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  • Anselm Lingnau

    Anselm Lingnau April 3, 2006, 3:37 p.m. (Message 44965)

    Re: Over 700 schoolchildren dance in Glasgow

    Dick Daniel wrote:
    > So you reckon that more  rules [like the goalie standing in First position]
    > might solve Scottish Football's problems?  I know little about football,
    > but I somehow doubt that is the answer.    As I understand it, Scottish
    > football has achieved OUTSTANDING international achievements in the past,
    > despite all the odds against them succeeding.
    > Conversely, perhaps you are agreeing with me that dispensing with the
    > absolute letter of the rules, unless you want to play real COMPETITIVE
    > football, would increase the fun element, to the overall benefit of the
    > game.
    The analogy breaks down there because in football you have competing teams and 
    in SCD as a rule you don't. There is no such thing as »competitive SCD« 
    (except for some places like, I gather, Scotland -- which may contribute to 
    the problem at hand).
    If you need it spelled out: Playing football for fun in the street with no 
    off-side rule et cetera is one thing, and playing football in an organised 
    club, taking part in a formal football league, is quite another. Similarly, 
    dancing for fun at ceilidhs is one thing, and RSCDS-style country dancing is 
    quite another. In both cases, many participants may delight in the sheer 
    unbridled joy of the one (and there is definitely nothing in the least wrong 
    with that) while others enjoy the more structured and demanding other form. 
    If the state of Scottish football is as appalling as it seems (I wouldn't 
    know, not being a sports buff), a solution proposing to abolish all rules in 
    organised football to improve the general quality of the game appears to me 
    as absurd as a solution requiring the RSCDS to »loosen up« about standards in 
    order to make dancing more popular, which is the one often put forward when 
    the lack of interest in RSCDS-style dancing *in Scotland* is being discussed. 
    This operation may well succeed to a certain degree but it will probably kill 
    the patient in the process.
    The other problem is that, contrary to widely-held beliefs, there are few if 
    any »absolute rules« in SCD (the possible exception being the Golden Rule). . 
    Even the revered Dr Milligan is on record as having said »We do not dot every 
    i and cross every t«. I, for one, would be happy if the insistence on »rules« 
    for everything that one encounters in places (as in, whose hand is on top in 
    a 4 hands across, and where is the left big toe of 3rd man on bar 14 3/4 of 
    dance such-and-such) were replaced by liberal helpings of common sense, 
    teaching dancers to think for themselves and doing the thing that makes sense 
    in a given situation, rather than relying on arbitrary rules for the 
    micro-management of SCD. If this is what you mean by »loosening up«, Dick, 
    then I'm all in favour. However I would hate to see changes that would, say, 
    (as an extreme example) abolish pas-de-basque because it is too difficult to 
    master and may scare people off SCD.
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
                                                  -- Samuel Johnson, after Boswell

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