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  • Miriam L. Mueller

    Miriam L. Mueller March 13, 2006, 8:54 p.m. (Message 44689)

    Beginners in with experienced dancers (formerly Teaching and guns)

    If you will forgive a non-teacher speaking up, I will relate my
    experiences with such mixed classes.
    1) Although it is not SCD, I attend a monthly English Country Dance that
    always has a few total beginners (never danced ECD, sometimes never
    danced before). The early part of the evening is always geared to
    straightforward but increasingly complex fun dances. The experienced
    dancers make sure the newcomers and beginners have experienced partners
    who reassure them that they CAN do this. With reels for example (heys in
    ECD), they are told to weave in and out, we walk through it once or
    twice, the experienced dancers point the way, and most have little
    trouble with them. 
    2) In Mobile, Alabama, some years ago, I danced with a non-RSCDS group of
    enthusiasts. No certified teacher, experience range from several years in
    that group to newcomers, age range 15 - 75. The sense was that everyone
    was learning together. Had a great time.
    3)  As relatively new dancers (not total beginners) several of us would
    turn up to dance with an experienced group who welcomed the extra bodies
    (feet?). They gave us experienced partners and got us through amazingly
    complex stuff.
    In all instances, everyone shared good humor, laughter, tolerance of
    whatever level people were dancing at, and enjoyment of the dancing and
    the learning. It may or may not be relevant that NONE of these groups was
    an official RSCDS branch.
            Mimi/Miriam Mueller       San Francisco, CA
    On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 13:05:44 +0100 Alan Paterson
    <xxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx> writes:
    > On 13/03/2006 12:29, Andrea Re wrote:
    > > 1) probably the long established classes don't welcome new members 
    > > because, and rightly so, they can't be bothered with the 
    > Cumberland 
    > > reels and the likes of it. If the group can't be bothered 
    > organizing 
    > > beginners' classes, the group is to blame, not the teaching of 
    > steps.
    > OK. Fair comment. However (as in our case) what do you do if you 
    > have 
    > 8-10 regulars and (on a good day) 2 beginners?
    > If I were ever in the situation of having 6-8 beginners with whom I 
    > could do a separate class, it would be like having my Birthday on 
    > the 
    > 25th December.
    > Alan
    > P.S. Having received today my Scottish Country Dancer magazine I now 
    > know what Andrea looks like. Aha! Chris Ronald as well. Isn't it odd 
    > how 
    > one makes pictures of people with whom one corresponds - and these 
    > are 
    > totally wrong?

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