Something I have seen done at balls or events where there are a number
of visitors or new dancers: After a few dances, when sets are
complete for the next dance, the MC mentions how wonderful it is that
we have so many visitors, then asks everyone from out of town, who
doesn't usually dance with us, or who is new, to raise their hands.
The MC then reminds local and experienced dancers to make a point of
asking someone whose hand they see raised for a dance some time during
the evening. Everyone then applauds the brave souls who are now
smiling with mixed relief and embarassment, and we brief the next
dance. Having been both the new dancer and the visitor, it's worth a
minute of being stared at! It's also a wonderful way to see who's
visiting whom you already know and may be looking for.
This is a nice idea, but it happened at a ball I went to once, to which I
had traveled several hundred miles, and the locals still booked ahead, the
women in particular. I was OK -- I'm not shy (at dances, anyway) and don't
mind at all dancing as a man, but a male friend who'd come with me ended up
sitting out almost half the dances on the program. He would ask someone,
they would be already booked, and -- boom! -- the sets were formed, with no
time to find someone else. He was VERY frustrated. Neither one of us has
any plans to ever again attend a dance at that venue.
I am strongly AGAINST booking ahead. I think it works agains the social
principles of SCD. I prefer to find partners among the people around me at
the end of the last dance, and actually I like to dance with strangers or
with people I rarely see. I get to dance with the locals all the time. The
only exception to this is if I'm MCing or briefing the dances, when I'll
arrange for a partner before going up to the mic.
To all who have written about The Strathspey Reel : we're having an ice
storm. If I don't reply within about 24 hours, then my electric or phone
lines are out, or a Fran-weakened tree has gone through my roof. (Those of
you who know that I live in a forest will not be surprised.)
> Something I have seen done at balls or events where there are a number > of visitors or new dancers: After a few dances, when sets are > complete for the next dance, the MC mentions how wonderful it is that > we have so many visitors, then asks everyone from out of town, who > doesn't usually dance with us, or who is new, to raise their hands. > The MC then reminds local and experienced dancers to make a point of > asking someone whose hand they see raised for a dance some time during > the evening.
I think a nice way to look for a partner for the next dance, is to have a
quick look around after the sets are complete for the dance at hand.
Those who are sitting out this dance might like an invitation for the
next. You run in to a few people who don't want to dance due to a sore
foot or to inexperience, but you get to meet a lot of new people this way.
Hugh Goldie, Saskatoon Scottish Country Dancers, Saskatoon, Canada