
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> __
> > ______
> > Looking for a deal? Find great prices on flights and hotels with Yahoo!
> > FareChase.
> > http://farechase.yahoo.com/
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.13/947 - Release Date: 11/08/2007
> 14:29
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.13/947 - Release Date: 11/08/2007
> 14:29
>
>
>

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Was Polling folks - now Core Dances

Message 49428 · 0AM7L@SIA · 13 Aug 2007 17:54:42 · Top

Great comments, Adriana.

There's already a core set of Featured Dances from HQ. They make going out
of town much more comfortable when you know at least a few dances by heart.
Some branches/groups think they are 'above' using Featured Dances, but from
a guest's standpoint, nothing could be better than having at least 2 or 3 on
every program.

And, ditto about people coming up with programs. Folks who come up with
obscure, complicated dances--who are they trying to impress?! Their members
can work on them for weeks ahead, but out-of-towners don't have that luxury.
So if groups want guests, they have to include Featured Dances. Or consider
it a 'closed event' and pull out all the arcane, screwy dances they want and
not invite out-of-towners.

Dances & balls should be enjoyable, not stress-laden. If we look at a
program filled with unfamiliar or overly-complicated dances, we say well,
we're not going.

Lastly, you are so right about the aging SCD demographic and how the mind &
body can let us down. First person who complains about doing Flowers of
Edinburgh or De'il Amang the Tailors because they're too experienced to
bother, or they're tired of them, is often the first one to mess the dance
up!

Margaret
>
> IMHO, one problem with keeping beginners locally these days is that:
>
> (1) with the aging of our Branch, some experienced dancers are now having
> problems with the physical and mental demands of dances or that even "old
> favourites" are becoming a challenge, let alone the new dances. Ergo, they
> are much less able to help new dancers at social events in even simpler dance.
>
> (2) there are so many new dances to tempt people who put together programmes,
> that sometimes we forget that even "old favourites" are totally brand new to
> new dancers.
>
>
> Locally, to improve the situation at socials, we are hoping to work with a
> core set of dances this year, which will limit the number of new dances that
> pop up on any programme, and we hope that will help the situation with
> beginners (allowing them to join in a few more dances on each programme with
> confidence), and, also, help raise the standard of dancing somewhat. Time
> will tell!
>
> Adriana Linden
> Montreal QC
>

Was Polling folks - now Core Dances

Message 49431 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 18:42:24 · Top

Le 13 août 07 à 17h54, Don & Margaret Sarna a écrit :

> First person who complains about doing Flowers of
> Edinburgh or De'il Amang the Tailors because they're too
> experienced to
> bother, or they're tired of them, is often the first one to mess
> the dance
> up!

Yes, that woyuld describe me -- and other dancers I know -- since,
with the "too easy" dances, the mind wonders, and you can"t remember
one you are doing.
;-)

Martin, whose memory is greying fast.

Was Polling folks - now Core Dances

Message 49432 · C W · 13 Aug 2007 19:13:16 · Top

Hello everybody!

I am sorry but I couldn't disagree more with Margaret's post for the
following reasons:

"Folks who come up with obscure, complicated dances--who are they trying to
impress?!" What kind of a question is that? Since when do developers of
programs choose dances based on what kind of an impressive impact it will
make on out-of-towners? As far as I know dances are chosen for the fun and
enjoyment of the dancers, and not for any other reason!

If one is planning on attending a particular dance, and their list of dances
is not available, I am sure upon contacting the local branch one will be
able to obtain a list. Charles Uptons MINICRIB is a very good resource for
the briefs, and with a bit of studying a good dancer will most likely be
able to figure out how the dances work. Its a tiny bit of work for a huge
amount of pleasure that I believe is worth it!

The branch I am member of now spends a lot of time on practicing dances for
upcoming events, yet the branches where I learnt to dance have not done so.
Their members hardly get practice for any of the dances (there are way too
many events going on anyway - practicing for all dances would be futile). I
wonder what they'd say to Margaret's statement.

IMHO a good dance program has all three, simple dances for beginners, more
advanced dances for the majority of the attendees, and one or perhaps even
two dances that are the "obscure" kind. I must admit that these are the ones
I find most intruiging and fun to dance. If there is nothing on the program
with a difficulty of more than 5 out of 10 I get bored, and I know at least
5 dancers in my branch (including me thats 15% of the branch) that feel the
same way about SCD. After all, if I don't want to be fancy I might as well
do English Country Dancing. (No offense to my ECD friends, I like English, I
just need a bit more intricacy.)

I understand the point of having easier dances for beginners, and am the
last person to discourage simple dances for that reason. However I need a
treat on that buffet of dances as well, otherwise _I_ might not be coming.

As for demographics: From observation I dare to say that the ability to do
proper footwork (body) goes way before the ability to think through the
execution of a dance (mind). If somebody isn't able to dance the dance, they
should walk it! I will enjoy being their partner just the same!

Lastly, I think the core set of Featured Dances is a great idea, as long as
it stays at the inclusion of 2-3 dances on a dance program, and doesn't
dominate it completely. I resent the comment about groups being _above_
using these dances, just because they do not include them. As far as I
understand it this idea is meant to be a guideline, not doctrine!

Margaret, please don't take this difference of opinion personal. I don't
agree with your viewpoint, but I enjoy and appreciate our friendship and
look forward to seeing you in October! :)

Apologies to everybody else for the length, its just a topic I feel strongly
about.

Happy dancing (simple and trickier dances alike)!

Carla Wiedemann
non-teacher
Windsor, ON Canada

"Shoot for the moon.
Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars."

Les Brown

_________________________________________________________________
See Fireworks On Live Image Search
http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Fireworks&mkt=en-ca&FORM=SERNEP

Was Polling folks - now Core Dances

Message 49433 · adriana linden · 13 Aug 2007 19:56:12 · Top

Carla's response brings another question to mind:

What attracts folks here to out of town dances/balls or makes folks stay away?

Personally, when I am free to travel, touching base with dancers that I do not
see regularly and the band playing for the event are the my biggest interests
in attending "away" events. Sometimes, another drawing card would be that I
like the city/area where the event is held, and plan some sight-seeing,
visiting of non-dancing friends, etc into the trip.

Things to make me lose interest in an "away" event? A band I do not enjoy,
and/or a programme that is has a lot of dances that are unknown to me, and,
with a bit of research, I find are on the tricky side... dances that one should
have done a couple of times in a relaxed setting before doing them at, say, a
Ball. I don't mind sitting out a *few* dances at an event due to the fact they
are "trickier" dances I have not done before, but if I am to travel to an event
(and pack an suitcase ;-)), and find that I will not be able to enjoy the
*majority* of the dances in a relaxed manner that allows me time to socialize
with other dancers there, I will stay home.

Locally, we have had so many new (to us) dances appearing on programmes over
the last few years, that we, the teachers, have found that our classes are
largely driven by teaching the choreography of those dances rather than
teaching dances for interest or to expand dancing skills. Ergo, it would be
rather selfish and not in the best interests of the group to teach dances that
possibly only I would would like to try out for an event out of town! One or 2
dances, maybe... more than that, not generally feasible!

Cheers,
Adriana Linden
Montréal QC

--- C W <kittencew@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hello everybody!
>
>
> I am sorry but I couldn't disagree more with Margaret's post for the
> following reasons:
>
> "Folks who come up with obscure, complicated dances--who are they trying to
> impress?!" What kind of a question is that? Since when do developers of
> programs choose dances based on what kind of an impressive impact it will
> make on out-of-towners? As far as I know dances are chosen for the fun and
> enjoyment of the dancers, and not for any other reason!
>
> If one is planning on attending a particular dance, and their list of dances
> is not available, I am sure upon contacting the local branch one will be
> able to obtain a list. Charles Uptons MINICRIB is a very good resource for
> the briefs, and with a bit of studying a good dancer will most likely be
> able to figure out how the dances work. Its a tiny bit of work for a huge
> amount of pleasure that I believe is worth it!
>
> The branch I am member of now spends a lot of time on practicing dances for
> upcoming events, yet the branches where I learnt to dance have not done so.
> Their members hardly get practice for any of the dances (there are way too
> many events going on anyway - practicing for all dances would be futile). I
> wonder what they'd say to Margaret's statement.
>
> IMHO a good dance program has all three, simple dances for beginners, more
> advanced dances for the majority of the attendees, and one or perhaps even
> two dances that are the "obscure" kind. I must admit that these are the ones
> I find most intruiging and fun to dance. If there is nothing on the program
> with a difficulty of more than 5 out of 10 I get bored, and I know at least
> 5 dancers in my branch (including me thats 15% of the branch) that feel the
> same way about SCD. After all, if I don't want to be fancy I might as well
> do English Country Dancing. (No offense to my ECD friends, I like English, I
> just need a bit more intricacy.)
>
> I understand the point of having easier dances for beginners, and am the
> last person to discourage simple dances for that reason. However I need a
> treat on that buffet of dances as well, otherwise _I_ might not be coming.
>
> As for demographics: From observation I dare to say that the ability to do
> proper footwork (body) goes way before the ability to think through the
> execution of a dance (mind). If somebody isn't able to dance the dance, they
> should walk it! I will enjoy being their partner just the same!
>
> Lastly, I think the core set of Featured Dances is a great idea, as long as
> it stays at the inclusion of 2-3 dances on a dance program, and doesn't
> dominate it completely. I resent the comment about groups being _above_
> using these dances, just because they do not include them. As far as I
> understand it this idea is meant to be a guideline, not doctrine!
>
> Margaret, please don't take this difference of opinion personal. I don't
> agree with your viewpoint, but I enjoy and appreciate our friendship and
> look forward to seeing you in October! :)
>
>
> Apologies to everybody else for the length, its just a topic I feel strongly
> about.
>
>
> Happy dancing (simple and trickier dances alike)!
>
>
>
> Carla Wiedemann
> non-teacher
> Windsor, ON Canada
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> "Shoot for the moon.
> Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars."
>
> Les Brown
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> See Fireworks On Live Image Search
> http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Fireworks&mkt=en-ca&FORM=SERNEP
>
>

Get news delivered with the All new Yahoo! Mail. Enjoy RSS feeds right on your Mail page. Start today at http://mrd.mail.yahoo.com/try_beta?.intl=ca

What attracts folks to out of twon dances/balls

Message 49438 · L. Friedman-Shedlov · 13 Aug 2007 23:40:38 · Top

I love this question!

For me, the first thing to consider is the location (can I afford to get
there). The band playing will be a major factor in my deciding whether or
not to make the investment. The dance program usually isn't a major
factor, but I'm MORE attracted to programs that have a few unfamiliar
dances and at least a couple of trickier/more challenging dances.
Programs where I know all the dances cold are a bit boring to me, but
usually won't keep me away unless the music is also uninspiring.

/ Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************

On Mon, 13 Aug 2007, adriana linden wrote:

> Carla's response brings another question to mind:
>
> What attracts folks here to out of town dances/balls or makes folks stay away?
>
> Personally, when I am free to travel, touching base with dancers that I do not
> see regularly and the band playing for the event are the my biggest interests
> in attending "away" events. Sometimes, another drawing card would be that I
> like the city/area where the event is held, and plan some sight-seeing,
> visiting of non-dancing friends, etc into the trip.
>
> Things to make me lose interest in an "away" event? A band I do not enjoy,
> and/or a programme that is has a lot of dances that are unknown to me, and,
> with a bit of research, I find are on the tricky side... dances that one should
> have done a couple of times in a relaxed setting before doing them at, say, a
> Ball. I don't mind sitting out a *few* dances at an event due to the fact they
> are "trickier" dances I have not done before, but if I am to travel to an event
> (and pack an suitcase ;-)), and find that I will not be able to enjoy the
> *majority* of the dances in a relaxed manner that allows me time to socialize
> with other dancers there, I will stay home.
>
> Locally, we have had so many new (to us) dances appearing on programmes over
> the last few years, that we, the teachers, have found that our classes are
> largely driven by teaching the choreography of those dances rather than
> teaching dances for interest or to expand dancing skills. Ergo, it would be
> rather selfish and not in the best interests of the group to teach dances that
> possibly only I would would like to try out for an event out of town! One or 2
> dances, maybe... more than that, not generally feasible!
>
> Cheers,
> Adriana Linden
> Montréal QC
>
>
> --- C W <kittencew@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hello everybody!
>>
>>
>> I am sorry but I couldn't disagree more with Margaret's post for the
>> following reasons:
>>
>> "Folks who come up with obscure, complicated dances--who are they trying to
>> impress?!" What kind of a question is that? Since when do developers of
>> programs choose dances based on what kind of an impressive impact it will
>> make on out-of-towners? As far as I know dances are chosen for the fun and
>> enjoyment of the dancers, and not for any other reason!
>>
>> If one is planning on attending a particular dance, and their list of dances
>> is not available, I am sure upon contacting the local branch one will be
>> able to obtain a list. Charles Uptons MINICRIB is a very good resource for
>> the briefs, and with a bit of studying a good dancer will most likely be
>> able to figure out how the dances work. Its a tiny bit of work for a huge
>> amount of pleasure that I believe is worth it!
>>
>> The branch I am member of now spends a lot of time on practicing dances for
>> upcoming events, yet the branches where I learnt to dance have not done so.
>> Their members hardly get practice for any of the dances (there are way too
>> many events going on anyway - practicing for all dances would be futile). I
>> wonder what they'd say to Margaret's statement.
>>
>> IMHO a good dance program has all three, simple dances for beginners, more
>> advanced dances for the majority of the attendees, and one or perhaps even
>> two dances that are the "obscure" kind. I must admit that these are the ones
>> I find most intruiging and fun to dance. If there is nothing on the program
>> with a difficulty of more than 5 out of 10 I get bored, and I know at least
>> 5 dancers in my branch (including me thats 15% of the branch) that feel the
>> same way about SCD. After all, if I don't want to be fancy I might as well
>> do English Country Dancing. (No offense to my ECD friends, I like English, I
>> just need a bit more intricacy.)
>>
>> I understand the point of having easier dances for beginners, and am the
>> last person to discourage simple dances for that reason. However I need a
>> treat on that buffet of dances as well, otherwise _I_ might not be coming.
>>
>> As for demographics: From observation I dare to say that the ability to do
>> proper footwork (body) goes way before the ability to think through the
>> execution of a dance (mind). If somebody isn't able to dance the dance, they
>> should walk it! I will enjoy being their partner just the same!
>>
>> Lastly, I think the core set of Featured Dances is a great idea, as long as
>> it stays at the inclusion of 2-3 dances on a dance program, and doesn't
>> dominate it completely. I resent the comment about groups being _above_
>> using these dances, just because they do not include them. As far as I
>> understand it this idea is meant to be a guideline, not doctrine!
>>
>> Margaret, please don't take this difference of opinion personal. I don't
>> agree with your viewpoint, but I enjoy and appreciate our friendship and
>> look forward to seeing you in October! :)
>>
>>
>> Apologies to everybody else for the length, its just a topic I feel strongly
>> about.
>>
>>
>> Happy dancing (simple and trickier dances alike)!
>>
>>
>>
>> Carla Wiedemann
>> non-teacher
>> Windsor, ON Canada
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> "Shoot for the moon.
>> Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars."
>>
>> Les Brown
>>
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> See Fireworks On Live Image Search
>> http://search.live.com/images/results.aspx?q=Fireworks&mkt=en-ca&FORM=SERNEP
>>
>>
>
>
>
> Get news delivered with the All new Yahoo! Mail. Enjoy RSS feeds right on your Mail page. Start today at http://mrd.mail.yahoo.com/try_beta?.intl=ca
>
>
>

What attracts folks to out of twon dances/balls

Message 49441 · Anselm Lingnau · 14 Aug 2007 00:56:26 · Top

Lara Friedman~Shedlov wrote:

> For me, the first thing to consider is the location (can I afford to get
> there).

Here in Germany there are now several functions per month (on average). This
means that one can get a fair amount of dancing but must be prepared to
travel -- it is no longer necessary to travel huge distances to be able to
dance at a ball at all, but it's not as if there are three socials a week
within spitting distance.

One rule of thumb that Eva and I apply these days is that we don't want to
spend more time in the car travelling to and from the event than we will
spend on the dance floor and/or in nice company. So we don't go to functions
that are more than, say, 1½ hours away unless we get to spend the night
afterwards with friends. We may travel farther for day schools or workshops
if they look promising. German dance programmes being what they are, there is
usually a fair amount of eclecticism and they tend to not be boring.

The other sort of event is where I'm a/the musician and Eva may get dragged
along for the ride. These are different because the hosts usually go out of
the way to keep the band (and hangers-on) happy, but again I'm not usually
prepared to spend the whole weekend driving to and from a wedding-type
ceilidh with non-experienced dancers.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
It's a mistake to use Microsoft as a model, because their whole culture
derives from that one lucky break. Microsoft is a bad data point.
-- Paul Graham, _Great Hackers_

What attracts folks to out of twon dances/balls

Message 49478 · Monica Pollard · 15 Aug 2007 17:11:56 · Top

Hi all,

It's been nearly 10 years since I subscribed to Strathspey, so I guess a
brief intro is appropriate. I'm an experienced dancer w/ a Prelim pass
(hoping to pass Parts 4 & 5 in '08), who started dancing in southern Calif
back in the early '80's. I now live in southwest Idaho, where I teach a
weekly class, along with another dancer who is working (slowly ;-) towards
her certificate. I may have met some of you at TAC Summer School just a few
weeks ago.

Our club is small; less than 20 members with about 15 others who show up
somewhat regularly. We can only afford to put on one major dance a year, in
November. Other than that, if our members want to go to dances, they
travel. We are multiple hours drive away from other classes and Branches.
I think the closest might be Portland. There is a small group in Burns, OR,
but I don't know how active they are. You can reach Portland or Seattle in
a day (8-10 hours driving). San Francisco takes longer. You can fly
anywhere, of course, if you want to spend the money. For our folks, some of
the most important criteria for choosing to travel to a SCD event are a
congenial group at the destination (and seeing dance friends), great music,
and an event that includes more than just a Ball.

Since we're so isolated, our yearly program usually ends up being the dances
on programs that club members are planning to attend. For example, this
year four people went to the weekend on Catalina Island, four went to TAC
Summer School, and 4-6 of us are planning to attend Asilomar. Fortunately,
some of those dances appear on more than one dance program! I was not
taught to choose dances to teach this way, as it can be hard to fit some of
these dances into a progressive curriculum, but it is a way to keep the more
experienced dancers coming to class.

Monica Pollard
Nampa, ID

On 8/13/07, Anselm Lingnau <anselm@strathspey.org > wrote:
>
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov wrote:
>
> > For me, the first thing to consider is the location (can I afford to get
>
> > there).
>
> Here in Germany there are now several functions per month (on average).
> This
> means that one can get a fair amount of dancing but must be prepared to
> travel -- it is no longer necessary to travel huge distances to be able to
>
> dance at a ball at all, but it's not as if there are three socials a week
> within spitting distance.

What attracts folks to out of twon dances/balls

Message 49481 · Pia Walker · 15 Aug 2007 23:00:58 · Top

This just goes to show the absolute dedication some folks have in continuing
SCD - we in Scotland are so lucky - we have dance groups everywhere and can
go to a dance somewhere every weekend without having to drive very far.
Good luck to your group and keep it going.

Pia
-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Monica Pollard
Sent: 15 August 2007 16:12
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: What attracts folks to out of twon dances/balls

Hi all,

It's been nearly 10 years since I subscribed to Strathspey, so I guess a
brief intro is appropriate. I'm an experienced dancer w/ a Prelim pass
(hoping to pass Parts 4 & 5 in '08), who started dancing in southern Calif
back in the early '80's. I now live in southwest Idaho, where I teach a
weekly class, along with another dancer who is working (slowly ;-) towards
her certificate. I may have met some of you at TAC Summer School just a few
weeks ago.

Our club is small; less than 20 members with about 15 others who show up
somewhat regularly. We can only afford to put on one major dance a year, in
November. Other than that, if our members want to go to dances, they
travel. We are multiple hours drive away from other classes and Branches.
I think the closest might be Portland. There is a small group in Burns, OR,
but I don't know how active they are. You can reach Portland or Seattle in
a day (8-10 hours driving). San Francisco takes longer. You can fly
anywhere, of course, if you want to spend the money. For our folks, some of
the most important criteria for choosing to travel to a SCD event are a
congenial group at the destination (and seeing dance friends), great music,
and an event that includes more than just a Ball.

Since we're so isolated, our yearly program usually ends up being the dances
on programs that club members are planning to attend. For example, this
year four people went to the weekend on Catalina Island, four went to TAC
Summer School, and 4-6 of us are planning to attend Asilomar. Fortunately,
some of those dances appear on more than one dance program! I was not
taught to choose dances to teach this way, as it can be hard to fit some of
these dances into a progressive curriculum, but it is a way to keep the more
experienced dancers coming to class.

Monica Pollard
Nampa, ID

On 8/13/07, Anselm Lingnau <anselm@strathspey.org > wrote:
>
> Lara Friedman~Shedlov wrote:
>
> > For me, the first thing to consider is the location (can I afford to get
>
> > there).
>
> Here in Germany there are now several functions per month (on average).
> This
> means that one can get a fair amount of dancing but must be prepared to
> travel -- it is no longer necessary to travel huge distances to be able to
>
> dance at a ball at all, but it's not as if there are three socials a week
> within spitting distance.

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Core Dances 2007 (was polling - now Core Dances)

Message 49434 · Duncan Brown · 13 Aug 2007 23:03:53 · Top

Hi all,

I was just thinking about this year's 'Core Dances' which the RSCDS has
chosen this year. Included is Lady Mary Menzies Reel from Book 7. It is
one of those that I call 'magic dances' - at the end of bar 16 1st couple
are back to back between the 3s, and on bar 17 1st couple are turning their
1st corners. How do they get there? - By Magic!! It was my wife's 'test
piece' for her full certificate , so I do know how to do it, but I would be
interested to know if anyone is going to put it on a dance programme this
coming year.

Duncan,
Chudleigh, UK

"Lady Mary Menzies' Reel" (was Core Dances 2007 (was polling - now Core Dances))

Message 49443 · Iain Boyd · 14 Aug 2007 02:44:51 · Top

Greetings all.

During the first week of the Saint Andrews Summer School I was taught and, later, watched this dance being demonstrated.

When it was taught, first couple were asked to set to third couple on bar 15 and then to move to face first corners on bar 16.

However, the demonstration team set to third couple on bars 15-16 and started to turn first corners from between third couple.

I was amazed that they were able to do it, but, do it they did and, seemingly, quite effortlessly.

There is no way that I will put this dance on a social programme. Nor do I expect any other local teacher to include it on a social programme. There are thousands of other (and better) dances to consider before this one. In my opinion, it was a mistake to include the dance on the Society's list of core dances.

Referring back to the country dance demonstration during the first week of Summer School I do have to say that I was most impressed with the dancing, particularly, from the point of view of phrasing and covering. I was upstairs so was not able to examine their footwork in great detail. However, to perform the two dances (the other was "The Bridge Of Nairn") to the standard they did requires excellent personal technique.

Regards,

Iain Boyd

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

"Lady Mary Menzies' Reel" (was Core Dances 2007 (was polling - now Core Dances))

Message 49444 · Anselm Lingnau · 14 Aug 2007 09:28:54 · Top

Iain Boyd wrote:

> There is no way that I will put this dance on a social programme. Nor do
> I expect any other local teacher to include it on a social programme. There
> are thousands of other (and better) dances to consider before this one. In
> my opinion, it was a mistake to include the dance on the Society's list of
> core dances.

Apparently the »list of featured dances« is, among other things, an
opportunity to air out dances that haven't seen the light of day for a long
time. There's nothing wrong with that in principle but sometimes one does
wonder.

On the other hand someone in charge seems to really like »Jimmy's Fancy«,
which has made the list twice during the brief period that the list existed
at all. This doesn't strike me as a particulary exciting dance and I suppose
I might be forgiven to think that there are enough interesting dances in the
RSCDS repertoire that we do not need to repeat ourselves in the featured
dances list for some time yet.

Does anyone know (Jim?) how the list of featured dances is arrived at? Is
there a Goblet of Fire somewhere at Coates Crescent that will, in an annual
ceremony, spit out slips of paper giving the appropriate number of jigs,
reels, and strathspeys, or does the Society employ more conventional means?

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none. -- William Shakespeare

"Lady Mary Menzies' Reel" (was Core Dances 2007 (was polling -now Core Dances))

Message 49446 · Pia Walker · 14 Aug 2007 10:21:30 · Top

Nah - it is the hat that does it :>) You have to take your dance to the
hat, and it will allocate :>) :>)

Pia
Aka Hermione

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
Anselm Lingnau
Sent: 14 August 2007 08:29
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: Re: "Lady Mary Menzies' Reel" (was Core Dances 2007 (was
polling -now Core Dances))

Iain Boyd wrote:

> There is no way that I will put this dance on a social programme. Nor do
> I expect any other local teacher to include it on a social programme.
There
> are thousands of other (and better) dances to consider before this one. In
> my opinion, it was a mistake to include the dance on the Society's list of
> core dances.

Apparently the "list of featured dances" is, among other things, an
opportunity to air out dances that haven't seen the light of day for a long
time. There's nothing wrong with that in principle but sometimes one does
wonder.

On the other hand someone in charge seems to really like "Jimmy's Fancy",
which has made the list twice during the brief period that the list existed
at all. This doesn't strike me as a particulary exciting dance and I suppose
I might be forgiven to think that there are enough interesting dances in the
RSCDS repertoire that we do not need to repeat ourselves in the featured
dances list for some time yet.

Does anyone know (Jim?) how the list of featured dances is arrived at? Is
there a Goblet of Fire somewhere at Coates Crescent that will, in an annual
ceremony, spit out slips of paper giving the appropriate number of jigs,
reels, and strathspeys, or does the Society employ more conventional means?

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
anselm@strathspey.org
Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none. -- William
Shakespeare

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Was Polling folks - now Core Dances

Message 49436 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 23:25:43 · Top

Sorry -- better write that more carefully.

... with the "too easy" dances, the mind wanders, and you can't
remember which one you are doing.
Martin

Social Dances - (Was Polling folks - now Core Dances)

Message 49435 · Iain Boyd · 13 Aug 2007 23:12:40 · Top

Dear Margaret,

<Dances & balls should be enjoyable, not stress-laden. If we look at a
<program filled with unfamiliar or overly-complicated dances, we say well,
<we're not going.

Then you will not be going to any of the evening dances at the Saint Andrews Summer School!

All dances are from the RSCDS repertoire. However, many, if not almost all, are dances which would not appear on most social dance programmes. The organisers seem to feel it is their duty to find obscure dances that have not been danced for ages or that are not usually done.

What makes the evenings enjoyable are the dancers who go along, depite the programme.

<There's already a core set of Featured Dances from HQ.

Yes, indeed, but, how many of them come into the same category as above!

<First person who complains about doing Flowers of Edinburgh or De'il Amang <the Tailors because they're too experienced to bother, or they're tired of them, <is often the first one to mess the dance up!

Very true, but, have you considered how many times those dancers have done these dances at a social dance in the last 20, 30, 40, 50 years, let alone, at club?

Regards,

Iain Boyd


Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

Social Dances - Core Dances

Message 49454 · ron.mackey · 14 Aug 2007 23:33:48 · Top

Hello Iain,

> Then you will not be going to any of the evening dances at the Saint
> Andrews Summer School!
>
> All dances are from the RSCDS repertoire. However, many, if not almost
> all, are dances which would not appear on most social dance programmes.
> The organisers seem to feel it is their duty to find obscure dances that
> have not been danced for ages or that are not usually done.

That point has been taken on board!!! Apparently the programmer thought
it wold be a good idea at the time but has admitted that it 'probably' went
too far.

During weeks 2 & 3 there were many who did the 'ceilidh dancing' (Old
Time Dancing in my language) instead and seemed to enjoy themselves quite as
much.
Seems dangerous to me. A certain amount of ceilidh dancing is OK but if
we're not careful we could lose a significant number of SCDers. Let's face
it, most dancing is fun to someone!

Happy Dancing

Ron

Ron Mackey
London, Croydon & International Branches

Social Dances - Core Dances

Message 49462 · John Chambers · 15 Aug 2007 01:37:17 · Top

Ron Mackey wrote:
| During weeks 2 & 3 there were many who did the 'ceilidh dancing' (Old
| Time Dancing in my language) instead and seemed to enjoy themselves quite as
| much.
| Seems dangerous to me. A certain amount of ceilidh dancing is OK but if
| we're not careful we could lose a significant number of SCDers. Let's face
| it, most dancing is fun to someone!

Actually, that's an approach used by a number of dancers that I know
here in the Boston area. This is a hotbed of "contra" dancing, of
course. What they do is, when they see a novice at SCD who looks
baffled and unlikely to return, they'll suggest that maybe one of the
contra sessions might be a better choice at first. Meanwhile, they
also go to contra dances, where they keep a lookout for people who
are showing symptoms of getting a bit bored by it all; they suggest
to those that maybe they should give Scottish dance a try.

They are basically treating contra dancing as a beginner version of
SCD, which it pretty much is. This approach leads to less
discouraging of beginners, and brings SCD to the attention of the
people who might prefer something that's a bit more of a mental
challenge. Meanwhile, the folks over at the English dance sessions
are doing the same sort of thing. It seems to work out pretty well.

(There are also a number of "Vintage" dance groups in the area, with
a noticable emphasis on late-17th-century dance. They have a large
overlap with the ECD and SCD groups, and they almost all started out
as contra dancers.)

--
Key: 09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

New Book

Message 49495 · simon scott · 17 Aug 2007 00:13:47 · Top

Hello All

I have just published a book of dances. It was released two weeks ago for
the TAC AGM Weekend in Vancouver and the TAC Summer School at Shawnigan
Lake. It contains twenty dances in all.

The first four are in the "Branxholm Hall Suite" and relate to four
generations of my family and their connection to the Scotts of Buccleuch
whose family seat is Branxholm Hall. The other sixteen are in the "Lady in
Red Collection" written for friends and occasions, and starting with "Lady
in Red".

The book is available from me or from TAC Book at $7.50 a copy.
All dances have notes of interest and some have original music.

Contents

Branxholm Hall Suite
Lord Scott of Buccleuch 4x32 bar strathspey for four couples 1
Earl of Buccleuch 8x32 bar reel for three couples 2
Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch 8x32 jig for three couples 3
Bonnie Heir of Buccleuch 32 strathspey 32 reel medley in a square set 4

Lady in Red Collection
Lady in Red 5x32 bar slow jig for five couples 1
Saddler's Daughter 8x40 bar reel for three couples 2
People's Princess 4x48 bar reel for four couples 3
Wendy of Appin 8x32 bar reel for three couples 4
Lady of Glen 1x88 bar reel in a square set 5
Ruby Pride 2x64 bar reel in a square set 6
Carole's Welcome 8x32 bar reel for two couples 7
Mount Fuji Majesty 4x32 bar reel in a square set 8
Wolfman of Kamagari 4x32 bar march/reel for four couples 9
Lady of Tokai 4x32 bar strathspey for four couples 10
MacArthur Park 4x32 bar strathspey four for couples 11
Lady of Wishaw 4x32 bar strathspey for four couples 12
Ruby Lips 8x32 bar strathspey for three couples 13
Peterborough Chorister 8x32 bar strathspey for three couples 14
Lady Hamilton's Lace 4x32 bar strathspey for four couples 15
Rutherford House 4x32 bar strathspey in a square set 16

Simon Scott
Vancouver

New Book

Message 49530 · RAbend7731 · 23 Aug 2007 15:01:09 · Top

Simon -

I'd love to purchase a copy of your new book of dances. ("Lady in Red" is a
favorite of mine!) Please send me the ordering details.

Rosemary Abend
rabend7731@aol.com

************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour

Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back)

Message 49439 · Iain Boyd · 13 Aug 2007 23:57:48 · Top

Greetings all,

Adriana wrote earlier -

<Also, in the past, people were usually quite a bit more willing to wait 2 or 3
<years to be able to start enjoying socials, as many did. However, people are
<not as patient these days.

When I started dancing (quite some years ago) we were not encouraged to go to the dances put on by the other local clubs. It was expected that the beginners would only attend their own club's social dance in the first couple of years of dancing. Now, however, some dancers are encouraging the beginners to go along to the Saturday night dances after only a few weeks dancing.

Locally, there are many good dancers still dancing. However, they do not attend the Saturday night dances put on by the local clubs because it is often not possible to dance a single dance completely without a less experienced dancer making a mistake. Sure, the experienced dances also make mistakes. However, the experienced dancers also like to be able to dance with their peers and to be able to perform a dance without having to think for others or push and drag the less experienced through a dance.


Regards,

Iain Boyd


Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back)

Message 49445 · Andrew Smith · 14 Aug 2007 09:54:14 · Top

I am finding it difficult to understand Iain's social dance set-up.
With reference to "beginners" he writes about "their own club's social
dance" in the singular - does this happen once per term, per year?
"the dances put on by the other local clubs" - does every club have a dance
every Saturday, and are these what he means by a "social dance"?
Without understanding the set-up, on the face of it I feel that new dancers
will still be disrupting ( as I read Iain's mail) their own club's social,
so where do the experienced dancers go then? Are all the clubs so well
endowed with new dancers that they are this much of a menace?
If "the experienced dancers also like to be able to dance with their peers"
how are 'peers' defined - by age? - by ability? How is 'experienced'
defined - by length of time dancing? - by ability/ knowledge of technique? -
by social skills on and off the dance floor? One does not necessarily
infer either of the others, but I believe that a 'good' dancer is defined by
a more or less equal combination of the last two. ( I can immediately think
of at least one 'good' dancer who is not yet 'experienced' so worries
terribly that they do not 'know the dances', but who is a much greater
pleasure to dance with than many who are more 'experienced'.) What happens
when there are not enough of the experienced peer group left to make a set?
With respect, I feel that his last sentence contributes hugely to the
perception that (the R)SCD(S) is elitist. He refers to "perform a dance" -
is not Miss Milligan credited with saying something to the effect that there
were too many performers and not enough dancers?
SCD is a social and therefore a co-operative activity, and I think that the
real expression of this is at dances, whether 'socials' or 'balls', rather
than just at classes, however well run.
I was pleased to see much greater emphasis on dancing *with* your
partner/corner etc, and engaging with them in the Very Advanced classes
(Elinor Vandergrift and Geoffrey Selling, week 2, St Andrews) this year, but
at the same time disappointed that it should be necessary to emphasise it in
classes of that standard.
In a few (or not so few, in some cases) years' time many of us 'experienced'
(however defined) dancers will be very glad of the tolerance of the current
new dancers, if they stick at it, as we try to enjoy the dancing beyond our
respective sell-by dates, so it behoves us to invest some time and effort
and tolerance in encouraging them now, rather than regarding them as a lower
form of life. More than one group has folded because it has given beginners
no encouragement, and apart from anything else that is unconstitutional if
the group is RSCDS based.
"One learns by one's mistakes" and "the man who never made a mistake never
made anything" are both very true.

It is the music and the sociability that distinguishes SCD, I believe, not
necessarily the standard of performance.
It is up to the experienced dancers to demonstrate by example to the less
experienced that enhanced technique and social awareness lead to a greater
enjoyment and enough confidence to help the less experienced through a
dance, rather than by being a group of 'prima donnas' for some of whom it is
obviously a condescension to dance with a less experienced dancer.
I think it very significant that quite a number of people, from 'beginners'
to 'experienced', mentioned Lesley's smile, welcome and encouragement as
things that made her memorable to them as dancers (and in at least two newer
dancers' cases said kept them coming initially) when they wrote to me
following her death last year. She was a very good dancer, with a lot of
experience.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iain Boyd" <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2007 10:57 PM
Subject: Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back)

> Greetings all,
>
> Adriana wrote earlier -
>
> <Also, in the past, people were usually quite a bit more willing to wait
> 2 or 3
> <years to be able to start enjoying socials, as many did. However, people
> are
> <not as patient these days.
>
> When I started dancing (quite some years ago) we were not encouraged to
> go to the dances put on by the other local clubs. It was expected that the
> beginners would only attend their own club's social dance in the first
> couple of years of dancing. Now, however, some dancers are encouraging the
> beginners to go along to the Saturday night dances after only a few weeks
> dancing.
>
> Locally, there are many good dancers still dancing. However, they do not
> attend the Saturday night dances put on by the local clubs because it is
> often not possible to dance a single dance completely without a less
> experienced dancer making a mistake. Sure, the experienced dances also
> make mistakes. However, the experienced dancers also like to be able to
> dance with their peers and to be able to perform a dance without having to
> think for others or push and drag the less experienced through a dance.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
>
>
>
> Postal Address -
>
> P O Box 11-404
> Wellington
> New Zealand
> Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
>

'Perform' versus 'Dance' (Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back))

Message 49452 · Iain Boyd · 14 Aug 2007 23:16:41 · Top

Dear Andrew,

Regarding your comments about my use of 'perform' in an earlier posting -

"With respect, I feel that his last sentence contributes hugely to the
perception that (the R)SCD(S) is elitist. He refers to "perform a dance" -
is not Miss Milligan credited with saying something to the effect that there
were too many performers and not enough dancers? "

I used the phrase 'perform a dance' in the original posting so that I did not have to use 'do a dance' or find another means of expressing the same thing!

Regards,

Iain Boyd



Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back)

Message 49448 · Rod Downey · 14 Aug 2007 12:49:48 · Top

Hi Iain,

sorry I don't think I agree with you. Iain and I both dance in
the wellington region. It is true that a small number of dancers
have gone to dances in their first year, but they are joanne and selwyn
and me and loralee, people who either have or could one day be tutors,and
picked the dancing up quickly. Other than that the people who tend
to make problems at dances are the same ones over and over again.
This is part and parce of the dancing.

BUT I think there is a big difference between programmes and dancing from
when
you were young. Nowadays the dancing group is older and don't like
simple but very vigorous dances that used to be on those programmes,
which might I add young people love, nor do people like ``simple''
dances in their patterns that need a lot of phrasing. (Dancers's
dances, Peggy's Love or the like)

We see this, put petronella on and see how they run, or the hamilton rant,
etc. People nowadays like ``track dances'' where you have some complicated
track, often as not without a partner and you just follow at the one
speed. The programmes I have seen from the past had much less comlicated
but often much more vigorous programmes, where it was easier to help.
And with a much smaller range of dances to master.
>From what I have seen part of the problem at dances is that less
experienced
people fall apart trying to help others.
I mean in the early books if you knew down the middle and up
poussette then you new half a dance. Now if you put
4 poussette's on a programme there would be a riot.

Actually, I think part of the problem of not atracting people in their
20's and 30's is that they can often like much more vigorous dances
than commonly liked at least here in wellington.

This year my group has acquired a whole set of beginners who have all
stayed. There were in a mixed group, and we had step proctice and
formatio practice most weeks. Whereas in the past we have usually
been like Anselm, covering our losses. The main difference this year
is that they are a centered around a group of friends, who came
originally to learn for a wedding. They all supported each other
and this got them through the ``bad times''(=reels for most).
I am trying to think how this might be used in the future.
Maybe try to get them socializing or the like. This would be a different
strategy.

By the way, my wife and I also do sequence and ballroom dancing.
The long term retention rate is no better. But husbands do
support wives and vice -versa, or at least partners.

I wellington the big thing for young people is salsa and the like.

sorry to go on so long

rod

On Tue, 14 Aug 2007, Iain Boyd wrote:

> Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 09:57:48 +1200 (NZST)
> From: Iain Boyd <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Beginners at Social Dances (was Polling folks who don't come back)
>
> Greetings all,
>
> Adriana wrote earlier -
>
> <Also, in the past, people were usually quite a bit more willing to wait 2 or 3
> <years to be able to start enjoying socials, as many did. However, people are
> <not as patient these days.
>
> When I started dancing (quite some years ago) we were not encouraged to go to the dances put on by the other local clubs. It was expected that the beginners would only attend their own club's social dance in the first couple of years of dancing. Now, however, some dancers are encouraging the beginners to go along to the Saturday night dances after only a few weeks dancing.
>
> Locally, there are many good dancers still dancing. However, they do not attend the Saturday night dances put on by the local clubs because it is often not possible to dance a single dance completely without a less experienced dancer making a mistake. Sure, the experienced dances also make mistakes. However, the experienced dancers also like to be able to dance with their peers and to be able to perform a dance without having to think for others or push and drag the less experienced through a dance.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
>
>
>
> Postal Address -
>
> P O Box 11-404
> Wellington
> New Zealand
> Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
>

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49405 · suepetyt · 7 Aug 2007 14:04:22 · Top

Margaret Sarna wrote:- Learning SCD is slow and boring, ya gotta admit!

I absolutely do not agree, it is only boring if the teacher makes it boring.
My beginners class were doing country dances right through in the first half
hour of their first lesson.

I start with something like a Gay Gordons which many people know but is also
easy to learn and I tell them to walk, - no fancy steps, - that's the warm
up.

I then give them a demonstration of skip change and get them to have a try
(no more than 2 lots of 8 bars) and then we get into sets - a quick 30
second overview of set numbering, men's and ladies sides, (followed up with
a sheet of A4 paper of basics for them to take home) and then I usually use
The Dhoon as the first dance. I use it because people invariably get their
right and left mixed up and all end up having a good laugh, if they laugh
and enjoy themselves they are more likely to come back. It is then a case
of building it up, but important to do the teaching as part of the dancing,
not as a separate section of the evening.

Sue Petyt
Lochmaben

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Don & Margaret Sarna
Sent: 07 August 2007 00:19
To: Strathspey items
Subject: Polling folks who don't come back

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49406 · Robin@Free · 7 Aug 2007 15:05:32 · Top


I think this has turned into the annual discussion on how to attract and
keep members. I agree with Anselm that SCD will never compete with the
local Gym class in turns of fat-burning but socially there is no contest!

Scottish Dancing Cote d’Azur is a very small group down near Nice and we
have never had the luxury of a Beginners Class. We have a wide mix of
dancers and nationalities, and therefore we have the problems of finding
dances where newcomers can feel they are achieving something and at the same
time keeping more experienced dancers interested.

We always get newcomers to get up and try the dancing with some well-chosen
favourites, and we think it is important to get the “team” aspect over very
early so we prefer to use social dances like Cumberland Reel and Sheena’s
Saunter rather than “couples” dances like the Gay Gordons to bring newcomers
into the action. Simple dances like Davy’s Locker, Watson’s Reel and Leap
Year work well being only 24 bars – cutting the amount to be remembered by
25% seems to help. Our greatest success has been with a group from a choir
in the Var who only needed to be told "2-bar turn" or "4-bar turn" and they
went for it - unfortunately they are too far away to come every week.

That being said, we suffer exactly as Martin has described when it comes to
membership. The population in our area is particularly mobile and the
choice of other activities in the Region is immense, no sooner do we get
some dancers to a useful state, they move on to another activity or out of
the area.

Would it be useful to get together and make a more formal collection of
efforts we have all made to attract and keep members? We should bear in
mind that every area and every country is different, so what works in one
may not work in another, - different areas offer different opportunities. I
know what we have tried over the years so I can list it pretty easily – what
I do not have is the magic formula which works every time (actually once
would be good!).

Robin Hemmings
Treasurer, SDCdA
http://scottishdanceriviera.free.fr

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Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49407 · campbell · 8 Aug 2007 15:01:38 · Top

Robin wrote:
> Would it be useful to get together and make a more formal collection
> of efforts we have all made to attract and keep members? We should
> bear in mind that every area and every country is different, so what
> works in one may not work in another, - different areas offer
> different opportunities. I know what we have tried over the years so
> I can list it pretty easily – what I do not have is the magic formula
> which works every time (actually once would be good!).

I think this information is always worth sharing. I think one has to
distinguish between recruiting with the luxury of a potential beginners
class and recruiting when your club isnt big enough for such things. We
belong to the latter.

At Lynfrae in Cape Town we hold a "recruitment social" (called a celidh in
the adverts)annually on a Saturday night at the beginning of our season,
advertise it in the local newspapers and radio as well as posters in cafés
and libraries and of course bring willing friends and unwilling family
members. The night is totally dedicated to the newcomers. Existing members
are reminded of their roots and asked to be as welcoming as possible. We
take personal details at the door and have a dance programme starting with
Campbell's Welcome and slowly working up to Barley Bree and Watsons Reel.
We usually attract about 40 potential members and land up with about 8 to 12
who come back.

Then every weekly club evening it is a rule that new people are ALWAYS
welcome. If one or two turn up, for whatever reason, we ensure that there
is sufficient dancing they can do (of course they get extra attention if
they are male and under 30!!). I always tell our members that unless we
grow we will die. We cannot afford to mark time.

Hope that is helpful for someone. I can provide more information privately
if anyone wants.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Fond memories of dancing in Cape Town....

Message 49408 · Hanny Budnick · 8 Aug 2007 15:23:27 · Top

Hi Campbell,
I was in Cape Town in 2000 and 2001 at the beginning and conclusion of my trip
to Tristan da Cunha. I stayed with the Carters (are they dancing anymore?) and
had fun dancing with your group then. Oh, how I wish I could come back again...
One of the nicest aspects of SCD (I'm one of those 'fully certificated'
teachers) is that, once you locate a group anywhere in the world, you can be
assured of a good time and fellowship dancing with folks who were strangers
before.
Once there was a teacher on TdC (in the 70s I believe) who taught dancing to
the folks. But they didn't want to get involved again when I was there. Strange
folks, those Tristanians.....
Casting off with regards,
Hanny

Advertizing

Message 49424 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 09:26:05 · Top

I have changed the subject line, as I don't feel polling would be a
very productive activity.

Le 8 août 07 à 15h01, Campbell Tyler a écrit :
> ... we hold a "recruitment social" (called a celidh in
> the adverts)annually on a Saturday night at the beginning of our
> season,

We shall be doing this in september, hoping to attract some new dancers.

> advertise it in the local newspapers and radio as well as posters
> in cafés
> and libraries

Advertizing is the most difficult.
In English-speaking countries, "country dancing" may evoke some
memories of school or festivities or parties or something. Here in
France, it means nothing, evokes no images, no nostalgia, nothing.
"Celtic" (however inappropriate) at least makes people think of
lively music, traditions, Breton separatists, the down-trodden Irish,
and of course the Riverdance revival. The word has some meaning
here, but of course, all these things have little to do with our
favorite pastime.
"Country" is now the word used to describe line dancing here!
"Un dancing" or "un dansing" is a dance hall for loud modern music.
"Ceilidh" is not only meaningless, it is unpronounceable.
Luckily, a lot of French people have visited -- and liked --
Scotland, so at least the word"ecossais" has some advertizing value.
The main qualities of the SCD community, sociability, friendliness
and courtesy, are not easy to convey in text or even photos.

Talking about possible newspaper articles yesterday, we came up with
the idea :
"Scottish dancing requires a certain intellectual capacity: the
ability to count up to 8, know left from right, top from bottom, and
remember who your partner is."
;-)

Martin,
Grenoble.

>

Advertizing

Message 49427 · Steven Epstein · 13 Aug 2007 17:54:39 · Top

Are there groups which do folk or historical dancing
of some kind in your area? How much do they know about
them, and them about you?

Steve Epstein
Lancaster, PA, USA

--- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr> wrote:

> I have changed the subject line, as I don't feel
> polling would be a
> very productive activity.
>
(snip)
>
> Advertizing is the most difficult.
> In English-speaking countries, "country dancing" may
> evoke some
> memories of school or festivities or parties or
> something. Here in
> France, it means nothing, evokes no images, no
> nostalgia, nothing.
> "Celtic" (however inappropriate) at least makes
> people think of
> lively music, traditions, Breton separatists, the
> down-trodden Irish,
> and of course the Riverdance revival. The word has
> some meaning
> here, but of course, all these things have little to
> do with our
> favorite pastime.
> "Country" is now the word used to describe line
> dancing here!
> "Un dancing" or "un dansing" is a dance hall for
> loud modern music.
> "Ceilidh" is not only meaningless, it is
> unpronounceable.
> Luckily, a lot of French people have visited -- and
> liked --
> Scotland, so at least the word"ecossais" has some
> advertizing value.
> The main qualities of the SCD community,
> sociability, friendliness
> and courtesy, are not easy to convey in text or even
> photos.
>
> Talking about possible newspaper articles yesterday,
> we came up with
> the idea :
> "Scottish dancing requires a certain intellectual
> capacity: the
> ability to count up to 8, know left from right, top
> from bottom, and
> remember who your partner is."
> ;-)
>
> Martin,
> Grenoble.
>
>
>
>
> >
>
>
>


____________________________________________________________________________________
Choose the right car based on your needs. Check out Yahoo! Autos new Car Finder tool.
http://autos.yahoo.com/carfinder/

Advertizing

Message 49429 · Steven Epstein · 13 Aug 2007 18:15:03 · Top

Oops:) I meant to write, how much do YOU know about
them, and them about you.

Steve

--- Steven Epstein <sdepstein@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Are there groups which do folk or historical dancing
> of some kind in your area? How much do they know
> about
> them, and them about you?
>
> Steve Epstein
> Lancaster, PA, USA
>
> --- Martin Sheffield <mj.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
> wrote:
>
> > I have changed the subject line, as I don't feel
> > polling would be a
> > very productive activity.
> >
> (snip)
> >
> > Advertizing is the most difficult.
> > In English-speaking countries, "country dancing"
> may
> > evoke some
> > memories of school or festivities or parties or
> > something. Here in
> > France, it means nothing, evokes no images, no
> > nostalgia, nothing.
> > "Celtic" (however inappropriate) at least makes
> > people think of
> > lively music, traditions, Breton separatists, the
> > down-trodden Irish,
> > and of course the Riverdance revival. The word
> has
> > some meaning
> > here, but of course, all these things have little
> to
> > do with our
> > favorite pastime.
> > "Country" is now the word used to describe line
> > dancing here!
> > "Un dancing" or "un dansing" is a dance hall for
> > loud modern music.
> > "Ceilidh" is not only meaningless, it is
> > unpronounceable.
> > Luckily, a lot of French people have visited --
> and
> > liked --
> > Scotland, so at least the word"ecossais" has some
> > advertizing value.
> > The main qualities of the SCD community,
> > sociability, friendliness
> > and courtesy, are not easy to convey in text or
> even
> > photos.
> >
> > Talking about possible newspaper articles
> yesterday,
> > we came up with
> > the idea :
> > "Scottish dancing requires a certain intellectual
> > capacity: the
> > ability to count up to 8, know left from right,
> top
> > from bottom, and
> > remember who your partner is."
> > ;-)
> >
> > Martin,
> > Grenoble.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________________
> Choose the right car based on your needs. Check out
> Yahoo! Autos new Car Finder tool.
> http://autos.yahoo.com/carfinder/
>

____________________________________________________________________________________
Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative vehicles. Visit the Yahoo! Auto Green Center.
http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center/

Advertizing

Message 49430 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 18:38:18 · Top

Le 13 août 07 à 17h54, Steven Epstein a écrit :

> Are there groups which do folk or historical dancing
> of some kind in your area?

French folk, yes.
They mostly know about SCD, since I sometimes go along to the othr
gclubs (less and less, to tell the truth!)
And the generally accepted opinion is that SCD is just too difficult.
Perhaps if we were content to do Canadian Barn dance and Highland
schottisch all evening, then that would satisfy the French folkdancers.
The dances they do around here are that repetitive.

Martin

Recruiting

Message 49425 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 09:35:22 · Top

Beginners' classes versus mixed groups.

The pros and cons of each system have been discussed.

A comment from one of our ex-beginners who had experienced both:
"If I had not been in a begnners' group, I would not have continued.
It is awfully embarrassing being with experienced dancers all trying
to give you a hand to help you -- makes you feel a real fool.

Martin

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49409 · Andrew Smith · 9 Aug 2007 09:32:14 · Top

Margaret Sarna wrote:
" Learning SCD is slow and boring, ya gotta admit!"

It doesn't have to be.

"It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)"

Why can't we change? I believe that the Society at its Management Board and
Committee levels now recognises a need to change our approach but it has a
problem persuading entrenched interests and teachers who were brought up on
an earlier method to change. Pressure has to come from the membership to
make it clear that we must do. Do not just make your observations on
"Strathspey". Raise it with your Branches and Affiliated Groups and with the
Chairman of the Society. Raise it as an issue for discussion at the Members'
Forum at the Society AGM.
Warm-ups do not need to be tedious - I have enjoyed some great fun warm-ups
at summer school at St Andrews. We do not, IMHO, emphasise the 'fun and
moving to brilliant music' aspects enough at the outset, and then come to
the intricacies gradually.

"Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.
We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

I could not agree more. We should have sufficient faith in our product to
market it on the same terms as other courses. I have heard it said that if
people have to pay more for something they will value it more. This also
applies to RSCDS membership fees, which is another area where we have to
"get real". At present there is a tendency to duck both issues, and I do not
believe either are sustainable.

Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Don & Margaret Sarna" <dssarna@sprintmail.com>
To: "Strathspey items" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:19 AM
Subject: Polling folks who don't come back

They invariably give a palatable 'excuse' (not the real _reason_ they
dropped out): They're taking up something else, caring for an aged parent,
working long hours. They won't admit they just didn't like it! (As if that
would hurt our feelings.)

I have 'chased down' a few folks who had some real potential. At first they
won't admit they didn't like it, and some will 'stick with their story'.
After prodding, one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
aerobic (not just standing around learning footwork & formations or doing
warm-ups). They wanted a good one-hour workout, then to go have coffee.

I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
boring, ya gotta admit!

It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)

Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.

We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

There's also a segment (I believe large) looking for a partner, not just for
dance. Since many groups are comprised of mostly seniors, the pickin's
aren't there, so they move on.

As for checking with folks when they drop out, I'd feel intruded on if
someone called me. If I didn't come back, it's _obvious_ I didn't like it!
It's an invasion of privacy to inquire. Even if an experienced dancer were
rude to a beginner, he/she won¹t tell you that anyway.

Margaret Sarna
Michigan
> Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)
>
> Have you not got e-mails to the people who have left either the area or
> never turned up again - you could always ask why they decided not to come
> back. A kind of 'Customer Survey'
>
> And you could always inform the students that wherever they go in the
> world
> there is SCD in some form or shape, and you would be happy to help them
> find
> a class outside your area.
>
> Re recuitment: Why not hold a 'taster' day - it is done by a lot of
> other groups - and let people come in off the street - never mind their
> footwear, attire etc. do some easy dances - children's dances etc.
> without
> too many changes of direction - have a bit of a party atmosphere and try
> and
> get people hooked that way (I suppose one could even have such a thing
> publicly in a shopping centre etc). It doesn't have to be on the usual
> dance night - it could be during the day/on a weekend - anytime.
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Martin Sheffield
> Sent: 06 August 2007 15:16
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Dance scottish week
>
>
> Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :
>
>> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
>> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.
>
> Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
> say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
> Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
> young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
> (students that have left Grenoble again anyway).
>
> The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
> phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
> more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
> improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
> for longer.
>
> Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
> have faded away for that very reason.
>
> Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
> office-workers/teachers/research/retired.
>
> Same as everywhere else?
>
> Martin
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
>

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49410 · Pia Walker · 9 Aug 2007 13:02:09 · Top

There's only one thing you forget with other courses - most activities are
already known to people - although I cannot play golf, I know what that
looks like and feels like, I can't throw clay, but I have seen it done, and
I know the feel of clay and I know what the end product looks like. SCD
has not got a high visual profile, therefore people cannot get the feel for
it without trying it.
Scottish country dancing isn't like that - we do dems, yes, and in most
cases it is dancing at its most intricate and 'posh'. So we give people a
perceived and in some cases negative idea "they don't look as if they are
enjoying themselves" - "Do I need a white dress and a kilt to start" - "Do I
have to buy funny shoes before I go to a class?"
We are in a situation where we need to show people from the start that they
are going to enjoy themselves - because in many cases they have never
encountered it themselves.
Pia

"Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.
We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

I could not agree more. We should have sufficient faith in our product to
market it on the same terms as other courses. I have heard it said that if
people have to pay more for something they will value it more. This also
applies to RSCDS membership fees, which is another area where we have to
"get real". At present there is a tendency to duck both issues, and I do not
believe either are sustainable.

Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Don & Margaret Sarna" <dssarna@sprintmail.com>
To: "Strathspey items" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:19 AM
Subject: Polling folks who don't come back

They invariably give a palatable 'excuse' (not the real _reason_ they
dropped out): They're taking up something else, caring for an aged parent,
working long hours. They won't admit they just didn't like it! (As if that
would hurt our feelings.)

I have 'chased down' a few folks who had some real potential. At first they
won't admit they didn't like it, and some will 'stick with their story'.
After prodding, one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
aerobic (not just standing around learning footwork & formations or doing
warm-ups). They wanted a good one-hour workout, then to go have coffee.

I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
boring, ya gotta admit!

It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)

Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
investment.

We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.

There's also a segment (I believe large) looking for a partner, not just for
dance. Since many groups are comprised of mostly seniors, the pickin's
aren't there, so they move on.

As for checking with folks when they drop out, I'd feel intruded on if
someone called me. If I didn't come back, it's _obvious_ I didn't like it!
It's an invasion of privacy to inquire. Even if an experienced dancer were
rude to a beginner, he/she won¹t tell you that anyway.

Margaret Sarna
Michigan
> Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)
>
> Have you not got e-mails to the people who have left either the area or
> never turned up again - you could always ask why they decided not to come
> back. A kind of 'Customer Survey'
>
> And you could always inform the students that wherever they go in the
> world
> there is SCD in some form or shape, and you would be happy to help them
> find
> a class outside your area.
>
> Re recuitment: Why not hold a 'taster' day - it is done by a lot of
> other groups - and let people come in off the street - never mind their
> footwear, attire etc. do some easy dances - children's dances etc.
> without
> too many changes of direction - have a bit of a party atmosphere and try
> and
> get people hooked that way (I suppose one could even have such a thing
> publicly in a shopping centre etc). It doesn't have to be on the usual
> dance night - it could be during the day/on a weekend - anytime.
>
> Pia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
> Martin Sheffield
> Sent: 06 August 2007 15:16
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: Re: Dance scottish week
>
>
> Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :
>
>> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
>> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.
>
> Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
> say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
> Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
> young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
> (students that have left Grenoble again anyway).
>
> The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
> phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
> more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
> improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
> for longer.
>
> Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
> have faded away for that very reason.
>
> Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
> office-workers/teachers/research/retired.
>
> Same as everywhere else?
>
> Martin
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
> 16:16
>
>

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.10/943 - Release Date: 08/08/2007
17:38

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.10/943 - Release Date: 08/08/2007
17:38

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49415 · 0AM7L@SIA · 9 Aug 2007 18:22:57 · Top

That's why the first night is free. I'd go even further and give folks 3 or
4 nights free . . . so they get 'hooked.'
(At least those with the interest, energy, potential, timing & attention
span.)
Then make them pay up front for 6-10 classes like they have to anywhere
else.
M

> There's only one thing you forget with other courses - most activities are
> already known to people - although I cannot play golf, I know what that
> looks like and feels like, I can't throw clay, but I have seen it done, and
> I know the feel of clay and I know what the end product looks like. SCD
> has not got a high visual profile, therefore people cannot get the feel for
> it without trying it.
> Scottish country dancing isn't like that - we do dems, yes, and in most
> cases it is dancing at its most intricate and 'posh'. So we give people a
> perceived and in some cases negative idea "they don't look as if they are
> enjoying themselves" - "Do I need a white dress and a kilt to start" - "Do I
> have to buy funny shoes before I go to a class?"
> We are in a situation where we need to show people from the start that they
> are going to enjoy themselves - because in many cases they have never
> encountered it themselves.
> Pia
>
> "Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
> means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
> education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
> investment.
> We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
> Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.
>
> I could not agree more. We should have sufficient faith in our product to
> market it on the same terms as other courses. I have heard it said that if
> people have to pay more for something they will value it more. This also
> applies to RSCDS membership fees, which is another area where we have to
> "get real". At present there is a tendency to duck both issues, and I do not
> believe either are sustainable.
>
> Andrew Smith,
> Bristol, UK.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Don & Margaret Sarna" <dssarna@sprintmail.com>
> To: "Strathspey items" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:19 AM
> Subject: Polling folks who don't come back
>
>
> They invariably give a palatable 'excuse' (not the real _reason_ they
> dropped out): They're taking up something else, caring for an aged parent,
> working long hours. They won't admit they just didn't like it! (As if that
> would hurt our feelings.)
>
> I have 'chased down' a few folks who had some real potential. At first they
> won't admit they didn't like it, and some will 'stick with their story'.
> After prodding, one gal admitted she & her friend were looking for something
> aerobic (not just standing around learning footwork & formations or doing
> warm-ups). They wanted a good one-hour workout, then to go have coffee.
>
> I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
> boring, ya gotta admit!
>
> It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
> not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
> of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
> gratification.)
>
> Beginners need _incentive_ to stick with it long enough to get it, which
> means paying for a series in advance, as with other adult
> education/recreation/sports. Folks are less likely to bail if they made an
> investment.
>
> We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then disappear.
> Even if they come a 2nd or 3rd time, they still won't begin to 'get it'.
>
> There's also a segment (I believe large) looking for a partner, not just for
> dance. Since many groups are comprised of mostly seniors, the pickin's
> aren't there, so they move on.
>
> As for checking with folks when they drop out, I'd feel intruded on if
> someone called me. If I didn't come back, it's _obvious_ I didn't like it!
> It's an invasion of privacy to inquire. Even if an experienced dancer were
> rude to a beginner, he/she won¹t tell you that anyway.
>
> Margaret Sarna
> Michigan
>> Scottish country dancers don't fade away - we go out with a flourish :>)
>>
>> Have you not got e-mails to the people who have left either the area or
>> never turned up again - you could always ask why they decided not to come
>> back. A kind of 'Customer Survey'
>>
>> And you could always inform the students that wherever they go in the
>> world
>> there is SCD in some form or shape, and you would be happy to help them
>> find
>> a class outside your area.
>>
>> Re recuitment: Why not hold a 'taster' day - it is done by a lot of
>> other groups - and let people come in off the street - never mind their
>> footwear, attire etc. do some easy dances - children's dances etc.
>> without
>> too many changes of direction - have a bit of a party atmosphere and try
>> and
>> get people hooked that way (I suppose one could even have such a thing
>> publicly in a shopping centre etc). It doesn't have to be on the usual
>> dance night - it could be during the day/on a weekend - anytime.
>>
>> Pia
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
>> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
>> Martin Sheffield
>> Sent: 06 August 2007 15:16
>> To: SCD news and discussion
>> Subject: Re: Dance scottish week
>>
>>
>> Le 6 août 07 à 12h35, Dick Daniel a écrit :
>>
>>> Would be interesting to know what age bands you are managing to
>>> attract, and whether they tend to be white/blue collar.
>>
>> Although I did not actually look too closely at their collars, I can
>> say that the newcomers last year were all on the younger side of 40.
>> Unfortunately, those nearest 20 were all too busy doing whatever
>> young people do and did not become faithful members of the club
>> (students that have left Grenoble again anyway).
>>
>> The most frustrating were the several individuals and couples who
>> phoned, but never turned up, and those that turned up once and no
>> more. Frustrating, because, if we knew why, we might be able to
>> improve the welcome we gave and keep this year's newcomers interested
>> for longer.
>>
>> Meanwhile the old members are getting older (much older!), and many
>> have faded away for that very reason.
>>
>> Present membership ranges from 20-something to 87, probably all
>> office-workers/teachers/research/retired.
>>
>> Same as everywhere else?
>>
>> Martin
>>
>>
>> No virus found in this incoming message.
>> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
>> 16:16
>>
>> No virus found in this outgoing message.
>> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.6/938 - Release Date: 05/08/2007
>> 16:16
>>
>>
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.10/943 - Release Date: 08/08/2007
> 17:38
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.11.10/943 - Release Date: 08/08/2007
> 17:38
>
>

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49437 · L. Friedman-Shedlov · 13 Aug 2007 23:35:51 · Top

In our branch, new dancers can come to classes for free for the first 6
weeks after their initial class. After that, they can either pay the
weekly class fee or join the branch (class fees are included in branch
mebmership dues in our branch). That works well for us.

/ Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

********************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Librarians -- Like Google, but
ldfs@bigfoot.com warm-blooded"
********************************

On Thu, 9 Aug 2007, Don & Margaret Sarna wrote:

> That's why the first night is free. I'd go even further and give folks 3 or
> 4 nights free . . . so they get 'hooked.'
> (At least those with the interest, energy, potential, timing & attention
> span.)
> Then make them pay up front for 6-10 classes like they have to anywhere
> else.
> M

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49440 · Anselm Lingnau · 14 Aug 2007 00:44:26 · Top

Lara Friedman~Shedlov wrote:

> In our branch, new dancers can come to classes for free for the first 6
> weeks after their initial class. After that, they can either pay the
> weekly class fee or join the branch (class fees are included in branch
> mebmership dues in our branch). That works well for us.

The same method works for us -- new people can come along for a few weeks but
are included in the big Reckoning the next time it comes around (once every
three months or so).

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
In business, a failure that isn't obvious for a few years is as good as a
success. -- Scott Adams, _Dilbert's Guide to the Rest of your Life_

Recruiting - 2

Message 49426 · Martin · 13 Aug 2007 09:40:50 · Top

Le 9 août 07 à 09h32, Andrew Smith a écrit :

> We make it too easy for folks to show up once (for free), then
> disappear.

We have (more or less) decided to ask everyone for 5€ an evening at
the beginning of the season, to be deducted from the annual fee if
they decide to become regulars.

Still cheaper than a cinema seat.

Martin,
Grenoble.

Polling folks who don't come back

Message 49442 · ron.mackey · 14 Aug 2007 01:30:12 · Top

I suspect this is the case with many dropouts. Learning SCD is slow and
boring, ya gotta admit!

It doesn't matter if they don't like SCD; we can't change it, can we? It's
not our friendliness (or lack of), it's the tedious warmups, the intricacies
of footwork, formations & timing. (Some folks just want that instant
gratification.)

Do you really put beginners though footwork and warmups before you have
them hooked? If you get any to stay would be a surprise to me.
Surely they come to try Scottish Dancing not have a workout?
At a guess I would estimate that fewer than 10% actually go dancing
originally because they liked the discipline. Many must start because they
like the music or have seen it done and would like to try but must feel
waylaid when they are told they 'have to suffer to be beautiful'? Result?
One week wonders!
Happy Dancing

Ron

Ron Mackey
London, Croydon & International Branches

Jig or Reel?

Message 49376 · campbell · 3 Aug 2007 14:34:31 · Top

Hi Anja,

I asked a similar question about a year ago and although many responded I
didn't ever receive what for me was a satisfactory reply. So I shall watch
the response to this one with interest.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Sustainable Energy Africa
9B Bell Crescent Close, Westlake 7945
Telephone +27-(0)21-702-3622
Cellphone +27-(0)82-214-7174
Fax +27-(0)86-692-1968
Email campbell@sustainable.org.za

> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-campbell=tyler.co.za@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-campbell=tyler.co.za@strathspey.org
> ] On Behalf Of Breest, Anja
> Sent: 03 August 2007 02:03 PM
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Jig or Reel?
>
>
>
>
> How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
> If you do NOT have music already.
>
> What I mean is, sometimes a new dance (idea) just pops up in
> the mind. You know it is a fast one. But you don't have a
> specific music for it, just the dance itself.
>
> How would you diced if it will be a jig or a reel in the
> future? Are there "rules" about it? F.e. "the more set, the more Jig"?
>
> (If this has been discussed before, please tell me where to
> find in the
> archiv)
>
> Greetings,
> Anja
>
> Cologne, Germany
>
>
> ---
> "Who is Who" - Ball
> 22.9.2007, Abtei Brauweiler
> Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
> http://www.rscds-cologne.de
>
>

Jig or Reel?

Message 49377 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 3 Aug 2007 15:23:54 · Top

I think you are asking, "how does one tell if a dance is a jig or a reel
without looking at the music?"

>From my observation, jigs are usually in 6/8 time, while reels are usually
in 4/4 or in "cut time". Then you have hornpipes which are again usually in
4/4. If you play and read music you should be able to pick up on the
differences between a 4/4 reel which will seem smoother in the rhythm while
the jig will have this bouncy feel. Of course, there are exceptions, say if
the reel is written with a lot of triplets, then it will seem a bit bouncy
as well.

Best thing I could suggest is to listen to a lot of reels versus jigs while
looking at the sheet music. Here is a link to Natalie MacMasters site that
has her sheet music. You could get one of her albums and look at the music
while watching the music. (She has these by album!)
http://www.nataliemacmaster.com/recordings/sheetmusic.htm

Yours aye,
Tom Mungall
Baton Rouge, La, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Breest, Anja" <gir@grs.de>
> How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
> If you do NOT have music already.

Jig or Reel?

Message 49378 · SMiskoe · 3 Aug 2007 15:28:16 · Top

Jigs have a gallopy-gallopy-gallopy feel to them while reels have an even
trot-trot-trot feel. Play the tunes and walk to them and you can feel the
difference.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour

Jig or Reel?

Message 49379 · Sophie Rickebusch · 3 Aug 2007 15:40:31 · Top

I don't think that was the question, I understood it to be: how do you decide if
the dance you've just invented is going to be a jig or a reel?

Sophie

Selon "Thomas G. Mungall, III" <atheling@cox.net>:

> I think you are asking, "how does one tell if a dance is a jig or a reel
> without looking at the music?"
>
> >From my observation, jigs are usually in 6/8 time, while reels are usually
> in 4/4 or in "cut time". Then you have hornpipes which are again usually in
> 4/4. If you play and read music you should be able to pick up on the
> differences between a 4/4 reel which will seem smoother in the rhythm while
> the jig will have this bouncy feel. Of course, there are exceptions, say if
> the reel is written with a lot of triplets, then it will seem a bit bouncy
> as well.
>
> Best thing I could suggest is to listen to a lot of reels versus jigs while
> looking at the sheet music. Here is a link to Natalie MacMasters site that
> has her sheet music. You could get one of her albums and look at the music
> while watching the music. (She has these by album!)
> http://www.nataliemacmaster.com/recordings/sheetmusic.htm
>
> Yours aye,
> Tom Mungall
> Baton Rouge, La, USA
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Breest, Anja" <gir@grs.de>
> > How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
> > If you do NOT have music already.
>
>

--
Sophie Rickebusch
FR - St Martin d'Heres

Jig or Reel?

Message 49380 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 3 Aug 2007 16:23:40 · Top

Yes, sorry, it wasn't real clear to me when I first read it.

Tom
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sophie Rickebusch" <sophie.rickebusch@free.fr>

I don't think that was the question, I understood it to be: how do you
decide if
the dance you've just invented is going to be a jig or a reel?

Sophie

Selon "Thomas G. Mungall, III" <atheling@cox.net>:

> I think you are asking, "how does one tell if a dance is a jig or a reel
> without looking at the music?"

Jig or Reel?

Message 49384 · Rod Downey · 4 Aug 2007 04:09:10 · Top

Hi all,

I cannot say how other devisers assign music, but I can say how I do.

Personally I find that it depends upon how the dance was devised and
for whom the dance is intended. When I devise dances, sometimes there is
an idea for a formation from which that dance is built, and then I try
to think what effect I want from the dance. For example, once I wrote a
dance called ``The Cane Toad Jig'', which although it had a variant of
Hello and Goodbye Setting in it (which would usually be done as a reel or
a hornpipe), I wanted the effect of, well, toads jumping, so I chose
an appropriate jig, and the juniper jig seemed the correct type.
Sometimes there's a great RSCDS tune that I know would fit,
especially after trial, that I woould like to use as the
standard dabce is rarely done.

Nowadays, most of my dances are either inspired by the music:
``that's a great tune, I'd love a dance to it'' and then trying to
think of a dance whose choreography fits the music. Currently
there is a wonderful tune in my head I heard on an Elke Baker CD
(Glenelg, last tune track 5) called ``Lady Mary Hay's Scotch Measure,''
and I am toying with formations
to fit the tune, without real success. The last one I had like this
was inspired by a recording of ``The Banks of Spey'' by Muriel
Johnston and Keith Smith on ``Campbell's Birl''. This is
the way recently I have constructed more advanced dances.
(The draft new book is on my website www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~downey).

But many of my recent dances are teaching dances, and if the were aimed
at simple formations for the first time to newer dances, likely I would
choose a jig (or maybe a hornpipe if setting to corners
is involved) as newer dancers are less
likely to get out of time and be more likely to get the formation.
Saying that, I tend to prefer pipe marches anyway instead of traditional
jigs.

The same is true for teaching music. When I read the question of
``Strathspeys vs Airs'' I think the answer is what you are trying to
achieve in the lesson. If I am trying to even out the step, perhaps
stressing the second part of the step, or teaching setting, I
would be more likely to choose something with less emphasis on the first
part, likely something like ``Green Grow the Rashes'' (song tunes
often work well) as it is quite even. If I was trying to get the class
to be quiet, not dragging the feet, I might choose a pastoral; also it
would depend on the dance if it was part of the dance.

I really think the music is incredibly important, many dances I love would
not be the same with different music. Think about e.g. The Rakish
Highlandman, or The Flowers of Edinburgh. I am fortunate here that I have
a kind and knowledgable musician (Peter Elmes) who I can ask questions
of, also.

best

rod downey

On Fri, 3 Aug 2007, Breest, Anja wrote:

> Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2007 14:02:44 +0200
> From: "Breest, Anja" <gir@grs.de>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: Jig or Reel?
>
>
>
> How do you decide if a dance is a jig or a reel?
> If you do NOT have music already.
>
> What I mean is, sometimes a new dance (idea) just pops up in the mind.
> You know it is a fast one. But you don't have a specific music for it, just
> the dance itself.
>
> How would you diced if it will be a jig or a reel in the future?
> Are there "rules" about it?
> F.e. "the more set, the more Jig"?
>
> (If this has been discussed before, please tell me where to find in the
> archiv)
>
> Greetings,
> Anja
>
> Cologne, Germany
>
>
> ---
> "Who is Who" - Ball
> 22.9.2007, Abtei Brauweiler
> Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
> http://www.rscds-cologne.de
>

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