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  • Adam Hughes

    Adam Hughes Oct. 9, 2001, 2:13 p.m. (Message 27812)

    Re: Pre-Booking (was Cribs)

    I'm glad this question has paid off.
    So, it sounds like a consensus that some pre-booking is normal (and I'll 
    freely admit that when my girlfriend is at a dance, we'll usually do the 
    first, the last and one in the middle that looks good, just as Lara 
    said) but that most people prefer not to book up dances, except maybe 
    with students or other people you want to be careful to remember not to 
    snub at their first ball.
    <the rest of this is just musings, and requests for advice>
    I often end up booking dances in the sense of "would you like to dance", 
    "sorry I have a partner, but how about the next one?"
    I went to the Oxford and Cambridge Highland Ball last year, and was 
    surprised to see most of the people there going around with sharpened 
    pencils, in the half hour before the dance started, filling their cards, 
    ignoring all the people they didn't know.  This year, since I am 
    supposed to be organising the ball, I have been asked by several people 
    to put something in the programme or say something at the start, asking 
    people not to book up dances like that.  There is a suspicion the 
    academics might need occasional updates on the social mores of the 
    outside world.
    They also asked me to make an announcement along the lines of "Please 
    try and hide your shock when a woman asks you to dance" since a couple 
    of the older men were sufficiently unsure of themselves to reply a 
    little abruptly when a young American asked them to dance.  Of course 
    they'd booked all their dances, so they couldn't take advantage of the 
    offer.  She was not at all impressed.
    I've experienced the flipside (at other events), getting on the end of 
    "have you a partner?  Are you going to ask me to dance then?" 
    invitations to dance, which I find rather unflattering...
    On a slightly difference tack, I like grand marches, and was planning to 
    have one at the ball, but it had never occurred to me to march, applaud, 
    and then find another partner.  I kind of like the idea that the grand 
    march mixed up the couples so at least at the start cliquey sets don't 
    form.  But I might try it, or possibly start with a few times through a 
    couple dance instead of a set dance.  The SUSCDF grand march led into a 
    three-facing-three around the room dance last year, which was a nice 
    idea I thought...  Is it expect to do the grand march with your 
    "significant other"?  I've never noticed any black looks when I've done 
    a grand march with someone else's wife.  Maybe we should try a grand 
    march of individuals, so you get a random partner, as well as a random 
    set.  But I suppose some people might get confused if the room was full 
    of men dancing with men and women dancing as men with men dancing as women.
    Another suggestion from someone here was that people might like to chose 
    partners from the set they just danced with - which assuming there were 
    no cliquey sets to start with, might prevent their formation, but if 
    there were cliquey sets, then they'd just perpetuate, so I'm not 
    convinced by that one.

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