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  • Ian Brockbank

    Ian Brockbank April 3, 2006, 5:28 p.m. (Message 44968)

    RE: Over 700 schoolchildren dance in Glasgow

    Hi Dick,
    > So you reckon that more  rules [like the goalie standing in First
    > might solve Scottish Football's problems?  I know little about football,
    > I somehow doubt that is the answer.    As I understand it, Scottish
    > has achieved OUTSTANDING international achievements in the past, despite
    > the odds against them succeeding.
    No-one's advocating more rules.  Just don't be too quick to completely throw
    out the technique which makes our dancing what it is.
    > 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.
    It depends who you are.  For beginners, of course you shouldn't concentrate
    on niceities until the basics are there.  However, please don't ask me to
    turn my toes in and start doing a 2-beat pas-de-basque just because the way
    I dance has been honed over years of practice and won't be achieved by your
    typical beginner on their first class.  I ENJOY the fact that there is an
    ideal to strive for, and I like to get as close as possible most of the
    time.  But that doesn't mean I expect other dancers in my set to do the same
    (except when performing, of course).
    But a more important, more general point:  YOU ARE PART OF THE RSCDS.  Your
    achievements in Glasgow are a shining example of what _the_RSCDS_ can offer
    and achieve.  Remember, the RSCDS is a collection of volunteers, each with
    their own agenda, with a few organising committees of volunteers doing their
    best as they see it.  There is no official "accuracy police force" which
    lurks at social events and will strike you off forever for being
    fractionally out of place on bar 6.239 of the tournee (though there are a
    *few* sad individuals who unfortunately seem to see that as their role), and
    this runs counter to the attitude of the members of the executive committees
    who I know.  Have you danced with Stewart?
    I keep seeing people complaining that "the RSCDS" is hide-bound and a
    stickler for rules being obeyed all the time.  In my experience, in
    attending events run by RSCDS branches this is not generally the case - as
    your example shows.  Sure, there are some teachers who do still teach this
    way.  That doesn't mean "the RSCDS" in general (whoever that is) thinks this
    way.  Yet for some reason, every time someone is inappropriately strict, it
    is taken as because they are RSCDS members.  Every time someone is
    appropriately lax, it is taken as despite being RSCDS members - even if that
    is the more common occurrence.
    And this is the marketing battle we need to fight - to convince everyone
    that "the RSCDS is strict and stuffy" is an out-of-date image, and to
    convince members (an in particular teachers) that behaviours that give this
    impression are now inappropriate.
    On the other hand, we do need to recognise that the structure which the
    RSCDS style provides is a major asset.  It's certainly the reason dancing is
    _my_ main hobby.  I enjoy dancing well, and I enjoy the mental and physical
    challenges that offers.  If I was just ceilidh dancing, it wouldn't be such
    an obsession - there's just not enough to it for me.
    As has been said before, no-one complains about David Beckham being a good
    footballer.  So why do so many people complain about people who want to
    dance well?
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland

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