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strathspey@strathspey.org:44953

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  • Alexandre Rafalovitch

    Alexandre Rafalovitch April 2, 2006, 7:04 p.m. (Message 44953)

    Re: Over 700 schoolchildren dance in Glasgow

    On 4/2/06, Dick Daniel <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:
    > Anselm wrote
    >
    > What the RSCDS needs in Scotland is not »loosening up«. It just needs a PR
    > campaign to educate people. From that point of view the Glasgow event is a
    > Good Thing."
    >
    > In response...
    >
    > Incidentally, I WAS one of the RSCDS people in the thick of it, and my nose
    > remains unwrinkled.  Further, I do not see the RSCDS in Scotland [or
    > anywhere else] as "a stuffy assemblage of old fogeys, who are intent on
    > taking all the fun out of dancing".
    
    I agree with both parties here, but neither seems to be talking
    concrete actions. So, let's bring this discussion into the realm of
    what is actually possible and doable:
    
    1) Has anybody done a survey why young people do not enjoy RSCDS
    dancing? Yes! I believe I have seen the mentions of that. What about
    the surveys of young people who do enjoy RSCDS? I have seen less of
    them. And while the negative ones gets passed around and discussed,
    the positive ones are not. The result is that it is much easier to
    find negative surveys. What to do? Find the good surveys and push them
    out. Via RSCDS web site if required, other ways are possible.
    
    2) Are the events like described above great publicity? Yes! But how
    do people find out about them unless they were there, or members of
    this mailing list. Where are the pictures from the event, where are
    the interviews with organisers, where are the follow-up actions? And
    not in the members' magazines or school board meetings, because that
    is preaching to the converted. Where are they in public sources and/or
    on the web?
    
    3) If you having troubles convincing scotish youth to dance, fine. Get
    the international community to participate. Germany has lots of youth
    dancing? Get them to tell everybody in the world why it is great.
    Knowing that somebody else gets excited by what is yours, can do
    wonders.
    
    4) Do you know where the youth hang out? Does RSCDS check if they
    appear there? Let me run a small list:
    1) Photograph sharing: www.flickr.com - where are the pictures of the
    young people dancing and enjoying themselves? The best I found is
    this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/scottishcountrydancing/
    What to do? Upload your ball photos, especially with young people on
    them.  If you have a digital camera, you can do it.
    
    2) www.myspace.com - a website where more than 4 million (that's
    4000000) predominantly young people hang out and talk about things
    they like and don't like. How many people mention RSCDS there? One:
    http://www.myspace.com/bloodyangel89.
    What to do? Next time you have a young person in your class (<20
    y.o.), ask them if they have a myspace profile. Ask them if they
    mention RSCDS on it? Get them to be the embassadors and write about
    RSCDS. Anything will do:  dances they liked/disliked most, preparation
    for teachers exams, etc.
    
    3)Blogs, where people say what they really think? I think there might
    be 3. Mine is one of them at
    (http://alwayslearning.wordpress.com/tag/rscds/). Where are others?
    They are free to setup, they are very easy to start with and you can
    talk about anything (favourite dance, music, problems with the steps,
    etc)
    What to do? Make one yourself or convince another RSCDS dancer to make
    one. Free blog space is available at http://www.blogger.com,
    http://wordpress.com, http://www.livejournal.com/ . I will help
    anybody willing to really try and having troubles.
    
    4) Wikipedia - only a community built encyclopedia that Nature
    magazine compared to Encyclopædia Britannica . Does it have an article
    on SCD/RSCDS? Yes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSCDS
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_country_dance
    Can it be expanded? Yes. I know Anselm contributed, but more is possible.
    
    5) Podcasts - Ten minutes of Scottish music, dance descriptions and
    talks with famous RSCDS people will reach the audience that is too
    busy to visit a class, but will be happy to listen to things in the
    car or while exercising.
    What to do? Early January Sue Petyt talked about podcasting about
    RSCDS. Did anybody get excited and offered to help or contribute? No.
    Let Sue know that you like the idea and/or happy to contribute your
    voice to the segment.
    
    6) RSCDS has people from all walks of life. And some of them would be
    happy to contribute their skills to make RSCDS better. Does RSCDS know
    who those people are and what skills they could bring to the table?
    No. One way or another, people do contribute, but usually in very
    local ways that go unnoticed by a large community. With a push by the
    society behind them, a much greater reach and impact could be made.
    What to do? Make a competition and publish the results in the magazine
    on the web. For example, a best drawing related to RSCDS. I have seen
    some amazing drawings with pencil and paper of confused couples. It is
    hilarious, but has only been seen by members of a particular branch
    and guests. And it is not enough to just ask for stuff to be sent in.
    Somebody should be actively looking for interesting stuff. Again, find
    embassadors, get behind them and push. Maybe integrate that into
    teaching examination. The examiners are travelling all over the world
    already, maybe they can look out for interesting things specifically
    as part of the visit. I am sure local teachers would be happy to
    highlight interesting materials.
    
    
    These are just low-hanging fruits. There are other ways and avenues,
    that are possible. Some of them (like organising the event described)
    are even being done. But the more complex/important an event is, the
    more chances it will fail and/or will be too late. Start with
    low-hanging fruits and see if that will generate enough momentum to
    get people behind other efforts as well.
    
    Now, who is in? Private as well as public replies are very welcome.
    
    Regards,
       Alex.
          

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