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  • Dick&Maureen Daniel

    Dick&Maureen Daniel April 4, 2006, 1:16 p.m. (Message 44976)

    Re: Over 700 schoolchildren dance in Glasgow

    Anselm wrote.
    >The analogy breaks down there because in football you have competing teams 
    >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 
    >quite another.>
    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 
    >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 
    >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, 
    >(as an extreme example) abolish pas-de-basque because it is too difficult 
    >master and may scare people off SCD.
    Good to have you on board Anselm.  It is precisely the extreme empasis on 
    the purely stylistic rules, to which I am opposed .  That is the whole 
    message I have been trying to convey.  My pas-de-basque is far from perfect 
    but I like to see ladies [in particular] perform the step well and I 
    generally try to get it right.
    On reflection, the root cause of the problem may well be that applicants to 
    become RSCDS Teachers are required to be so precise in all aspects of steps 
    and posture [otherwise they are failed] that they are led to believe this is 
    essential fodder for novice dancers. [as I noticed from an American 
    contributor's comments]  This is undoubtedly an area where RSCDS falls 
    short.  I have met many people in Ceilidh dancing circles who say they have 
    tried SCD with RSCDS classes, but were put off by the strict application of 
    rules of posture, step and etiquette.  I do not consider scrapping all is a 
    sensible route to take, but  perhaps we should have a new catchphrase in 
    RSCDS.  "Horses for courses"
    Incidentally, I suspect you don't need it spelled out, but Scottish Ceilidh 
    is a generic term covering all forms of entertainment with a group of 
    Scottish people [not necessarily in Scotland].  Ceilidhs can include no 
    dancing whatsoever, with people presenting their party-piece songs, poems, 
    readings, playing instruments etc.  Ceilidhs can be all couples dances, 
    including a smattering of old-tyme and non-Scottish dances. Ceilidhs may be 
    half set dances and half couples dances.  Ceilidhs may include Highland 
    dancing and/or Step dancing.  Ceilidhs may be held in a tiny farmhouse 
    kitchen or a massive public hall.  Ceilidhs may be a mixture of all or any 
    of the above.  I have produced a "Noddy" website in an attempt to advertise 
    that Ceilidh does not deserve its rough-house image, and to provide an easy 
    introduction to Ceilidh/SCD. for total novices.
    Feel free to have a look if you are so inclined.  It's not earth-shattering 
    stuff, merely a small attempt to transmit the message about SCD/Ceilidh.
    Dick Daniel

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