strathspey Archive: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

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How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56676 · Gordon Scott · 28 Sep 2009 13:40:46 · Top

I belong to a club that runs an annual dance with a live band. About three
years ago we changed the supper from “American Supper” to a hot meal from an
outside caterer, with an inevitable increase in ticket price, but still
under £20. At that level we have been making a small loss each year.

With the current “credit crunch”, numbers seem to be down, although we have
noticed the same at other functions. I would be interested to hear how
others would approach the problem –

Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the number of
dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that they are too
nervous to try “straight-in” events.

Should we use CDs instead of a live band?

Should we stop using the caterer (but I don’t know if could find enough
volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started using a caterer
there was a huge relief that there was no need for our members to try to do
look after the food in their “dance” clothes.

Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 – would 7:00 to
11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?

By the way, there is a flyer for this year’s dance at
http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/Newbury/newbury-ball-flyer-2009.pdf .

Gordon Scott

No virus found in this outgoing message.
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05:51:00

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56681 · Lee Fuell · 28 Sep 2009 22:10:16 · Top

Gordon,

I expect the reason(s) people do or do not attend a dance is highly dependent on unique local circumstances such as the demographics of dancers in your area, their personal preferences, etc. However, the one question you ask that I'd comment on from across the Atlantic is the use of CDs versus a live band: Don't go there! To me, probably the most important determinant of whether or not I will spend the time and money to go to a dance (especially if it requires overnight travel) is the band. Using recorded music would make the dance not much more appealing than a local social class.

Lee Fuell
Beavercreek, OH, USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Gordon Scott
>Sent: Sep 28, 2009 7:40 AM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>
>I belong to a club that runs an annual dance with a live band. About three
>years ago we changed the supper from “American Supper” to a hot meal from an
>outside caterer, with an inevitable increase in ticket price, but still
>under £20. At that level we have been making a small loss each year.
>
>With the current “credit crunch”, numbers seem to be down, although we have
>noticed the same at other functions. I would be interested to hear how
>others would approach the problem –
>
>Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the number of
>dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that they are too
>nervous to try “straight-in” events.
>
>Should we use CDs instead of a live band?
>
>Should we stop using the caterer (but I don’t know if could find enough
>volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started using a caterer
>there was a huge relief that there was no need for our members to try to do
>look after the food in their “dance” clothes.
>
>Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 – would 7:00 to
>11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?
>
>By the way, there is a flyer for this year’s dance at
>http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/Newbury/newbury-ball-flyer-2009.pdf .
>
>Gordon Scott
>
>No virus found in this outgoing message.
>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.13.113/2398 - Release Date: 09/27/09
>05:51:00
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56682 · Margaret Lambourne · 28 Sep 2009 22:58:02 · Top

Why don't you try a "Pot Luck Supper"where everyone brings a plate of food
which then makes up a buffet and is a complete surprise to all and you can
cut down the cost of the ticket as you are not providing a catered dinner.

Margaret,
formerly dancing in Reaading but now in Nieuwegein in the Netherlands

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Fuell" <fuell@mindspring.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 10:10 PM
Subject: Re: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Gordon,

I expect the reason(s) people do or do not attend a dance is highly
dependent on unique local circumstances such as the demographics of dancers
in your area, their personal preferences, etc. However, the one question
you ask that I'd comment on from across the Atlantic is the use of CDs
versus a live band: Don't go there! To me, probably the most important
determinant of whether or not I will spend the time and money to go to a
dance (especially if it requires overnight travel) is the band. Using
recorded music would make the dance not much more appealing than a local
social class.

Lee Fuell
Beavercreek, OH, USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Gordon Scott
>Sent: Sep 28, 2009 7:40 AM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>
>I belong to a club that runs an annual dance with a live band. About three
>years ago we changed the supper from “American Supper” to a hot meal from
>an
>outside caterer, with an inevitable increase in ticket price, but still
>under £20. At that level we have been making a small loss each year.
>
>With the current “credit crunch”, numbers seem to be down, although we have
>noticed the same at other functions. I would be interested to hear how
>others would approach the problem –
>
>Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the number of
>dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that they are too
>nervous to try “straight-in” events.
>
>Should we use CDs instead of a live band?
>
>Should we stop using the caterer (but I don’t know if could find enough
>volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started using a
>caterer
>there was a huge relief that there was no need for our members to try to do
>look after the food in their “dance” clothes.
>
>Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 – would 7:00 to
>11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?
>
>By the way, there is a flyer for this year’s dance at
>http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/Newbury/newbury-ball-flyer-2009.pdf .
>
>Gordon Scott
>
>No virus found in this outgoing message.
>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.13.113/2398 - Release Date: 09/27/09
>05:51:00
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56683 · Marie Disiewicz · 28 Sep 2009 22:59:19 · Top

Hi Gordon
WOW! I would be there in a minute. Your program is wonderful and with Ian
Muir and the Craigellachie Band, what more does a person want?
Scottish Dance Bands are more available to you so it would be a CRIME if you
used CDs.

You are pleasing everyone with your full program. Those who want to miss a
dance on your program can do so knowing they will have plenty of dances to
choose from.
I myself think 16 to 18 dances plenty for an evening of SCD.

What a deal, a live Band with dinner included for 19.50 GBP.
That would be around $40.00 Canadian.

A meal is not something I go to dances for.
I would need at least an hour to digest before I could enjoy the dancing
after a meal that you describe.
I prefer a light lunch (sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, savories and of
course dessert) after the dance with juice and water available while the
dance goes on.
I TOTALLY agree with getting outside help to put on the supper. TOTALLY

I still remember being in Dunedin, Scotland and they served ice cream bars
and tea at the break.
I loved it:

I am assuming you have a good wooden floor?
A cement or very hard floor would keep me away.

7 o'clock is a good time to start with doors open at 6:00 or 6:30 so all can
chat and get ready for the event.
Hosts introducing newer dancers and out of town dancers to the local
dancers.

Locally (Vancouver, B.C. Canada) for our events we do a brief talk through
and first couple may walk the dance as we talk the brief. Yes, it is very
acceptable locally.
I sit with a smile on my face as I write this part: I find it the older
dancers who were raised on a dance program repeated from event to event with
a few new dances added are the ones who say " We knew the dances and did not
need a brief, never mind a walk-through" Good on them I say.

IMHO:
It is not what you are offering but those who used to dance are not up to
the "chase as it were" like they used to.
New dancers are intimidated by all the dances on a program and do not want
to "Mess Up "
Who wants to go to an event and be a "wall flower" because they do not know
all the dances?
Do you offer evening/s of dance reviews for the dance program separate from
the classes?
Those who are not sure would most likely benefit, even if they were reviewed
in someone's home.
That said: I do not want to go to a special Social/Ball where a newer dancer
is being prompted through the whole dance where to go. An occasional prompt
is most certainly acceptable.

I have given my say and I am sure you are not alone on these issues.
I do hope I have not offended anyone. These are observations only.
Yours in dancing
Marie from Surrey B.C. Canada

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Gordon Scott" <gordon.scott@btinternet.com>
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 4:40 AM
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

> I belong to a club that runs an annual dance with a live band. About three
> years ago we changed the supper from "American Supper" to a hot meal from
> an
> outside caterer, with an inevitable increase in ticket price, but still
> under £20. At that level we have been making a small loss each year.
>
> With the current "credit crunch", numbers seem to be down, although we
> have
> noticed the same at other functions. I would be interested to hear how
> others would approach the problem -
>
> Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the number of
> dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that they are too
> nervous to try "straight-in" events.
>
> Should we use CDs instead of a live band?
>
> Should we stop using the caterer (but I don't know if could find enough
> volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started using a
> caterer
> there was a huge relief that there was no need for our members to try to
> do
> look after the food in their "dance" clothes.
>
> Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 - would 7:00 to
> 11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?
>
> By the way, there is a flyer for this year's dance at
> http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/Newbury/newbury-ball-flyer-2009.pdf .
>
> Gordon Scott
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.13.113/2398 - Release Date:
> 09/27/09
> 05:51:00
>
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56687 · Marie Disiewicz · 29 Sep 2009 04:03:47 · Top

Hi to all
What attracted me to the dance was the live Band.
Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew without having to look them up.
That would leave me with 3 dances that I would have to practice before I went to the dance and then look for a local partner who would give me subtle hints should I need them.

The only dances I would sit out are Mairi's Wedding , The Reel of the Royal Scots and Reel 51st., as I do not dance dances that have 8 circles in them anymore.

I know the Music and Flow of these dances would make for me a very enjoyable evening.

"Set and Turn Corner" makes me cringe. It is very uncomfortable seeing how it is executed. Good thing I have not seen myself dance it.
Bruce, you are a very STRONG dancer and I can see where you would want the formations you suggest on a program to fill your dance needs.

Have we gone off subject for you Gordon??
I am still of the opinion this will be a wonderful event and wish I could join your Annual Dance Gordon.
Yours in dancing
Marie
Surrey B.C. Canada

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56689 · Patricia Ruggiero · 29 Sep 2009 05:33:56 · Top

Marie wrote:
> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew
> without having to look them up.

I've been doing SCD for 20 years, but I only recognize slightly more than
half (including the two extras), and of those there are several I would have
to review carefully. Very interesting! What constitutes a familiar,
accessible program for one looks quite unfamiliar to another.

Marie, would the Scottish Weekend programs be unfamiliar to you?
http://www.scottishweekend.org/programs.html

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
USA

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56716 · Marie Disiewicz · 29 Sep 2009 18:00:08 · Top

Good morning Pat
Your Friday program with "A Capital Jig" is the only dance I would have to
look up.

Saturday program all good for me.

I can say I NEVER look at a dance program to see if it contains RSCDS or
not.

I intuitivley know as a I look at a program if I know it or not.
I am sure it is the past experience of the dance that has me saying "YES"
"YES" "YES"
I remember where I was when I learnt the dance and who I danced with and
what joy it was to dance the dance.

Just a thought came to me: Changing the subject:
I am also not a stickler on the main dance tune of dances that have become
popular in the LAST 5 to 10 years.
I am in awe of dancers who recognize if the lead tune was played or not.
example: When "Miss Johnstone of Ardrossan" came out I was hooked on the
dance immediately.
When I taught it locally I did not have the recorded music.
I do believe it came out some time later.
I used Colin Dewar's - Banffshire #10 -"We've Nae Electric" and cannot use
any other music now.
My apologies to Bannfshire and to Muriel Johnstone.

The Jig - Spiffin - is another dance that did not have recorded music when
it became so popular and I used Reel music "Monterey Mixer" from the San
Francisco Collection vol 2
When I read on the SS that the devisors preferred that the music be a jig, I
used Bobby Brown's "Sing Along Jigs" from "For Old Tymes Sake" CD.
Of course the music is recorded now but it is so much more fun to dance it
to sing-along music.

Another tune that comes to mind while looking for 6x32J - I have to mention
"Jig For Joy" The Music Makars #13 Grabbit Shona 6x32J.
Such exciting music to dance to.

Nice to have this morning chat.
Now it is off to look for the $50,000.00 US hamburger recipe.
Yours in dancing
Marie

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Patricia Ruggiero" <ruggierop@earthlink.net>
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 8:33 PM
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

> Marie wrote:
>> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew
>> without having to look them up.
>
> I've been doing SCD for 20 years, but I only recognize slightly more than
> half (including the two extras), and of those there are several I would
> have
> to review carefully. Very interesting! What constitutes a familiar,
> accessible program for one looks quite unfamiliar to another.
>
>
> Marie, would the Scottish Weekend programs be unfamiliar to you?
> http://www.scottishweekend.org/programs.html
>
>
> Pat
> Charlottesville, Virginia
> USA
>
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance {and now: Designated Tunes]

Message 56718 · Patricia Ruggiero · 29 Sep 2009 19:33:17 · Top

Marie wrote:
> I can say I NEVER look at a dance program to see if it contains RSCDS or
> not.

Oh, I didn't mean that I look for that, specifically; it's more that I want
to see a variety of standard figures, in more or less standard choreography
(that is, I like half reels, but I hope to see full reels, too; same with
corner figures).

> Just a thought came to me: Changing the subject:
> I am also not a stickler on the main dance tune of dances that have become
> popular in the LAST 5 to 10 years.

I *think* I feel the same....For one thing, it's often the case, as with
you, that the group doesn't have the designated tune and gets used to some
other tune(s). Another reason is that we might not do various new dances as
much as the old standards; thus, the designated tune isn't fixed in my mind,
as it is with, say, "The Montgomeries Rant" or "Lea Rig," and so on...which
means I might not recognize whether the designated tune was being played or
not.

> Now it is off to look for the $50,000.00 US hamburger recipe.

Hold on there! Don't leave me hanging! WHAT is that? (probably best to
reply privately for this OT message).

Pat

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56691 · Iain Boyd · 29 Sep 2009 06:16:05 · Top

Greetings all,

I suspect that one question you should be asking yourself Gordon is "Who do we want at our dance?".

I suspect that the answer (unconsciously) will probably be "Experienced dancers.".

Personally, I like your programme as it is interesting and different and with live music would probably be fantastic. There are few that I have not done, but, then I have been dancing for a very, very long time. As a consequence, I get a little bored with programmes that have the same dances I have done almost year in and year out - not that I do not like the dances you suggested, Bruce.

However, Gordon, 'your' programme is not a programme for intermediate dancers let alone beginners.

As far as dances with pas de basque are concerned, Bruce, I hope you never fall off a ladder or suffer a similar accident that ends up affecting your back.

Most New Zealand dance programmes usually include well over 50% of the most well known RSCDS dances - many of which are dances I have been doing since I started dancing. The teachers (as it is the club teachers who create the programmes) will then round out the programme with local favourites or a few new dances they have introduced to their own clubs and which have proved popular.

Regards,

Iain Boyd

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404

Wellington

New Zealand

--- On Tue, 29/9/09, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:

From: Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net>
Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Received: Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 3:03 PM

Hi to all
What attracted me to the dance was the live Band.
Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew without having to look them up.
That would leave me with 3 dances that I would have to practice before I went to the dance and then look for a local partner who would give me subtle hints should I need them.

The only dances I would sit out are Mairi's Wedding , The Reel of the Royal Scots and Reel 51st., as I do not dance dances that have 8 circles in them anymore.

I know the Music and Flow of these dances would make for me a very enjoyable evening.

"Set and Turn Corner" makes me cringe. It is very uncomfortable seeing how it is executed. Good thing I have not seen myself dance it.
Bruce, you are a very STRONG dancer and I can see where you would want the formations you suggest on a program to fill your dance needs.

Have we gone off subject for you Gordon??
I am still of the opinion this will be a wonderful event and wish I could join your Annual Dance Gordon.
Yours in dancing
Marie
Surrey B.C. Canada


How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56692 · Rebecca Sager · 29 Sep 2009 06:29:24 · Top

I agree with Pat that what constitutes an accessible program does depend very much on where you dance. I'm reputed to know more dances than the average in these parts, I could do 16 of the Newbury dances (including extras) without a briefing, 3 (Spiffin', Moray Rant and Cherrybank Gardens) would come back to me with a brief reminder and 3 (Lochalsh Reel, Kilkenny Castle and Queen's View) I've never heard of.

The Atlanta Branch has an upcoming weekend, to which all within reach are warmly invited:

http://www.mindspring.com/~atlbrnch/soc0910SMHGNotice.pdf

I was conscious in devising the Friday program of trying to balance traditional dances (The Isle, The Frisky, Jessie's Hornpipe) with more modern, flowing dances (A Reel for Alice, On the Morning Tide, The Highland Rambler) and chose to have 3 full-length strathspeys out of 4 total (one of which is very traditional, with set to and turn corners and reel) 11 of the 17 dances are RSCDS.

The Saturday program is more popular, more flowing, less RSCDS, only one full-length strathspey. People will doubtless like it better.

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Patricia Ruggiero" <ruggierop@earthlink.net>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 23:33:56 -0400

Marie wrote:
> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew
> without having to look them up.

I've been doing SCD for 20 years, but I only recognize slightly more than
half (including the two extras), and of those there are several I would have
to review carefully. Very interesting! What constitutes a familiar,
accessible program for one looks quite unfamiliar to another.

Marie, would the Scottish Weekend programs be unfamiliar to you?
http://www.scottishweekend.org/programs.html

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
USA

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56698 · Lee Fuell · 29 Sep 2009 12:55:47 · Top

Becky & Co.,

Re:

-----Original Message-----
>From: Becky Sager <bsager3@juno.com>
>Sent: Sep 29, 2009 12:29 AM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>
>I agree with Pat that what constitutes an accessible program does depend very much on where you dance.

I would think that drawing heavily on the RSCDS Core Repertoire of dances (both for teaching classes and devising program(me)s) would help mitigate the "what's familiar in Atlanta is obscure in Christchurch (or vice-versa)" problem.

Beyond that, it's not so much a question of always using the same dances to achieve familiarity as it is using dances that are comprised of familiar, standard formations with relatively straightforward transitions between them that properly-taught dancers can readily comprehend by reading the description.

Lee

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56720 · Patricia Ruggiero · 29 Sep 2009 19:40:52 · Top

Lee wrote:

> Beyond that, it's not so much a question of always using the same dances
> to achieve familiarity as it is using dances that are comprised of
> familiar, standard formations with relatively straightforward transitions
> between them that properly-taught dancers can readily comprehend by
> reading the description.

Excellent summation.

Pat

Alternative dances with standard formations (was How to get more people to come to our annual dance)

Message 56728 · Iain Boyd · 30 Sep 2009 00:04:36 · Top

Greetings all,

I tried this once so as to avoid including the 'same' dances. The programme was a reasonable mix of well known dances and unfamiliar (but not difficult) dances.

I was surprised at the reaction. Many dancers complained or did not come because they did not recognise the names of the dances and assumed that they would be difficult.

Regards,

Iain Boyd

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404

Wellington

New Zealand

--- On Wed, 30/9/09, Patricia Ruggiero <ruggierop@earthlink.net> wrote:

From: Patricia Ruggiero <ruggierop@earthlink.net>
Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Received: Wednesday, 30 September, 2009, 6:40 AM

Lee wrote:

> Beyond that, it's not so much a question of always using the same dances
> to achieve familiarity as it is using dances that are comprised of
> familiar, standard formations with relatively straightforward transitions
> between them that properly-taught dancers can readily comprehend by
> reading the description.

Excellent summation.

Pat


Alternative dances with standard formations

Message 56730 · Patricia Ruggiero · 30 Sep 2009 04:21:31 · Top

Iain wrote:

> Many dancers complained or did not come
> because they did not recognise the names of the dances and assumed that
> they would be difficult.

Were dance instructions (cheat sheets) available with the flyers announcing the program? Many (perhaps all) of the groups in the mid-Atlantic area do this. One can thus quickly determine the level of difficulty and familiarity of the program.

Lee's earlier summation is apt here. When I look at a cheat sheet I don't expect that I'll know every dance on the program. In fact, I rather hope I don't! Instead, I look for traditional figures and familiar patterns for the majority of the dances. Then I hope that on each side of the page (that is, for each half of the program) I'll see one dance for which the instructions occupy a couple of inches, an indication of a more challenging dance.

It is too bad that your efforts were not appreciated; it seems to me that you devised the type of program I would have enjoyed.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
USA

Alternative dances with standard formations

Message 56731 · Iain Boyd · 30 Sep 2009 04:42:23 · Top

Patricia wrote -

<Were dance instructions (cheat sheets) available with the flyers
announcing the <program?  Many (perhaps all) of the groups in the
mid-Atlantic area do this.  One can <thus quickly determine the level of
difficulty and familiarity of the program.

'Cheat sheets' were the norm quite a number of years, but, fell out of favour. They were not usually sent out with the notice / flyer, but, provided to dancers as they came into the dance.

Currently, some dancers produce programme cribs from the two readily available sources of cribs with added descriptions for dances not in them.
 
Most New Zealand MCs will brief each dance and occasionally walk through a more difficult or less well known dance.

However, briefing does not always help those dancers who have not already done the dance.

Regards,

Iain Boyd

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404

Wellington

New Zealand


Alternative dances with standard formations

Message 56733 · Andrew Smith · 30 Sep 2009 08:34:09 · Top

I obviously go back further than Ian.
When I started dancing, in Bath, there was absolutely no suggestion of
walk/talk-throughs at any dance, and no 'cheat sheets' either [here we call
them 'cribs']. One just had the requisite pocket-books stuffed in one's
sporran or handbag. This worked as long as the repertoire was not too
extensive, and there were only a few dances published outwith the RSCDS. I
think that I only have one non-RSCDS pocket-book somewhere in the archive.
Since coming back in to dancing after the family had grown up, i.e. the late
80s, crib sheets have become, and remained, the norm, at least in this area.
They are generally either issued with the ticket or available at the dance.
Our RSCDS-Bristol flyers usually carry the source of each dance, an
indication of those that will be re-capped, and our website address as we
also say that a crib will be available there.
I do agree that does not help the non-electronic members of the community,
but the indication of recapping will be an indicator of the perceived level
of difficulty/unfamiliarity.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iain Boyd" <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 3:42 AM
Subject: RE: Alternative dances with standard formations

Patricia wrote -

<Were dance instructions (cheat sheets) available with the flyers
announcing the <program? Many (perhaps all) of the groups in the
mid-Atlantic area do this. One can <thus quickly determine the level of
difficulty and familiarity of the program.

'Cheat sheets' were the norm quite a number of years, but, fell out of
favour. They were not usually sent out with the notice / flyer, but,
provided to dancers as they came into the dance.

Currently, some dancers produce programme cribs from the two readily
available sources of cribs with added descriptions for dances not in them.

Most New Zealand MCs will brief each dance and occasionally walk through a
more difficult or less well known dance.

However, briefing does not always help those dancers who have not already
done the dance.

Regards,

Iain Boyd

Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404

Wellington

New Zealand

Alternative dances with standard formations

Message 56735 · e.ferguson · 30 Sep 2009 15:51:12 · Top

On 29 Sep 2009 at 19:42, Iain Boyd wrote:

> 'Cheat sheets' were the norm quite a number of years, but, fell
> out of favour. They were not usually sent out with the notice /
> flyer, but, provided to dancers as they came into the dance.

So when a dancer sees an unknown dance, there is no way to determine
whether it is easy or difficult. That can turn people off from
coming.

> Currently, some dancers produce programme cribs from the two
> readily available sources of cribs with added descriptions for
> dances not in them.   <snip>

The days of "no cribs" are obviously over; it was feasible when most
dances came from a set of well under 1000, and most were RSCDS. No
longer today.

Supplying crib sheets with the programme (either by e-mail or website
download) is a good way of helping the dancers to know what to
expect, and to prepare themselves if they wish. It also saves
dancers the trouble of having to compose crib sheets themselves.

The diminishing number of people who lack e-mail can always ask for
the information to be sent by snailmail, or, more easily, obtain it
from a friend with internet access.

Happy dancing,

Eric

--
Eric T. Ferguson,
van Reenenweg 3, 3702 SB ZEIST Netherlands
tel: +31 30-2673638 e-mail: eric@ferguson.nl

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56726 · Robert Lambie · 29 Sep 2009 21:16:45 · Top


From: ralambie50@hotmail.com
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 20:13:48 +0100

I recently acquired my fathers library including his records of the Bradford SCD group for the 1950s, and reading their dance programmes is most interesting. 20 to 24 dances of an evening, all very easy by modern standards, but mostly very energetic, and always including a foursome, often with an eightsome before it.
My version of the classification "easy" is "one line of Pilling diagrams", which works well in general use, though such as Robertson Rant defy it.
They were always great fun!

Beyond Hotmail - see what else you can do with Windows Live. Find out more.
_________________________________________________________________
Get the best of MSN on your mobile
http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/147991039/direct/01/

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56729 · Marie Disiewicz · 30 Sep 2009 01:27:54 · Top

Hi Robert
Of the attendees to such dances, can you give the average age of the dancers
back in the 50s?????????
Cheers
Marie

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Robert Lambie" <ralambie50@hotmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:16 PM
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: FW: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

>
>
>
>
>
> From: ralambie50@hotmail.com
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
> Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 20:13:48 +0100
>
>
>
> I recently acquired my fathers library including his records of the
> Bradford SCD group for the 1950s, and reading their dance programmes is
> most interesting. 20 to 24 dances of an evening, all very easy by modern
> standards, but mostly very energetic, and always including a foursome,
> often with an eightsome before it.
> My version of the classification "easy" is "one line of Pilling diagrams",
> which works well in general use, though such as Robertson Rant defy it.
> They were always great fun!
>
>
>
>
>
> Beyond Hotmail - see what else you can do with Windows Live. Find out
> more.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Get the best of MSN on your mobile
> http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/147991039/direct/01/
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56717 · Patricia Ruggiero · 29 Sep 2009 19:10:01 · Top

Becky, what do you mean by a "full-length" strathspey?

Puzzled Pat

> and chose to have 3 full-length strathspeys out of 4 total
>
> The Saturday program is more popular, more flowing, less RSCDS, only one
> full-length strathspey.

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56719 · Rebecca Sager · 29 Sep 2009 19:34:26 · Top

Well, of course all the 3-bys and the 80-bars-once-throughs are full-length (even Bonnie Lass of BA who is only 56 + intro)- I should have said 8-bys! My bad.

Becky

Becky Sager
Marietta GA USA

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Patricia Ruggiero" <ruggierop@earthlink.net>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: RE: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 13:10:01 -0400

Becky, what do you mean by a "full-length" strathspey?

Puzzled Pat

> and chose to have 3 full-length strathspeys out of 4 total
>
> The Saturday program is more popular, more flowing, less RSCDS, only one
> full-length strathspey.

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56754 · Bruce Herbold · 4 Oct 2009 19:07:41 · Top

Ian,

I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
full range of tradtional figures of SCD. But if I do, I do not think
it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
as much as when I started dancing. Nor will it change my impression
that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
people like we were when we started doing SCD).

This is not a question of 'easy' vs 'advanced' --- when I was young
(actually I still do) I loved Bonnie Anne and Muirland Willie and
Gates of Edinburgh. All of which are in the wee green book, but I
could not call them easy They require a physicality and teamwork that
is disappearing from our dance floors in favor of flowing and
complicated dances. (I want a full meal every night, not just a
banquet of desserts, dammit!!)

All living things, including SCD, change but I don't think this is a
change that should go by unremarked. And if it is a change we wish to
continue than we really should reconsider what we teach beginners,
because as RSCDS teachers, we spend much of the basic class on figures
we no longer do very often on the social dance floor.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:16 PM, Iain Boyd <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> Greetings all,
>
> I suspect that one question you should be asking yourself Gordon is "Who do we want at our dance?".
>
> I suspect that the answer (unconsciously) will probably be "Experienced dancers.".
>
> Personally, I like your programme as it is interesting and different and with live music would probably be fantastic. There are few that I have not done, but, then I have been dancing for a very, very long time. As a consequence, I get a little bored with programmes that have the same dances I have done almost year in and year out - not that I do not like the dances you suggested, Bruce.
>
> However, Gordon, 'your' programme is not a programme for intermediate dancers let alone beginners.
>
> As far as dances with pas de basque are concerned, Bruce, I hope you never fall off a ladder or suffer a similar accident that ends up affecting your back.
>
> Most New Zealand dance programmes usually include well over 50% of the most well known RSCDS dances - many of which are dances I have been doing since I started dancing. The teachers (as it is the club teachers who create the programmes) will then round out the programme with local favourites or a few new dances they have introduced to their own clubs and which have proved popular.
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
> Postal Address -
>
>
>
>  P O Box 11-404
>
>  Wellington
>
>  New Zealand
>
> --- On Tue, 29/9/09, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:
>
> From: Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net>
> Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Received: Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 3:03 PM
>
> Hi to all
> What attracted me to the dance was the live Band.
> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew without having to look them up.
> That would leave me with 3 dances that I would have to practice before I went to the dance and then look for a local partner who would give me subtle hints should I need them.
>
> The only dances I would sit out are Mairi's Wedding , The Reel of the Royal Scots and Reel 51st., as I do not dance dances that have 8 circles in them anymore.
>
> I know the Music and Flow of these dances would make for me a very enjoyable evening.
>
> "Set and Turn Corner" makes me cringe. It is very uncomfortable seeing how it is executed. Good thing I have not seen myself dance it.
> Bruce, you are a very STRONG dancer and I can see where you would want the formations you suggest on a program to fill your dance needs.
>
> Have we gone off subject for you Gordon??
> I am still of the opinion this will be a wonderful event and wish I could join your Annual Dance Gordon.
> Yours in dancing
> Marie
> Surrey B.C. Canada
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56755 · Lee Fuell · 4 Oct 2009 19:46:23 · Top

Bruce,

I have to say that as an RSCDS teacher, I feel both a desire and obligation to teach all the figures you name below and the others in the RSCDS manual. Beyond that, I also feel both a desire and obligation to make sure to put dances that include those figures on social programs. As such, I'm not teaching things that don't appear on programs - all of those figures continue to appear on the programs in our area. To me (and I'm speaking only for myself), doing otherwise would be disrespectful to the tradition and to all the work of the Society over the years to preserve SCD. Yes, SCD must evolve and grow - otherwise it will die - but evolution and tradition do not have to be mutually exclusive. Besides, I really like dancing all those figures, especially set to corners and partner. SCD just wouldn't be worth doing without General Stuart's Reel and dances of that ilk!

Happy dancing,

Lee

Beavercreek, OH, USA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com>
>Sent: Oct 4, 2009 1:07 PM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: Re: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>
>Ian,
>
>I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
>full range of tradtional figures of SCD. But if I do, I do not think
>it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
>as much as when I started dancing. Nor will it change my impression
>that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
>Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
>our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
>people like we were when we started doing SCD).
>
>This is not a question of 'easy' vs 'advanced' --- when I was young
>(actually I still do) I loved Bonnie Anne and Muirland Willie and
>Gates of Edinburgh. All of which are in the wee green book, but I
>could not call them easy They require a physicality and teamwork that
>is disappearing from our dance floors in favor of flowing and
>complicated dances. (I want a full meal every night, not just a
>banquet of desserts, dammit!!)
>
>All living things, including SCD, change but I don't think this is a
>change that should go by unremarked. And if it is a change we wish to
>continue than we really should reconsider what we teach beginners,
>because as RSCDS teachers, we spend much of the basic class on figures
>we no longer do very often on the social dance floor.
>
>Bruce Herbold
>San Francisco
>
>
>
>
>On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:16 PM, Iain Boyd <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
>> Greetings all,
>>
>> I suspect that one question you should be asking yourself Gordon is "Who do we want at our dance?".
>>
>> I suspect that the answer (unconsciously) will probably be "Experienced dancers.".
>>
>> Personally, I like your programme as it is interesting and different and with live music would probably be fantastic. There are few that I have not done, but, then I have been dancing for a very, very long time. As a consequence, I get a little bored with programmes that have the same dances I have done almost year in and year out - not that I do not like the dances you suggested, Bruce.
>>
>> However, Gordon, 'your' programme is not a programme for intermediate dancers let alone beginners.
>>
>> As far as dances with pas de basque are concerned, Bruce, I hope you never fall off a ladder or suffer a similar accident that ends up affecting your back.
>>
>> Most New Zealand dance programmes usually include well over 50% of the most well known RSCDS dances - many of which are dances I have been doing since I started dancing. The teachers (as it is the club teachers who create the programmes) will then round out the programme with local favourites or a few new dances they have introduced to their own clubs and which have proved popular.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Iain Boyd
>>
>> Postal Address -
>>
>>
>>
>>  P O Box 11-404
>>
>>  Wellington
>>
>>  New Zealand
>>
>> --- On Tue, 29/9/09, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:
>>
>> From: Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net>
>> Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>> Received: Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 3:03 PM
>>
>> Hi to all
>> What attracted me to the dance was the live Band.
>> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew without having to look them up.
>> That would leave me with 3 dances that I would have to practice before I went to the dance and then look for a local partner who would give me subtle hints should I need them.
>>
>> The only dances I would sit out are Mairi's Wedding , The Reel of the Royal Scots and Reel 51st., as I do not dance dances that have 8 circles in them anymore.
>>
>> I know the Music and Flow of these dances would make for me a very enjoyable evening.
>>
>> "Set and Turn Corner" makes me cringe. It is very uncomfortable seeing how it is executed. Good thing I have not seen myself dance it.
>> Bruce, you are a very STRONG dancer and I can see where you would want the formations you suggest on a program to fill your dance needs.
>>
>> Have we gone off subject for you Gordon??
>> I am still of the opinion this will be a wonderful event and wish I could join your Annual Dance Gordon.
>> Yours in dancing
>> Marie
>> Surrey B.C. Canada
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>--
>Bruce Herbold

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56756 · Martin Campoveja · 4 Oct 2009 20:05:32 · Top

2009/10/4 Lee Fuell wrote:

>  SCD just wouldn't be worth doing without General Stuart's Reel and dances of that ilk!

That is a lead tune I like to hear, but I gather musicia

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56757 · Martin Campoveja · 4 Oct 2009 20:10:41 · Top

Sorrry ! I'll try again

>>  SCD just wouldn't be worth doing without General Stuart's Reel and dances of that ilk!
>
That is a lead tune I like to hear, but I gather musicians are not so
keen on getting their fingers twisted round the open notes!
As for the dance, I've heard more than one groan when G Stuart is seen
on a program, and it would not surprise me if it graually falls from
favour along with the other old set-&-turn (& finish with poussette)
corner dances.
So it we could easily lose Lee from the dance floor if the dance is a
must for him/her.

Martin

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56758 · Patricia Ruggiero · 4 Oct 2009 20:35:44 · Top

Martin wrote:
> So it we could easily lose Lee from the dance floor if the dance is a
> must for him/her.

And you'd lose me, too!

It's been unsettling to read what's happening in other parts of the SCD
world. In these parts, Gen. Stuart and other such vigorous, exciting dances
are still favorites. Driving reels with "set to and turn corners" typically
either end the first half or are the final dance. Dancers would grumble if
a program did not include a quicktime poussette. And so on... And we are
not young dancers, and not without our physical ailments and limitations.

Lee, I don't know about you, but I'm certainly glad I live -- and dance! --
in this part of the U.S. I know that SCD (as we do it here) is what's
keeping me "young," fit, and still enthusiastic about country dancing.

Pat
Charlottesville, Virginia
(the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.)

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56761 · Bruce Herbold · 4 Oct 2009 20:56:59 · Top

And I am glad to say that the SF Branch has guidelines for programming
that call for programs to cover the range of figures and dance types.

But look for yourself at programs on the web, like the fun one that
started this discussion, or the two that have been announced on
Strathspey since the start of this disussion. Especially examine
Campbell Tyler's compliation of popular dances worldwide and you'll
see that we are the rear-guard in the world of SCD. (Nice to know
that San Francisco can be retro-guard in something, though).

just as an example, here's our monthly party program from last night
at which everyone had a ball:

Dance Source Type Level

Miss Allie Anderson+ RSCDS Leaflet 14 32 J 3 B/I
The Sheltered Cove Zadworny/Aye Afloat 32 S 2 I
Broadford Bay RSCDS Leaflet 32/3 32 R 3 I
The Dream Catcher 45/9 96 S 4Sq A
The Grassmarket Reel+ 5 Dances 2009 32 R round B

Marian’s Jig M. Harvey/leaflet 32 J 3 I
Sandy O’er the Lea MMM (2) 32 S 2 B
Inverneill House+ 35/2 32 R 3 I/A
John McAlpin+ RSCDS 3 Dances by Hugh Foss 32 S 3 I
The Chequered Court 42/3 32 J 3 I/A

Tarry a While Graded/20 32 J 2 B
Huntly Castle+ Drewry/Canadian 32 S 3 I/A
Let’s Have a Ceilidh Campbell/Glasgow Assem. 32 R 4 I
Jimmy’s Fancy 14/11 32 S 3 B
The Montgomeries’ Rant 10/1 32 R 3 I

Only 4 trad dances, but that's 3 more than on most programs. No
Hi&Bye setting and teh set an turn corners is in strathspey time. But
no one complained of dancing Poussettes and double triangles. Ten
dollars well spent in my book.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:35 AM, Patricia Ruggiero
<ruggierop@earthlink.net> wrote:
> Martin wrote:
>> So it we could easily lose Lee from the dance floor if the dance is a
>> must for him/her.
>
> And you'd lose me, too!
>
> It's been unsettling to read what's happening in other parts of the SCD
> world. In these parts, Gen. Stuart and other such vigorous, exciting dances
> are still favorites.  Driving reels with "set to and turn corners" typically
> either end the first half or are the final dance.  Dancers would grumble if
> a program did not include a quicktime poussette.  And so on...  And we are
> not young dancers, and not without our physical ailments and limitations.
>
> Lee, I don't know about you, but I'm certainly glad I live -- and dance! --
> in this part of the U.S.  I know that SCD (as we do it here) is what's
> keeping me "young," fit, and still enthusiastic about country dancing.
>
> Pat
> Charlottesville, Virginia
> (the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.)
>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

Reels

Message 56759 · Mike Briggs · 4 Oct 2009 20:38:00 · Top

Martin (and others):

The original lead tune for General Stuart's Reel is a "real reel"
(sorry). Sounds great on a fiddle, but tough on the fingers for
keyboard players. That (I think) is the reason that so many of the
newer dances in fast 4/4 time have lead tunes that are not "real reels"
but some kind of polka, march or measure.

Mike

--
BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
Michael and Norma Briggs
1519 Storytown Road
Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
+1 608 835 0914
www.briggslawoffice.com

Reels

Message 56762 · Steve Wyrick · 4 Oct 2009 21:02:41 · Top

I think you may be right. Many of the newer dances have tunes that I play
through on the fiddle and think "bleah." It's a challenge some times to
make anything out of them but if I hear them on accordion, they sound great!

On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:38 AM, Norma and Mike Briggs
<briggslaw@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Martin (and others):
>
> The original lead tune for General Stuart's Reel is a "real reel" (sorry).
> Sounds great on a fiddle, but tough on the fingers for keyboard players.
> That (I think) is the reason that so many of the newer dances in fast 4/4
> time have lead tunes that are not "real reels" but some kind of polka, march
> or measure.
>
> Mike
>
> --
> BRIGGS LAW OFFICE
> Michael and Norma Briggs
> 1519 Storytown Road
> Oregon WI 53575-2521 USA
> +1 608 835 0914
> www.briggslawoffice.com
>
>
>
>
>

--
Steve Wyrick -- Walnut Creek, California

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56760 · Andrew Smith · 4 Oct 2009 20:51:45 · Top

I could not agree more with much of Bruce's last mail, as I believe that it
is probably *the* major problem facing the SCD community, with no easy
solution. There is a significant majority who have forgotten that they were
once beginners and itching to go, or maybe [in the same way as I understand
abuse to continue through families] they did not have good experiences as
beginners themselves. They now want to do nice flowing dances with less
effort, because they are becoming less able, and so demand a correspondingly
bland programme. I must admit that I see signs in myself that I am beginning
to go this way but am still trying to hold off from giving in.
We older dancers must ensure that there is a genuine welcome for new
dancers, not just a friendly nod on the first evening and then ignore them
after that to dance with your regular partners, but on a continuing basis.
One of the elements of the teaching certificate is to give praise and
encouragement to the class when they do well. It is the same if you partner
a new dancer, especially if it is obvious that one might be a
well-established member of the group. I have come to realise that most
beginners are really worried about going wrong, and need a lot of
reassurance. It is incumbent on us, for the sake of something that has given
us great pleasure, or else we would presumably not still be doing it, to try
to pass on to the next generation something that will be as vibrant for them
as it was for us, and not necessarily be selfish about it. One thing that a
lot of dancers said to me when my partner, Lesley, died was how much they
missed her welcoming smile and encouragement and the fact that she was
prepared to dance with them as new dancers, and what a difference it had
made for them. She kept this up even when she was not on the committee,
because we shared the belief that it was the main way to keep Scottish
Country dancing alive, in the best sense of the word. [To see what I mean,
you can see her on the cover of the RSCDS Bulletin No 81, from 2003,
inviting someone to dance.]
There are too many cases of groups who have stayed much the same as when
they started, have grown comfortable with each other, and older together,
and then wonder why the younger new dancers are not joining. These may come
for a couple of evenings but will not stay if they do not get a genuine
welcome and their needs and aspirations met. I know only too well that it is
not easy. After all we have probably invested time and money over the years,
pay our subscriptions and class fees the same as anyone else, and expect our
share of the cake, but it essential that we try not to be selfish and take
the longer view for the sake of the continuance of our hobby/interest.
Otherwise it will almost inevitably become moribund.
The following may also not be popular, but I believe that the teachers also
have an equal, or possibly greater, responsibility in this respect,
especially if they were the founder(s) of a group. In recent years I have
found it really stimulating to be taught by some of the younger Society
teachers at Summer School. They are refreshingly energetic, yet encouraging.
David Queen, Pat Houghton and Eric Finley come to mind. The latter, for
example, gave us a week of very rarely done dances from the earlier books,
and it was anything but boring. Knowing when to let go is not at all easy,
especially after many years at the helm. I recently heard a teacher of many
years service say that he was tired of continually teaching beginners. His
health had not been good, so he retired and the group has just folded. I am
certain that is an example of our overall problem in a microcosm.
I think, wrt dances/balls that live music is a 'must', if available, and
have already said earlier in this thread that an 'on-the-ball' MC is also
absolutely essential.
I hope we can resolve the problem, but it will require a considerable effort
on the part of a considerable number of individuals with the best interests
of SCD at heart. I am sure that it is not something that the RSCDS can
legislate to overcome. It can encourage, but I would suggest that the
members of 'Strathspey' would be an ideal cohort to take up this challenge,
and see if the necessary impetus can be achieved.
Keep up the good work, and happy dancing,
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Ian,

I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
full range of tradtional figures of SCD. But if I do, I do not think
it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
as much as when I started dancing. Nor will it change my impression
that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
people like we were when we started doing SCD).

This is not a question of 'easy' vs 'advanced' --- when I was young
(actually I still do) I loved Bonnie Anne and Muirland Willie and
Gates of Edinburgh. All of which are in the wee green book, but I
could not call them easy They require a physicality and teamwork that
is disappearing from our dance floors in favor of flowing and
complicated dances. (I want a full meal every night, not just a
banquet of desserts, dammit!!)

All living things, including SCD, change but I don't think this is a
change that should go by unremarked. And if it is a change we wish to
continue than we really should reconsider what we teach beginners,
because as RSCDS teachers, we spend much of the basic class on figures
we no longer do very often on the social dance floor.

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:16 PM, Iain Boyd <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz>
wrote:
> Greetings all,
>
> I suspect that one question you should be asking yourself Gordon is "Who
> do we want at our dance?".
>
> I suspect that the answer (unconsciously) will probably be "Experienced
> dancers.".
>
> Personally, I like your programme as it is interesting and different and
> with live music would probably be fantastic. There are few that I have not
> done, but, then I have been dancing for a very, very long time. As a
> consequence, I get a little bored with programmes that have the same
> dances I have done almost year in and year out - not that I do not like
> the dances you suggested, Bruce.
>
> However, Gordon, 'your' programme is not a programme for intermediate
> dancers let alone beginners.
>
> As far as dances with pas de basque are concerned, Bruce, I hope you never
> fall off a ladder or suffer a similar accident that ends up affecting your
> back.
>
> Most New Zealand dance programmes usually include well over 50% of the
> most well known RSCDS dances - many of which are dances I have been doing
> since I started dancing. The teachers (as it is the club teachers who
> create the programmes) will then round out the programme with local
> favourites or a few new dances they have introduced to their own clubs and
> which have proved popular.
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
> Postal Address -
>
>
>
> P O Box 11-404
>
> Wellington
>
> New Zealand
>
> --- On Tue, 29/9/09, Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net> wrote:
>
> From: Marie Disiewicz <speym@telus.net>
> Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
> To: strathspey@strathspey.org
> Received: Tuesday, 29 September, 2009, 3:03 PM
>
> Hi to all
> What attracted me to the dance was the live Band.
> Then immediately as I read the dance list I saw 19 dances that I knew
> without having to look them up.
> That would leave me with 3 dances that I would have to practice before I
> went to the dance and then look for a local partner who would give me
> subtle hints should I need them.
>
> The only dances I would sit out are Mairi's Wedding , The Reel of the
> Royal Scots and Reel 51st., as I do not dance dances that have 8 circles
> in them anymore.
>
> I know the Music and Flow of these dances would make for me a very
> enjoyable evening.
>
> "Set and Turn Corner" makes me cringe. It is very uncomfortable seeing how
> it is executed. Good thing I have not seen myself dance it.
> Bruce, you are a very STRONG dancer and I can see where you would want the
> formations you suggest on a program to fill your dance needs.
>
> Have we gone off subject for you Gordon??
> I am still of the opinion this will be a wonderful event and wish I could
> join your Annual Dance Gordon.
> Yours in dancing
> Marie
> Surrey B.C. Canada
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56763 · Martin Campoveja · 4 Oct 2009 21:04:19 · Top

We have certyainly seem some surprising comments on recent days !

"They [old/experienced dancers] now want to do nice flowing [I can
understand] dances with less effort [beg your pardon?], because they
are becoming less able, and so demand a correspondingly bland [ !!! ]
programme. "

Flow, effort, diminished ability ? What's the connexion?

Martin

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56764 · Lee Fuell · 4 Oct 2009 21:12:57 · Top

Bruce,

Re:

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bruce Herbold <bherbold@gmail.com>
>Sent: Oct 4, 2009 2:56 PM
>To: strathspey@strathspey.org
>Subject: Re: How to get more people to come to our annual dance
>
>>Only 4 trad dances, but that's 3 more than on most programs. No
>Hi&Bye setting and teh set an turn corners is in strathspey time. But
>no one complained of dancing Poussettes and double triangles. Ten
>dollars well spent in my book.
>

Pousette is one of those figures that seems to be either a struggle or sublime, with not much in between. But there are few things I like better than dancing a pousette in reel time with a good partner who is in rhythm (and hopefully I am, too), making eye contact and smiling. I think it's just a great figure, especially bar 6. Maybe one reason some people don't like dancing it is (as I'm sure we've all experienced) with a partner who can't dance the figure well it can be more akin to Greco-Roman wrestling than dancing. I wonder if there's a direct correlation between people who don't like pousette and people who don't want to spend time on improving their pas de basques to make it better? I like to get a pousette early in a program before people fatigue to the point where their pdb turns into a shuffle.

Double triangles is such a happy, sociable figure - you can flirt with your corners and with your partner, if you use your peripheral vision on bars 3&4 and 7&8.

I think we're in violent agreement...

Lee

In that "flyover country" between Pat on the east coast and Bruce on the west

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56765 · Thomas G. Mungall, III · 4 Oct 2009 22:20:32 · Top

Bruce, et al,

How old are the folk that are having difficulty with these figures?

Yours aye,
Tom Mungall, III
Baton Rouge, La., USA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>

Ian,

I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
full range of tradtional figures of SCD. But if I do, I do not think
it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
as much as when I started dancing. Nor will it change my impression
that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
people like we were when we started doing SCD).

<<<<<<<<<<BIG SNIP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56766 · Bruce Herbold · 4 Oct 2009 22:44:25 · Top

I would have to guess they were about the average age of the SCD
dancing public -- a greying subject of some concern. All I really
have to go by is the profusion of programs without pdB figures in
them. In my area, fortunately, we are still doing them at all ages.
Arthroscopic surgery and joint replacements have brought smiles back
to the faces of several aging dancers who I know were avoiding more
strenuous dances before.

Bruce

On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 1:20 PM, Thomas G. Mungall, III <atheling@cox.net> wrote:
> Bruce, et al,
>
> How old are the folk that are having difficulty with these figures?
>
> Yours aye,
> Tom Mungall, III
> Baton Rouge, La., USA
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
>
> Ian,
>
> I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
> full range of tradtional figures of SCD.  But if I do, I do not think
> it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
> as much as when I started dancing.  Nor will it change my impression
> that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
> Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
> our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
> people like we were when we started doing SCD).
>
> <<<<<<<<<<BIG SNIP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>

--
Bruce Herbold

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56767 · Andrew Smith · 4 Oct 2009 23:00:51 · Top

From my perspective one might say old enough to be the grandparents of
student age youngsters, if you force me in to being realistic, Tom. In my
head they seem more like my children, or even younger contemporaries, as I
certainly do not feel as old in my head, as I know I must look to a 20 -year
old. I think that I am still more or less holding my own on the dance floor
at just turned 70, but real inspiration from the music is becoming much more
necessary, and I know that I will have to accept limitations in the not too
distant future, which is not a pleasing prospect for someone who just loves
the dancing.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas G. Mungall, III" <atheling@cox.net>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 9:20 PM
Subject: Re: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

> Bruce, et al,
>
> How old are the folk that are having difficulty with these figures?
>
> Yours aye,
> Tom Mungall, III
> Baton Rouge, La., USA
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bruce Herbold" <bherbold@gmail.com>
>
> Ian,
>
> I too hope never to fall off a ladder and lose my ability to enjoy the
> full range of tradtional figures of SCD. But if I do, I do not think
> it will change the fact that nowadays we are not doing that full range
> as much as when I started dancing. Nor will it change my impression
> that by restricting our program to dances without Pousettes, Set and
> Turn corners, double triangles and hullo/g'bye setting we are making
> our favorite activiity less attractive to young people (at least young
> people like we were when we started doing SCD).
>
> <<<<<<<<<<BIG SNIP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56700 · Anja Breest · 29 Sep 2009 15:11:08 · Top

After having our ball and having in mind the balls I am attending, I
would answer your questions like this:

Gordon Scott schrieb:
> Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the number of
> dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that they are too
> nervous to try “straight-in” events.

In Germany the answer would be YES. I remember only two events in the
last years _without_ recaps - and both had a lot of discussions and
fears before...
A lot of people haven't danced long enough to know a lot of dances by
heart - and even staying with the core programm wouldn't solve that
problem...
And personally I tend to forget... So beeing remindet if the dance stars
with a set or a cross helps me a lot...

> Should we use CDs instead of a live band?

NO. As others said: the band makes the difference between a "normal"
dance and a special evening...

> Should we stop using the caterer (but I don’t know if could find enough
> volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started using a caterer
> there was a huge relief that there was no need for our members to try to do
> look after the food in their “dance” clothes.

We do have a fingerfood buffet, potluck style, at our event. And we like
it. Other well know and well accepted events don't have a meal in
between and thats o.k. I come to dance, not to eat.
And you need less time for the break and can spent the time on the
recaps ;-)

> Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 – would 7:00 to
> 11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?

7:30 to 11:30 sounds perfect.

(We start at 7:30 and try to end about 12:30, with buffet, recaps, 18 or
19 dances and a band....)

Greetings,
Anja

--
Anja Breest
Cologne, Germany

Cologne Scottish Country Dancers
http://www.rscds-cologne.de

Mail:
Strathspeylist: strathspey@rscds-cologne.de
Privat: anja.breest@girards.de

How to get more people to come to our annual dance

Message 56753 · Ian Brown · 4 Oct 2009 13:06:02 · Top

Hello Gordon,

I have been very interested to follow the correspondence
that you have sparked and it has caused me to reflect on our
programming locally.

My own thoughts on your email are as follows.

Firstly, I wondered why, in September, you should be
worrying about attendance at a dance in mid November.
Perhaps attendance in recent years has been falling. It has
been some years since many dances here would sell out
quickly, so that you had to know someone to be sure of
getting a ticket. Perhaps those days will come again!

In Harrogate we hold a Ball annually and hope to sell about
100 tickets. We charged £11.50 last year and serve a cold
meal during the interval. In recent years we have made a
small loss which was made greater last year by the school,
whose hall we use, declaring for the first time that VAT was
chargeable.

Tickets hereabouts are typically between £8 and £12 so your
ticket price would raise eyebrows in Yorkshire. I remind
myself from time to time that our Ball may be the highlight
of our club's year (so surely a price of whatever can be
justified) but to many of the dancers we would like to
attract it is simple the dance they might attend on one
weekend, albeit, we hope, a splendid one.

Your programme looks attractive to me, but I have been
somewhat shaken by some of the commentary. For comparison I
give below our programme from last year.

You have been told by others that live music is a must and I
would echo that. I don't see how you can have a Ball in the
UK, where live music is available, to recorded music. This
would be a determining factor in my attending. Others would
include the condition of the floor (I would pay a premium
for a sprung floor) and the sociability of the event. I
dock points if I expect many of the dancers to be selecting
partners way in advance.

We give a very quick recap before each dance but resist as
far as possible any walking through as it robs us of dances
and also affects the pace of the evening.

I confess that I have never bought a dance ticket because a
meal was going to be served and I would positively not want
a hot meal. Despite this we regularly debate whether to
continue serving a cold meal during our interval and so far
have always decided to do so. I believe home made puddings
are appreciated: whether they sell more tickets I am
uncertain. We have been fortunate in getting friends or
daughters of members to help with the serving of food which
has been made by members. I am attracted by the idea
suggested by Bob McLatchie of doing a deal with the local WI
or perhaps Mothers' Union.

We dance 7.30 until 11.30 although the floor has started to
thin out before the end in later years.

I hope that these observations might help,

Regards
Ian
Harrogate Saltire Scottish Country Dance Club

1. EH3 7AF
2. THE SALTIRE SOCIETY REEL
3. THE BRAES OF MELLINISH
4. THE SWILCAN
5. SOCIETY PIPER
6. JEAN MARTIN OF ABERDEEN
7. STARLIGHT
8. THE RING OF BRODGAR
9. IT'S JUST FOR FUN
INTERVAL
10. THE LAST OF THE LAIRDS
11. THE SILVER THISTLE
12. ARGYLL STRATHSPEY
13. GLEN MOR
14. ARGYLL'S FAREWELL TO STIRLING
15. THE GENTLEMAN
16. MIDNIGHT OIL
17. THE WILD GEESE
18. MRS MACPHERSON OF INVERAN

-----Original Message-----
From: Gordon Scott [mailto:gordon.scott@btinternet.com]
Sent: 28 September 2009 12:41
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: How to get more people to come to our annual dance

I belong to a club that runs an annual dance with a live
band. About three
years ago we changed the supper from “American Supper” to a
hot meal from an
outside caterer, with an inevitable increase in ticket
price, but still
under £20. At that level we have been making a small loss
each year.

With the current “credit crunch”, numbers seem to be down,
although we have
noticed the same at other functions. I would be interested
to hear how
others would approach the problem –

Should we introduce re-caps (but probably have to reduce the
number of
dances, currently 20)? I have heard some people say that
they are too
nervous to try “straight-in” events.

Should we use CDs instead of a live band?

Should we stop using the caterer (but I don’t know if could
find enough
volunteers to run the kitchen)? At the point when we started
using a caterer
there was a huge relief that there was no need for our
members to try to do
look after the food in their “dance” clothes.

Traditionally the evening has run from 7:30 until 11:30 –
would 7:00 to
11:00 be better or worse? Or even 7:00 until 10:30?

By the way, there is a flyer for this year’s dance at
http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/Newbury/newbury-ball-flyer-2009
.pdf .

Gordon Scott

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