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Cribs (was Re: Square dancing.)

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  • ...

    Adam Hughes Oct. 3, 2001, 7:44 p.m. (Message 27704)

    Norah Link wrote:
    
    >>If I had a penny for each person I had to individually 
    >>persuade at the 
    >>club I dance in that a crib was not an instrument of torture, 
    >>but was in 
    >>fact "succinct and easy to understand", I'd have more than 20 
    >>pence... 
    >>Some of them still don't think that.  Most of them are 
    >>educated people. 
    >>  Most of them are young (under 30).
    >>
    > 
    > 
    > P.S. Have you considered that it may also be necessary to redesign your
    > cribs so they are easier to understand quickly?
    
    
    I hadn't given it much thought, mostly because cribs are usually 
    provided to all attendees by the organiser, not by our club for our 
    members.  Home dances are not a problem since we can ensure we've done 
    all the dances in class.
    
    I could try preparing my own cribs for dances I attend, and distributing 
    them in our club... but writing cribs isn't something I have much 
    experience of.  Any tips on producing good clear cribs would be 
    appreciated. (Peter?)
    
    I tend to assume that some care has gone into the production of cribs 
    provide for a ball.  I'd feel a bit rude pulling out my own crib when 
    one is provided, as rude as taking a my own plate and cutlery to a 
    restaurant.
    
    What I'd really like is for everyone to understand Pilling...
    
    Adam
    Cambridge, UK
  • ...

    seonaid.gent Oct. 3, 2001, 7 p.m. (Message 27705, in reply to message 27704)

    Hi Adam,
    
    I would suggest that you try to compile a standard vocabulary which
    you then use in cribs and teaching - if you don't want to write one
    yourself, then probably the most accessible is the RSCDS list of
    standard terminology which can be found in the RSCDS manual.
    
    I think someone on the list (Anselm?) also produced a list of standard
    terminology for figures which had not, as yet, made it into the
    manual.
    
    HTH,
    
    Seonaid
    PS I've seen plenty of American's step-hopping, although I will
    concede that it might not have been in a contra dance!
  • ...

    Malcolm and Helen Brown Oct. 3, 2001, 11:08 p.m. (Message 27708, in reply to message 27704)

    Greetings
    
    Adam wrote:
     
    > What I'd really like is for everyone to understand Pilling...
    
    A few years ago, there was an article in TACTalk about the different
    perceptions of dance instructions.   I can't remember the specific
    types, but there were basically three.   One group who could 
    understand the Pilling diagrams easily, one group who preferred the
    written word (i.e. cribs) and the third group who assimilated 
    information best through speech (i.e. recaps).   All types are on 
    the dance floor and we all think our individual type is best! :-)
    
    Helen
    -- 
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      |_|_  |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - x.xxxxx@xxxxxxxx.xx.xx (Tir-Nan-Og)
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  • ...

    Pia Walker Oct. 3, 2001, 10:41 p.m. (Message 27710, in reply to message 27708)

    Ah! we have just found dance perfection:
    A person who can look, see, talk and dance all at the same time :>) :>) :>)
    
    Pia
  • ...

    Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov Oct. 3, 2001, 10:30 p.m. (Message 27712, in reply to message 27704)

    Quoting Adam Hughes <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx>:
    
    > What I'd really like is for everyone to understand Pilling...
    >
    
    It's ironic that you cite Pilling as (presumably) an example of clear 
    and "unmystical" cribs.  Many feel they are cryptic indeed, and as you 
    probably know, they are notorious for their inaccuracies and 
    limitations.  Don't get me wrong -- I love 'em and was able to read 
    them with no problems within weeks of learning to dance, but from what 
    I've observed and been told, my experience was not the norm . . .
    
    Most dances I go to do not rely soley on cribs, anyway.  In these 
    parts, 99.9% of the time, dances are always briefed at a social event.  
    If the crib wasn't crystal clear, the briefing often helps to clarify.
    
    --Lara Friedman-Shedlov
    Minneapolis, MN  USA
    
    
    *******************************
    Lara Friedman-Shedlov     
    xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx
    *******************************
  • ...

    Adam Hughes Oct. 4, 2001, 1:38 p.m. (Message 27735, in reply to message 27712)

    Hi
    
    Lara Friedman-Shedlov wrote:
    
    > Quoting Adam Hughes <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx>:
    >>What I'd really like is for everyone to understand Pilling...
    > 
    > It's ironic that you cite Pilling as (presumably) an example of clear 
    > and "unmystical" cribs.  
    
    
    No, I mentioned Pilling as an example of the worst case since if people 
    could understand that, surely they'd have no trouble at all with mere 
    words...
    
    Like you, I took to Pilling instantly.  It is the way my head works. 
    But I am surrounded by dancers who find translating dances from the 
    written word to movement very difficult.
    
    
    > Most dances I go to do not rely soley on cribs, anyway.  In these 
    > parts, 99.9% of the time, dances are always briefed at a social event.  
    > If the crib wasn't crystal clear, the briefing often helps to clarify.
    
    I have been to only four social events (balls) since I started dancing a 
    few years ago which had briefs for all dances.  I organised three of the 
    four, and while I have received no hate mail, I certainly am looked down 
    on by the local RSCDS Branch for dumbing down SCD.  The fourth was a 
    wonderful surprise at last year's SUSCDF at St Andrews, which also had a 
    written crib and a page of dances not in the 7th edition supplied in 
    Pilling Notation, so all three media were covered.
    
    Is it the norm outside the UK (or even in the UK) for dances to be briefed?
    
    Adam
  • ...

    Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov Oct. 4, 2001, 3:28 p.m. (Message 27740, in reply to message 27735)

    Quoting Adam Hughes <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx>:
    > Is it the norm outside the UK (or even in the UK) for dances to be
    > briefed?
    
    Yes, I'd say it is the norm for dances to be briefed in the United 
    States and Canada, from my experience anyway (I've been SCD dancing in 
    California, Washington state, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, 
    Minnesota, and Ontario).  
    
    However, I found that in Scotland, where I learned to SCD in the 1980s 
    and early 1990s, it was not the usual practice to brief dances at 
    social events (at least not at that time).  When I first started 
    dancing here in the U.S.  I thought that giving briefings was kind of 
    wimpy, but now I believe they are a very good idea.  For one thing, 
    they make a dance far more welcoming to people who are newer to SCD or 
    who have a different learning style (who take things in better by 
    hearing them rather than reading).  It also makes the dance more 
    welcoming to people from out of town, who may not be as familiar with 
    the dances on the program as the local folks.
    
    --Lara Friedman-Shedlov
    Minneapolis, MN  USA
    
    
    
    *******************************
    Lara Friedman-Shedlov     
    xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx
    *******************************
  • ...

    Brian Charlton Oct. 5, 2001, 8:37 a.m. (Message 27755, in reply to message 27740)

    G'Day,
    
    Briefing is usually done in Australia, too, particularly at Socials.
    
    When in Scotland for the Summer School a few years ago, we went to the dance
    at Carnoustie and were amazed when, not only were the dances called, but
    even the name of the dance was not given - the band played 8 bars, the MC
    said 'All sets complete?' and away we went!! They even had the hide to thank
    the MC!!!
    
    Brian Charlton,
    Sydney, Australia
  • ...

    Miriam L. Mueller Oct. 4, 2001, 5:29 p.m. (Message 27744, in reply to message 27704)

    Adam Hughes wrote:
    . . . I mentioned Pilling as an example of the worst case since if people
    
    could understand that, surely they'd have no trouble at all with mere 
    words...
    
    Ah, no, Adam. Pillings are symbols, and my mind wraps around such symbols
    differently from words. Many dancers are comfortable with one but not the
    other. And then there's the eyeglass factor: I can distinguish pillings
    without my glasses, but cannot read the printed words.
    
    Attended a beginners' class once where the teacher displayed a large
    chart of the pillings for the dances she was teaching. As she taught a
    figure, or walked through a dance, she would point to the pillings
    representation. Classic teaching technique: visual as well as auditory
    and kinetic presentation. Great class.
    
    Miriam Mueller, San Francisco
  • ...

    Bryan McAlister Oct. 5, 2001, 10:53 a.m. (Message 27759, in reply to message 27744)

    In article <xxxxxxxx.xxxxxx.-xxxxxx.x.xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx>, Miriam L.
    Mueller <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx> writes
    >Adam Hughes wrote:
    >. . . I mentioned Pilling as an example of the worst case since if people
    >
    >could understand that, surely they'd have no trouble at all with mere 
    >words...
    >
    >Ah, no, Adam. Pillings are symbols, and my mind wraps around such symbols
    >differently from words. Many dancers are comfortable with one but not the
    >other. And then there's the eyeglass factor: I can distinguish pillings
    >without my glasses, but cannot read the printed words.
    >
    >Attended a beginners' class once where the teacher displayed a large
    >chart of the pillings for the dances she was teaching. As she taught a
    >figure, or walked through a dance, she would point to the pillings
    >representation. Classic teaching technique: visual as well as auditory
    >and kinetic presentation. Great class.
    >
    >Miriam Mueller, San Francisco
    
    Excellent.  I find Pillings symbols generally to be clear and
    understandable and to date have not come across the many errors that are
    always raised by those who don't like Pillings.  
    I do agree that there are instances where P. doesn't completely explain
    the transition from one figure to another but I am annotate my copy as I
    resolve such points.
    
    When I first went to classes I was rebuked by the teacher for reviewing
    the Pillings  notes for each dance after we had danced it.  I don't have
    any respect for a teacher with that attitude.  As a musician I am
    accustomed to symbols and would never start to play the Dashing White
    Sergeant by referring to a text which went - longish D, repeat, short D,
    short E short Fsharp etc.
    
    Pillings actually contains the solution to a lot of dancers problems
    with the instructions for dances but teachers MUST try to teach them how
    to use the symbols.
    Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
    Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
    Email xxxxx@xxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx.xx
    Mobile phone 07801 793849
    FAX number - 0870 052 7625
  • ...

    Ken McFarland Oct. 4, 2001, 6:38 p.m. (Message 27747, in reply to message 27704)

    >From: "Miriam L. Mueller" <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxx.xxx>
    >Ah, no, Adam. Pillings are symbols, and my mind wraps around such symbols 
    >differently from words. Many dancers are comfortable with one but not the 
    >other.
    
    I think it's great to enable both sets of abilities. I have the opposite 
    need from Mimi: I easily understand English-based language words, but 
    Pillings eascapes me. They might as well print Pillings in Egyptian 
    hieroglyphs, for all the good it does me.
    
    What I find very troubling is when I show up at a Ball or Dance Party where 
    a Branch has only printed Pillings. It's as if the right handers are 
    discriminating against the left handers, perhaps unintentionally, but 
    possibly thoughtlessly...
    
    Ken McFarland
    
    
    And then there's the eyeglass factor: I can distinguish pillings
  • ...

    Donna Robinson Oct. 4, 2001, 10:38 p.m. (Message 27749, in reply to message 27704)

    Hi,
    
    As a newbie to SCD, it has taken vast amounts of determination and fortitude 
    to overcome the RSCDS's elitist (sorry guys) attitude w.r.t. cribs and/or 
    briefings. I find this somewhat confusing: the RSCDS rolls aren't in great 
    shape and yet making life easier for us newcomers doesn't seem a high 
    priority!  It is definitely the case that some of our group (Beginners) fight 
    shy of attending balls/dances due directly to this lack (although our 
    wonderful teacher does help).
    
    Adam Hughes wrote:
    > I certainly am looked down on by the local 
    > RSCDS Branch for dumbing down SCD
    Well Adam, I am a member of that local group, and I can tell you that this is 
    *not* the attitude of the "students".  So keep up the good work and the devil 
    take the hindmost.
    
    I might add that every single dance at St Andrew's Summer School this year 
    was briefed just beforehand irrespective of difficulty level, and cribs for 
    all the dances were handed out at the beginning of the week.  Perhaps change 
    is on the way ...
    
    Donna
    Cambridge, UK
  • ...

    SnowshoeTS Oct. 5, 2001, 3:08 p.m. (Message 27761, in reply to message 27704)

    As has been said by many addressing this thread , different people learn and 
    remember in different  ways. I like Bryan's analogy to musical notation.To  
    expand on that a bit, I have met skilled and talented musicians who were 
    excellant with tablature and almost unable to deal with  anything in standard 
    notation  and others who could play anything that they had heard but nearly 
    nothing from any written source.
     I too find that I am better able to understand a dance from graphical 
    representation but I have met and have had students in class who could read a 
    dance in text and dance it perfectly and others who absolutely needed a "walk 
    through" neither group was  more nor less intelligent , talented or dedicated 
    than the other!!! One must remember that theRSCDS "bigbooks"  contain 
    diagrams when the publishers felt that there was a benefit from  them. Even 
    the best and most careful  writer/devisor/editor may at times be unsuccessful 
    at communicating  with others in some medium though  he/she may understand 
    the directions perfectly.Yet I have met a small subset of RSCDS people who 
    seem to equate the use of "Pillings" or other graphical representations as  
    something between axe-murder and pedophilia. I think that I can say safely 
    that I have never taught a class directly from Pillings or cribs without 
    reconciling it   the official  dance publication when I had ANY alternative 
    .Usually one reinforces the other. I do think that we must use all available 
    resources to understand  and execute the dances as well as possible and not 
    allow our personal prejudices or  our own preferences to hinder ourselves or 
    other dancers!!! To be sure a class or ballroom of people with their noses 
    buried in notes can be distracting  so of course common  courtesy  and 
    attentiveness are appropriate but so is intellectual flexibility.In my youth 
    I ordered a pair of winter boots -ONE SIZE FITS ALL-by mail: indeed size 17 
    boots will accomodate most feet but are they less than desireable in many 
    situations  ;-]!
    
    Kirk Bachler
    Twin Cities Branch,Minnesota,USA,RSCDS

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