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  • Anselm Lingnau

    Anselm Lingnau April 4, 2006, 1:48 p.m. (Message 44977)

    Re: Over 700 schoolchildren dance in Glasgow

    Dick Daniel wrote:
    > [...] and I
    > generally try to get it right.
    I think this is all that can reasonably be required of a dancer. It is good if 
    people strive for perfection but if we insist on perfection then the dance 
    floors will be empty indeed.
    > 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.
    I believe that a teacher should be able to serve as an example. This is not to 
    say that teachers must be perfect dancers as far as posture and steps are 
    concerned, only that they should at least try to be reasonably good -- 
    because the class will emulate the teacher. There are lots of reasonable 
    exemptions e.g., for teachers who have been getting on in years (and whose 
    experience makes up for any loss in agility), but if a young(ish) teacher is 
    visibly sloppy and not making an effort, then how can anyone expect his class 
    to do so?
    One of the big caveats of becoming a teacher is that people will (possibly 
    subconsciously) watch your dancing even when you're not actively teaching 
    your class. Whatever you do carries weight merely because it is a well-known 
    fact that you are an SCD teacher, so what you do must be correct.
    Concerning »essential fodder for novice dancers«: It doesn't make a whole lot 
    of sense to confront novice dancers with all the fine points of technique 
    etc. at the very beginning, but neither should these be completely 
    disregarded. In my class I tend to get beginners to get the geometry right 
    first and the fine points of steps etc. later, as I would much rather they be 
    able to join in at least the easier dances. I also must admit that I try to 
    get people to join workshops for proper training about steps etc.; there is 
    only so much you can do in a weekly general class if you want to keep the 
    session moving and »fun«.
    >From the point of view of the Society, I think it is good to insist that there 
    *are* certain standards. However, as far as I know, »standards everywhere, 
    all the time« is not current RSCDS policy, anyway, so claiming the contrary 
    and dissing the Society for it would be a straw-man argument.
    > 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.
    Yep. I was using »ceilidh« in the urban sense (dance event) rather than the 
    rural sense (mixed entertainment).
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany .....................
    You see things, and you say `Why?'
            But I dream things that never were, and say `Why not?'   -- G. B. Shaw

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