Chris1Ronald March 8, 2006, 4:50 p.m. (Message 44570)
Re: Difference Between Briefing a dance and Recapping a Dance
Malcolm Brown wrote: > While I have no objection to a brief re-cap, I really cannot see the > justification for anything more. Presumably it is possible to get hold of > the programme, and the instructions, before going to the dance - what is > wrong in putting in a little homework, or even learning the dances while > travelling to the dance? Anselm (in Germany) and others (in the UK, Austria, Monaco,....) endorsed this comment, while some comments from the US seem to be going the other way. Someone said that there could be a cultural difference, related to the way children are educated. Maybe. But I wouldn't want the impression to get around that, over this side of the pond, dancers aren't willing or able to study a briefing booklet, or look up a dance in Pilling, or google it up on the internet. When I began dancing SCD in earnest (in New York) I would spend hours before a dance studying the briefing booklet, using red and white dice to help me figure out what the instructions meant. (I have five red dice for the women, and five white dice for the men, so I can cope with any dance up to five couples.) Plus I could talk to other dancers and discuss any queries I had, and maybe walk through some tricky bits, plus sometimes there were official walk-throughs in the afternoon beforehand, plus sometimes the weekend teachers would teach a dance in class. I need these props less now, but I do always study the booklet - or look up the dances in the various ways that are open to all of us. In short, by the time a ball or dance finally arrives, all I want and all I expect is a crisp and accurate reminder of how the dance goes. A short briefing or recap, in other words. (These terms, along with that of 'talk-through' are synonymous to me.) Frankly, I feel I owe it to my fellow dancers to study the dances as well as I can before a dance. And I can confirm that there are many dancers on this side of the Atlantic, including renowned teachers (native American born as well as UK-born), who lament the trend towards long and repetitive "briefs" and in fact are quite militant about it. They feel it discourages self-reliance, and helps perpetuate a vicious circle of dancers not being well prepared and MCs providing longer and longer "briefs". By the way, Anselm, that sticky dots idea seems rather neat. I might try it sometime. Chris (New York) Anselm wrote "everyone is given a number of little sticky dots (like 3), which they can then put beside the dances on a huge copy of the ball programme (stuck on a nearby wall) that they are most desperate to walk through. The top few dances (like 3) with most dots nearby are the ones that will be walked through."