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Teaching and guns (was: Where are the RSCDS???)

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    Andrea Re March 13, 2006, 12:29 p.m. (Message 44667)

    Sorry, I would have replied earlier, but I was busy oiling and loading 
    my gun:)
    
    In reply to Campbell's e-mail I would say:
    
    1) probably the long established classes don't welcome new members 
    because, and rightly so, they can't be bothered with the Cumberland 
    reels and the likes of it. If the group can't be bothered organizing 
    beginners' classes, the group is to blame, not the teaching of steps.
    
    2) SCD footwork is easy. No, let me say this better, SCD footwork is 
    VERY easy, especially compared to other forms of dancing like ballroom, 
    highland, salsa, etc. There are only 5 steps to be mastered and the most 
    difficult one (PdB in my opinion) doesn't take years of classical 
    training to learn. The proof of what I am saying is that /I/ can do it....
    
    3) The class does only what they are requested to do. If one doesn't 
    tackle footwork and since they are beginners they won't know any better 
    and they'll do as they are instructed, no more and no less.
    
    It is not so much a matter of keeping standards, but a way of getting 
    from A to B in a dance without tripping over. Besides, the steps are 
    EASY, so I don't see what the problem is in teaching them. I am not 
    saying you should spend 20 minutes per class going over the "close 
    behind" in skip change, but a few minutes per class (if it is a class we 
    are talking about) won't hurt too much. Indeed, the instructions 
    shouldn't be delivered with so much gravitas as if we were trying to 
    describe a life or death situation, but even if in a lightweight manner 
    delivered they must be. After all, if you were attending a pottery class 
    wouldn't you want to be told how to handle clay?
    This is selling ourselves short!!
    
    Andrea (fae Dundee)
  • ...

    Ron Mackey March 14, 2006, 12:22 a.m. (Message 44692, in reply to message 44667)

    > 
    > 2) SCD footwork is easy. No, let me say this better, SCD footwork is 
    > VERY easy, especially compared to other forms of dancing like ballroom, 
    > highland, salsa, etc. There are only 5 steps to be mastered and the most 
    > difficult one (PdB in my opinion) doesn't take years of classical 
    > training to learn. The proof of what I am saying is that /I/ can do it....
    
    	Andrea,
    		You are young, agile and have physical energy to 
    spare.  I know, I have watched you dance.
    	What do you tell someone of 50+,say, who wants to dance?  
    "Don't bother - you'll never master sufficient technique? You'll only 
    slow us down?  You'll make us look shoddy?"
    
    	Instead of thinking of technique just thank the powers that 
    you can do it to your own satisfaction.   Many of us would love to but 
    no longer can oor even never could.   Will you deny us the floor?
    
    	The head, the hands and timing are FAR more important 
    than feet!
    	They are a luxury for the, comparatively, few.
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau March 14, 2006, 1:41 a.m. (Message 44695, in reply to message 44692)

    Ron Mackey wrote:
    
    > 	What do you tell someone of 50+,say, who wants to dance?
    > "Don't bother - you'll never master sufficient technique? You'll only
    > slow us down?  You'll make us look shoddy?"
    
    Everyone should aspire to dance to the best of their abilities. For some (the  
    lucky few) this may mean »perfectly in all respects«; for others, »getting 
    there at the right time, socially«. Age may be a factor in this but often 
    isn't. As long as you're giving your best, and are enjoying yourself, nobody 
    can really complain.
    
    On the whole, most people seem to have certain ideas of how much they are 
    willing to exert themselves (both mentally and physically); if they can have 
    enough fun while staying within the confines of these limits, then they enjoy 
    doing SCD. Push them to exceed them on a regular basis, and they will leave 
    in order to look for something less strenuous to do. This interplays with the 
    observation that, in many cases, better technique results in higher 
    satisfaction (because more things »just work«, less time is necessary for 
    explanations, more difficult dances can be attempted, etc.).
    
    The trick, apparently, is getting people to find out that while they *think* 
    they're having lots of fun when they're just stampeding around the set like a 
    herd of hippos, that once they've got the hang of current SCD technique they 
    will be having even *more* fun. I don't have a foolproof method for doing 
    this.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time
    for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their
    own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
                                                                 -- Octavia Butler
  • ...

    Thomas G. Mungall, III March 14, 2006, 1:38 a.m. (Message 44694, in reply to message 44667)

    Andrea,
    
    Certainly Highland footwork is more difficult but I haven't found the
    footwork any of the other forms of dance you mentioned any more difficult
    than SCD. Irish is more taxing to be sure and marginally more difficult. Cha
    Cha approaches the aerobic level of SCD but who does Cha Cha for two hours?
    
    BTW I can think of more than 5 steps to be mastered in SCD. Why don't you
    give the list of steps you are thinking of and maybe others can add to the
    list. :-)
    
    Yours aye,
    Tom Mungall
    Baton Rouge, La, USA
  • ...

    0AM7L@SIA March 14, 2006, 5:29 p.m. (Message 44705, in reply to message 44667)

    > I agree with Andrea.  Footwork IS important, it IS easy to learn (if you
    bother to), and should be emphasized.  There's nothing worse than watching a
    demo team with sloppy footwork: toes pointed skyward, off-beat, shuffling
    (noisy) and out of sync with others.   Conversely, nothing looks better than a
    group of people smartly keeping time to the music with neat footwork.  I do not
    enjoy watching  'galloping horses,' 'chimpancers' slugs or snails (except for
    those physically unable to lift their feet properly, who are actually few and
    far between).  
    
    After all, it's just as easy to dance 'correctly' than sloppily.  It's all
    in IF want to do it correctly, and how much you care.
    
    Margaret Sarna
    Michigan
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Sorry, I would have replied earlier, but I was busy oiling and loading

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