strathspey Archive: carnet de bal

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Message 6012 · Martin Sheffield · 8 Jan 1997 14:00:33 · Top

The name tag question made me think of another discussion we have every
year here:
whether to issue what we call carnets de bal, ie: a program with room
specially to write the name of the partners you invite or are invited by
for each dance.

Some say, if everyone gets booked up before the dance even starts, some
people that are nervous of inviting others, or who don't know many people
at a dance, are going to feel left out, find themselves stuck all evening
with partners no-one else wants, or find sets are all made up by the time
they have made the rounds of the wall flowers.

Those in favour of choosing partners in the early part of a dance, find it
is a good way of going round, breaking ice, renewing old acquaintances etc,
in those sometimes awkward moments while the band is still tuning up and
others are still arriving. It also means that sets are indeed made up more
quickly, as soon as the MC has announced.

Personally, I think it's a god xway of getting people to mix and discourage
them from keeping to their favorite partner.

What do you all do for your clubs' dances?

Martin,
Grenoble, France

carnet de bal

Message 6014 · Anselm Lingnau · 8 Jan 1997 15:24:57 · Top

Martin.Sheffield@wanadoo.fr (Martin Sheffield) writes:

> The name tag question made me think of another discussion we have every
> year here:
> whether to issue what we call carnets de bal, ie: a program with room
> specially to write the name of the partners you invite or are invited by
> for each dance.

This issue has been debated at length on the Strathspey list, too. Check
the archives around March 1995 for subjects like `Booking dances' to
find the discussion.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
If you steal ideas from one source, that's plagiarism, but if you steal ideas
from more than one source, that's research. --- Laurindo Almeida

carnet de bal

Message 6015 · SMiskoe · 8 Jan 1997 16:25:23 · Top

Martin asks about 'dance cards' and feels that they are a way of getting
people to mix. I feel just the opposite. One is able to book ahead with all
the folks one likes to dance with, then feel secure in having the appropriate
partner. It makes anyone coming in late be at a disadvantage because the
early comers have already filled their dance cards.
The worst scenario I have experienced was an evening that had many, many,
many more women then men. As each man arrived, he was beset by eager women
who filled his dance card before he had his coat off. All the men danced all
the dances and there were many women who either sat out a great deal or never
got to dance with a man, or with their special dance partners. That was the
last time that particular group ever used dance cards.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

carnet de bal

Message 6016 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 8 Jan 1997 16:30:59 · Top

On Wed, 8 Jan 1997, Martin Sheffield wrote:
{snip}
> whether to issue what we call carnets de bal, ie: a program with room
> specially to write the name of the partners you invite or are invited by
> for each dance.

> Personally, I think it's a god xway of getting people to mix and discourage
> them from keeping to their favorite partner.

> What do you all do for your clubs' dances?

This subject was covered extensively many months agos under the subject
"booking." You will find most correspondents were against booking, as I am.

Here's what we do:
Publish the dance instructions in alphabetical order.
If the situation is really bad (half the group booked well before the
dance and the other half trying to find a partner), the MC will annouce
or put up a sign for the next group of three dances only.
Teachers tell their classes or dance prep sessions that it is quite bad
manners for the host group to book among themselves and not dance with
the people coming from a distance. Teachers ask their classes to be sure
to dance with at least one person that they have never met before.
If a teacher or organizer or official of a group is asked for a dance
that will come later in the evening, they reply that they don't book.
(Exception: The MC does look for partners for the next two or three if
the MC wants to dance. Other dancers make a point of asking the MC if
they are polite.)
Dancers are discouraged from dancing with one one other person all the
time prior to the social occasion. Our MC's say "Find another partner."
or my favorite, "Find a fresh partner."

Hope this all helps,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
Vermont USA (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
Please note my new "zoo" address and change your
files from the old "moose" address.

carnet de bal

Message 6023 · briscoe · 8 Jan 1997 22:29:55 · Top

I find no merit what so ever in helping people book ahead, and am always
favorably impressed when the emcee finds clever ways of ensuring that
people mix and that newcomers/beginners are fully included.

- Mel Briscoe, Virginia

carnet de bal

Message 6028 · Susan Worland · 9 Jan 1997 00:39:04 · Top

I've never attended a Scottish dance with cards (although I've been at some
Vintage events that did, which is sort of another matter, I think) and while
I'm generally in favor of not booking ahead, there is a bit of a thrill when
someone special, maybe someone you haven't seen for awhile, comes and
whispers in your ear that he'd like to dance with you later in the evening,
could you choose a favorite dance.... Now for me that ends up with me
getting one dance booked ahead, or at very most, two, which doesn't
interfere much with mixing during the rest of the evening. I could imagine
that the situation might be quite different for certain popular gentlemen,
however!

*************************************************************
Susan Worland | Phone: (508) 651-0070 x242
Web Development | Fax: (508) 651-0080
Onward Technologies, Inc. | email: susan@onwardtech.com
313 Speen Street | http://www.onwardtech.com
Natick, MA 01760

ONWARD TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
"Online Solutions. Bottom Line Results."
*************************************************************

carnet de bal

Message 6030 · Richard L. Walker · 9 Jan 1997 01:32:35 · Top

I don't know if this counts for clever, but ...
... one of my favorite emcees has 2 or 3 extra dances picked for the
evening, and queues the band to play one or another at random times.
You can imagine the look of horror on the faces of those who have booked and
are in a set either for a dance they don't know or with a partner
Strathspey
they aren't booked with for that particular dance.

> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 13:30:32 -0500 (EST)
> From: Mel and Ellie Briscoe <briscoe@access.digex.net>
> ... favorably impressed when the emcee finds clever ways of ensuring that
> people mix and that newcomers/beginners are fully included.
Richard L. Walker
Pensacola FL (City of Five Flags) USA
rlwalker@pen.net <-- play
richard.l.walker@gulf.com <-- work

carnet de bal

Message 6033 · Ian Price · 9 Jan 1997 03:16:24 · Top

>I've never attended a Scottish dance with cards (although I've been at some
>Vintage events that did, which is sort of another matter, I think) and
>while
>I'm generally in favor of not booking ahead, there is a bit of a thrill
>when
>someone special, maybe someone you haven't seen for awhile, comes and
>whispers in your ear that he'd like to dance with you later in the evening,
>could you choose a favorite dance.... Now for me that ends up with me
>getting one dance booked ahead, or at very most, two, which doesn't
>interfere much with mixing during the rest of the evening. I could imagine
>that the situation might be quite different for certain popular gentlemen,
>however!

Another topic on which everyone seems to have an opinion! I just picked
up this one on which to hand in mine...

I suppose there are those who assume that if you print the program on
the ticket it will be compulsory to write the names of your partners
against the dances, either before, during or after the event. There will
be others who will assume that if you don't print the program no-one
will attempt to arrange a tryst for midnight!, and everyone will
gleefully take pot luck with the person of the opposite sex standing
nearest to them.

Bugger that! I'll ask who I want thank you, and when I want. If I get
turned down in favour of the possibility of a spontaneous better
subsequent offer, then I shall certainly get the message. If the person
I particularly want to impress in a specific dance is unavailable
because I happened to be momentarily distracted and 'lost my place', I
shall be equally PO'd.

All of which is to say, let the practise find its own level. Do what you
prefer, and if it doesn't suit, change your tactics accordingly.

-2chter.

PS. If like me you do keep your old ball programs, it's a nice memory to
see who you partnered certain dances with on such a memorable (or
otherwise) occasion.

carnet de bal

Message 6040 · Tony Gibbons · 9 Jan 1997 13:02:47 · Top

Ian Price wrote:

> Bugger that! I'll ask who I want thank you, and when I want.

(and a bit more)

Well said Ian. If I attended a venue where the MC made a habit of
randomising the programme I think it would very soon lose its appeal.

Tony Gibbons
Edinburgh

carnet de bal

Message 6043 · Ian Price · 9 Jan 1997 18:53:45 · Top

Dear Miss Manners:

>If
>my invitation is declined once because the lady is booked, I will
>[probably] not ask her again, no matter how nice a person or how good a
>dancer she seems to be--I have more pleasant ways to spend my life.

Gentle Dancer:

Doesn't that make it HER problem rather than yours, and if it bothers
her she will see the downside of her position and change her policy. If
she still doesn't change, you've lost nothing. I'd prefer to assume she
could figure that out for herself.

carnet de bal

Message 6048 · Martin Sheffield · 9 Jan 1997 23:38:33 · Top

OK !
I got the message.
We'll try an unbookable ball, for a change, I promise.

Martin,
Grenoble, France

carnet de bal

Message 6051 · briscoe · 10 Jan 1997 03:04:52 · Top

I remember the San Francisco Branch's shift from being a place where
people booked ahead, to the opposite. It was a process of educating the
dancers to understand it's more fun if you don't book ahead. I remember my
teachers encouraging us to say, "No thanks, I don't book ahead, but I'd
love to dance with you!" It was a gradual change. I don't know what the
situation is there now; but it took more than removing the sign-up list
from the program booklets to make it happen.

ellie briscoe
Alexandria, VA USA

carnet de bal

Message 6053 · ERBRUNKEN · 10 Jan 1997 03:18:15 · Top

I don't think anyone would argue the fact that most people, usually book a
couple of dances in an evening programme. Favourite partners, favourite
dances...whatever. I usually try not to unless I am MC'ing, then unless you
book ahead...you don't dance much.

But, think of the dilema if you filled your card, then somebody wonderful
turns up late.
It also leaves NO room for spontaneity. It's really nice to catch an eye
or notice someone when you are dancing....find yourself in their vacinity
after a dance ....and, there you go ....your next partner.

E

carnet de bal

Message 6057 · FarMcTrav · 10 Jan 1997 04:35:45 · Top

In a message dated 97-01-09 20:08:48 EST, Mel Briscoe wrote:

<< I remember the San Francisco Branch's shift from being a place where
people booked ahead, to the opposite. It was a process of educating the
dancers to understand it's more fun if you don't book ahead. I remember my
teachers encouraging us to say, "No thanks, I don't book ahead, but I'd
love to dance with you!" It was a gradual change. I don't know what the
situation is there now; but it took more than removing the sign-up list
from the program booklets to make it happen.
>>
The San Francisco Branch itself does not make large policy decisions like
that: we are a group of individuals who act individually. As a SC dance
community, and as individuals, we took some time to debate / talk about the
policy / issue, primarily through our newsletter, the Reel and Strathspeyper.
Our final outcome as teachers was to *suggest* that people only book a few
dances, but not the entire program, which had been the habit previously. We
did not shift to an exact opposite, we modified our general pattern of
behavior.

Booking a few dances has worked very well for me. If I am asked by someone to
dance, I hate to offend by refusing. More importantly, there are some dancers
who I have known for many years, but who I only see at our Balls. If I don't
ask them to dance ahead of time, we might not "happen to bump into each
other" on the floor. (Our balls usually have 200 - 250 people, so it is
inevitable that we won't see everyone who is there.) When I attend a ball
with a "dance partner", we normally book ahead for a quick time dance and
strathspey with each other, but the rest of the evening is open for each of
us.

I think it is worth raising the issue of who asks who as part of this thread:
if a dance group / branch / organizers have an equally archaic and IMO sexist
policy wherein *only* men are allowed to ask someone to dance, then I think
all bets are off!
If the standard is for _people_ to ask each other to dance, without regard to
whether it is the man or the woman doing the asking, then not signing up
ahead works fine. When only the man can do the asking, there is some grounds
for debating the sign up ahead of time policy. I have seen many women hurt
unnecessarily by being at a dance where they do not have the freedom to ask a
man to dance, or are turned down in poor form.

Ken McFarland

carnet de bal

Message 6058 · Don MacQueen · 10 Jan 1997 07:50:31 · Top

>Dear Miss Manners:
>
>>If
>>my invitation is declined once because the lady is booked, I will
>>[probably] not ask her again, no matter how nice a person or how good a
>>dancer she seems to be--I have more pleasant ways to spend my life.
>
>Gentle Dancer:
>
>Doesn't that make it HER problem rather than yours, and if it bothers
>her she will see the downside of her position and change her policy. If
>she still doesn't change, you've lost nothing. I'd prefer to assume she
>could figure that out for herself.
>
>--
>Ian Price <iprice@hasimons.com>

This is a situation where I think a short memory _is_ a good idea.

If I get turned down by someone because she has booked ahead, I'm not
likely to dance with her that evening--but primarily because there are
usually enough dancers present that being in the right place at the right
time to ask the same person again is unlikely. By the time of the next
dance party, weeks or months later, I will almost certainly have forgotten
the previous rejection. Making it a personal matter between two individual
is, I feel, making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill. As several others
have made clear, the issue becomes of serious concern when a substantial
portion of the dancers at a dance book ahead.

-Don

-----------------
Don MacQueen
macq@ccnet.com
-----------------

carnet de bal

Message 6059 · Andrew Aitchison · 10 Jan 1997 10:14:18 · Top

I've been know to indulge in what could be called "booking ahead".
I moved away from the area where I learnt to dance and only get back
a couple of times a year. A couple of times during the evening I may
ask someone if they can suggest a dance we might dance together.
Unfortunately I've found that if I don't do this I don't get to dance
with them, since many of us have fallen into the unfortunate habit of
dancing in sets we dance with regularly, and I don't always get close
enough to be the first to ask, especially when the pace is such that
one has to find the next partner as soon as one finishes the previous
dance (poor MCing I know, but often at university dances the MC is a
comparative beginner).

Andrew Aitchison

carnet de bal

Message 6093 · Colleen Dancer333-1862 · 13 Jan 1997 05:12:55 · Top

--Boundary (ID v4NmL4lZFSM+eR/nHPQ4Qg)
Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII

--Boundary (ID v4NmL4lZFSM+eR/nHPQ4Qg)
MIME-version: 1.0
Content-type: MESSAGE/RFC822

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 14:12:48 +1000
From: "Colleen Dancer (02) 9333-1862" <"DANCER COLLEEN"@a1.abcnet.abc.net.au>
Subject: Re: carnet de bal
In-reply-to: <970109213550_201353080@emout03.mail.aol.com>
To: strathspey-request <strathspey-request@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Message-id: <"A40ZWQTKGC88*/R=ABCNET/R=A1/U=DANCER COLLEEN/"@MHS>
MIME-version: 1.0
Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII
Delivery-date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 14:18:00 +1000
Posting-date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 14:18:00 +1000
Importance: normal
A1-type: MAIL

Ken said
I think it is worth raising the issue of who asks who as part of this
thread if a dance group / branch / organizers have an equally archaic and
IMO sexis policy wherein *only* men are allowed to ask someone to dance,
then I think all bets are off!
<end>

The simplest way to get round that policy is to ignore it. I've never
found a man who would be rude enough to refuse you just because he
thought he should have asked. I'm not actually sure whether any of the
groups I ever danced with (including balls) have had the policy I just
always assume that the policy is archaic and is no longer appropriate and
therefore no longer exists. :)

Afterall if it's ok for a woman to ask for a date now it's certainly ok
to ask for a dance. Any place that has sexist policies like that is going
to have a lot of problems getting young women dancing I would have
thought.

Colleen Dancer
POWSCDG

dancer.colleen@a2.abc.net.au

--Boundary (ID v4NmL4lZFSM+eR/nHPQ4Qg)--

carnet de bal

Message 6107 · Alan Paterson · 13 Jan 1997 11:11:24 · Top

>fuck you assholes

A) Exactly which assholes are refered to here? Am I included
personally? If so, why?

B) Which particular statement have these poor people made which
require them to be "fucked"?

C) Which poor, misguided individual sent this message and how
come they have such an extreme lack of self-confidence requiring
them to send it anonymously?

D) What happened to Anselm's system of ensuring that no anonymous
messages get broadcast? :-)

Sad state of affairs.

Alan

Anonymous messages

Message 6111 · Anselm Lingnau · 13 Jan 1997 13:32:38 · Top

Alan Paterson <alan@paranor.dial-switch.ch> writes:

> D) What happened to Anselm's system of ensuring that no anonymous
> messages get broadcast? :-)

I don't do anything about `anonymous messages'. Since, on the Internet,
it is easy to masquerade as pretty much anybody (with different degrees
of obviousness) this would be difficult to prevent in any case -- other
than by `moderating' the list in the sense that everything needs to be
`approved' by a moderator (checking for things like novelty, topicality,
non-anonymousness (non-anonymousity?) etc.) or by requiring everybody
to `sign' their messages digitally using PGP or some such so the list
software can know who is who. Don't worry if this is all Greek to you.

What I do is automatically junk messages from people who aren't
subscribers -- this helps filter out heaps of (mostly commercial) trash
that some folks try to post to every mailing list under the sun. The
rejected postings end up in the administrative mailbox, where I sometimes
look at them and try to make threatening noises towards the perpetrator,
using words such as `felony', if he or she is foolish enough to leave
their own address on the item in question (many of them don't).

Our charming correspondent `Zig1111@aol.com', however, used to be a
regular subscriber to the group, and that evidently for some time. Note
`used to be' -- his or her subscription came to an end about 30 seconds
after I found the message in my inbox. Normally I don't believe in
kicking people off the list because of what they say, but as far as
this sort of abusive and otherwise content-free stuff is concerned,
I feel entirely justified in terminating the originator's subscription
with extreme prejudice.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Now I know what a statesman is; he's a dead politician. We need more statesmen.
--- Bob Edwards

Anonymous messages

Message 6113 · Sandra Rosenau · 13 Jan 1997 17:10:39 · Top

Anselm, Thank you for all you do for us. How lucky we are to have you
doing so much for us.
Sandra Rosenau, Dayton, Ohio, USA
sjrosenau@tasc.com

Anonymous messages

Message 6132 · ERBRUNKEN · 14 Jan 1997 09:30:28 · Top

In a message dated 97-01-13 12:27:49 EST, you write:

>Anselm, Thank you for all you do for us. How lucky we are to have you
>doing so much for us.

YES! Thankyou Anslem .

Elaine

carnet de bal

Message 6118 · ReeG · 13 Jan 1997 20:06:36 · Top

In a message dated 97-01-12 22:21:40 EST, Colleen Dancer writes:

> I've never
>found a man who would be rude enough to refuse you just because he
>thought he should have asked.

Unfortunately the slap in the face happens all too often. Now when I attend
an out of town event, I try to check with the organizers before I arrive
about the unwritten *local rules,* such as booking ahead, ladies not asking
gentlemen to dance, visitors not asking locals, etc. That, at least to some
extent, reduces the chance that I'll unwittingly step on some toes.

If there is a convenient walk through, I try to attend. It gives me a chance
to meet some of the local dancers, to socialize, and to demonstrate that I
can be a pleasant partner.

Ree Grisham
Chicago, IL
ReeG@aol.com

carnet de bal

Message 6119 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 13 Jan 1997 20:40:53 · Top

On Mon, 13 Jan 1997 ReeG@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 97-01-12 22:21:40 EST, Colleen Dancer writes:
>
> > I've never
> >found a man who would be rude enough to refuse you just because he
> >thought he should have asked.
>
> Unfortunately the slap in the face happens all too often. Now when I attend
> an out of town event, I try to check with the organizers before I arrive
> about the unwritten *local rules,* such as booking ahead, ladies not asking
> gentlemen to dance, visitors not asking locals, etc. That, at least to some
> extent, reduces the chance that I'll unwittingly step on some toes.
>
> If there is a convenient walk through, I try to attend. It gives me a chance
> to meet some of the local dancers, to socialize, and to demonstrate that I
> can be a pleasant partner.

Excellent suggestions Ree. Thanks!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage (priscilla.burrage@uvm.edu)
Vermont USA (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)
Please note my new "zoo" address and change your
files from the old "moose" address.

carnet de bal

Message 6127 · ERBRUNKEN · 14 Jan 1997 05:34:22 · Top

In a message dated 97-01-13 13:37:06 EST, you write:

>Unfortunately the slap in the face happens all too often. Now when I attend
>an out of town event, I try to check with the organizers before I arrive
>about the unwritten *local rules,* such as booking ahead, ladies not asking

It's funny to think back. About 10 years ago I went to a Ball in a big
city, that I'd never been to before and where I knew only the 3 people with
whom I'd gone.

I danced 1 dance in the whole evening and swore I'd never go back there. I
was refused so often I seriously wondered if I had broccolli in my teeth or
something! After about the 4th refusal for 1 particular dance I quit, and
sat down with, I must admit, a little bit of an attitude. ( I asked men
and women...noone would dance with me). Of course since then I have gotton
to know a number of these folks at weekends and other events and I am sure if
I went back to that Ball I'd have plenty of partners.... but I'm not going to
chance it. I labeled that branch THE MOST UNFRIENDLY branch in the country,
and they really are not. BUT that was the impression I left with and after
10 years it still bothers me. Having relayed this story to a number of the
teachers and office bearers of the branch they are all astounded and have no
recollection of me being at the event....(there's a surprise) ... The Point
is, those first impressions are SO important. They stick with you for a
long , long time!

If all the locals dance 1 dance in an evening with a new face, that new face
will probavly dance most of the evening! and just maybe come back!

I am getting off the soap box now!

With all this 'free' time on AOL... I feel compelled to use it.

carnet de bal

Message 6130 · ReelLass · 14 Jan 1997 09:07:13 · Top

>> Ree Grisom:
... Now when I attend
an out of town event, I try to check with the organizers before I arrive
about the unwritten *local rules,* such as booking ahead, ladies not asking
gentlemen to dance, visitors not asking locals, etc. That, at least to some
extent, reduces the chance that I'll unwittingly step on some toes...
>>>

Visitors not asking locals? This seems like an unreasonable practice. If you
are from out of town, how are you supposed to know who is local and who is
also from out of town?

Terry Barron
San Jose, CA

carnet de bal

Message 6143 · Martin Sheffield · 14 Jan 1997 15:51:32 · Top

>It's funny to think back. About 10 years ago I went to a Ball in a big
>city, that I'd never been to before and where I knew only the 3 people with
>whom I'd gone.
>
>I danced 1 dance in the whole evening and swore I'd never go back there. I
>was refused so often I seriously wondered if I had broccolli in my teeth or
>something! After about the 4th refusal for 1 particular dance I quit,

But you didn't say if they were using carnets de bal or not.
I too have veen to dances, where you have to be very quick to get a
partner. People are so keen not to miss a dance, that couples seem to be
made up (sometimes sets, too) before you've had time to straighten up from
the previous final bow or curtsey.
I would say that out-of-towners have just as good a chance of finding new
partners with carnet de bal as without, so long as the MC, or members of
the committee organizing the ball, make it clear that you do not write the
same name twice, and that using a carnet de bal is a good excuse to
exchange names with newcomers.

... The Point
>is, those first impressions are SO important. They stick with you for a
>long , long time!
>
> If all the locals dance 1 dance in an evening with a new face, that new face
>will probavly dance most of the evening! and just maybe come back!
>

With that, I heartily agree.

Martin,
Grenoble, France

carnet de bal

Message 6145 · Helen Frances Welford · 14 Jan 1997 16:11:13 · Top

On Mon, 13 Jan 1997 ERBRUNKEN@aol.com wrote:

> It's funny to think back. About 10 years ago I went to a Ball in a big
> city, that I'd never been to before and where I knew only the 3 people with
> whom I'd gone.
>
> I danced 1 dance in the whole evening and swore I'd never go back there.

Your story is altogether too familiar! Our little group has spent some
time talking about the issue, and we now have a "rule" which we follow
both at home and away. We don't sign up dances in advance (except maybe a
one or two special ones), and we try to make sure that new dancers and
out-of-town guests are invited to dance as much as possible. When
out-of-town, we try to mix but also look out for others in our group in
case they are not being asked to dance. It seems to work pretty well --
we certainly have a good time (though sometimes I don't see my husband
beyond the beginning and end of the evening)!

Helen Welford <welford@umich.edu>
Ann Arbor

carnet de bal

Message 6150 · ReeG · 14 Jan 1997 18:36:26 · Top

In a message dated 97-01-14 02:14:21 EST, Terry Barron writes:

>Visitors not asking locals? This seems like an unreasonable practice. If
you
>are from out of town, how are you supposed to know who is local and who is
>also from out of town?

It's a nightmare!! I've had it happen twice. We learned to recognize our
fellow out-of-towners pretty quickly: we were the ones standing at the end of
the hall looking shellshocked.

Ree Grisham
Chicago, IL USA
ReeG@aol.com

carnet de bal

Message 6205 · Donald F. Robertson · 16 Jan 1997 01:57:33 · Top

SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:

> The worst scenario I have experienced was an evening that had many, many,
> many more women then men. As each man arrived, he was beset by eager women
> who filled his dance card before he had his coat off.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful to my wonderful female dance partners, I want
to point out that this can be uncomfortable for tha man, too. When there are
a lot more women than men, sometimes I get very little choice over who I
dance with, unless I get very hard nosed about not booking ahead, in which case
the friends who asked me to do so can (rightly) become upset. This can put the
man in a very awkward position: either he turns down good friends who really
want to dance with him, or he has much of the program booked for him, in advance.

Fortunately, for me, there is a great overlap between the people I wish to dance
with and those who want to dance with me. However, sometimes, if I see someone
who is new, or someone who I would really like to dance with who has not for
whatever reason asked me to dance, I am frequently unable to ask her to. I can
find this very frustrating.

_________________________
Donald F. Robertson

donaldrf@hooked.net
76217.2066@CompuServe.com

The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually
we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of
inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to
reclaim a little more land. -- Thomas Huxley.

carnet de bal

Message 6038 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 9 Jan 1997 10:30:43 · Top

Of the various preferences and approaches that have been expressed so far,
I think Susan Worland's comes closest to my own:

>...while
>I'm generally in favor of not booking ahead, there is a bit of a thrill when
>someone special, maybe someone you haven't seen for awhile, comes and
>whispers in your ear that he'd like to dance with you later in the evening,
>could you choose a favorite dance.... Now for me that ends up with me
>getting one dance booked ahead, or at very most, two, which doesn't
>interfere much with mixing during the rest of the evening.

I find this is one situation where my relatively poor short term memory is
an asset. I make a point of NOT writing down the names of future partners
(although I might write down who I just finished dancing with) so I do not
make advance arrangements farther than I can remember--for me that means
the very next dance or the one immediately following. On rare occasions I
will make an arrangement for a specific dance well down in the program, but
it is almost always with someone I know very well and for a dance that has
special meaning for both of us (hence, easy to remember).

In most cases, the only reasonable rationale I can see for "booking" any
partner for a dance is to be sure you get to do the dance. It usually does
not matter who that partner is (assuming they know the dance, of course).
When it comes right down to it, in most dances you spend as much if not
more time dancing with the other people in the set as you do dancing with
your own partner. If it is important to you to do the next dance, then you
must be diligent finding a partner who knows it--any partner should be ok.
Now, having said that, I might take exception to it for dances containing
figures like allemand, knot and pousette where you actually do get to dance
together as a couple. But even then, it is usually fun finding out how it
is to dance with whomever you have chosen!

As I see it, the practice of booking dances has far fewer advantages than
disadvantages and is generally socially negative. While the act of engaging
a parter is a social positive, the several acts of declining invitations to
dance because you have booked it are socially negative--so you end up with
many more negatives than positives (both for you AND for the people you
declined). However, if no one books ahead, then almost all invitations to
dance will be social positives! For some people (including me) the
emotional impact of being declined after taking the trouble of inviting
someone to dance is much greater than the impact of having your invitation
accepted. Not only do you have to deal with the disappointment of being
declined, your time (=part of your life) has been wasted asking that person
to dance. For me the addage of "once, burned, twice shy" applies here. If
my invitation is declined once because the lady is booked, I will
[probably] not ask her again, no matter how nice a person or how good a
dancer she seems to be--I have more pleasant ways to spend my life.

Cheers, Oberdan Otto.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

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