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  • ...

    Peter Hastings Oct. 4, 2001, 10:53 a.m. (Message 27729)

    As one of a small group of Strathspeyers looking at the vexed question of
    cribs I would like to make a few observations.
    
    As Malcolm noted, different people have different ways of remembering what
    they need to to dance a particular dance. Some work with patterns and for
    them a visual aide-memoire like Pillings may be the most useful. Others work
    with sequential series of instructions and for them either a written or
    spoken re-cap is more suitable.
    
    Cribs are provided at dances for those whom they suit. They may well not be
    written in a way which suits you, even if you are one of those who prefers a
    written re-cap. The terminology may be different, or particular points in
    the dance may be emphasised when the difficult point in the dance, for you,
    is not highlighted. In such a case it is not only polite, but better for you
    and those with whom you dance for you to use your own notes. The use of the
    supplied cribs is not mandatory - they are simply offered for the assistance
    of those who have nothing else.
    
    The obvious solution to unintelligible cribs is, as some have suggested, to
    produce a standard crib terminology in the same way that Pilling has a
    standard lexicon of symbols. Such a solution has the same drawback as has
    Pillings - if the 'standard' doesn't suit you then you won't use it.
    
    The next section needs to be in capitals.
    
    Cribs are personal aides-memoires. They should be written, after having
    danced the dance in question, by the person who will have to use the crib.
    Other people may find them useful or not.
    
    End capitals.
    
    A spoken briefing will cater for those who best take in information aurally.
    All three forms are needed if the largest number of folk are going to do the
    dance succesfully. If all three are used, certain consequences result:
    
    	Those who brief can't get snotty with those who appear to be reading
    while they are re-capping. You may think they're not paying attention to the
    dance 	but really they're just not paying attention to you.
    
    	People who are reading (words or pictures) during the re-cap need to
    shut up so that the briefing can be heard.
    
    Simple, isn't it ?
    
    Peter Hastings
    Royal Observatory
    Edinburgh
    :)
  • ...

    SnowshoeTS Oct. 4, 2001, 3:44 p.m. (Message 27741, in reply to message 27729)

    Peter
    Thank you for saying whatI would have liked to say and doing it very much 
    better!!
    
    
    Kirk Bachler
    We have met the enemy and he is us.
    Twin Cities Branch,Mn,USA,RSCDS
  • ...

    Peter Hastings Oct. 5, 2001, 10:10 a.m. (Message 27757, in reply to message 27729)

    > 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...
    
    Pillings (the company) discourage this practice. If you pass on the names of
    the organisers who do this, then lawyers' letters will be sent promptly...
    
    Diagrams, cribs and verbal re-caps are provided at the organisers'
    discretion. If they're not there, live with it, suggest that they might be
    supplied in future and consider whether you want to go to such an event
    again. If you decide not to, don't just not attend - let the organisers know
    why.
    
    All forms of re-capping detract from the time available to dance. 
    
    As do socialising, eating and other associated activities...
    
    Peter Hastings
    Royal Observatory
    Edinburgh
    :)
  • ...

    Alex Tweedly Oct. 5, 2001, 3:49 p.m. (Message 27762, in reply to message 27757)

    At 09:10 05/10/2001 +0100, Peter Hastings wrote:
    > > 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...
    >
    >Pillings (the company) discourage this practice. If you pass on the names of
    >the organisers who do this, then lawyers' letters will be sent promptly...
    
    But then, at least in US law, you cannot patent symbolic notation or 
    language (that's been pretty well tested in various computer language 
    cases). And copyright applies to the description of a dance, not to the 
    symbology or language used. So I doubt it they'd be successful in US courts.
    
    Actually, there is a strong argument that the fact that the Pillings 
    (company) publishes and sells translations of copyrighted dances (without 
    acknowledgement to the copyright holders, and I suspect without permission 
    in some cases), constitutes a greater breach of copyright law.
    
    But then I'm not a lawyer, so my opinions are irrelevant :-)
    
    -- Alex Tweedly, San Francisco Branch and ex-Dance Translator.
  • ...

    res009k3 Oct. 5, 2001, 4:55 p.m. (Message 27774, in reply to message 27729)

    In the pre-computer days when "cut and paste" meant cut and paste, I
    was doing program books for my branch. We used both word cues and
    Pillings.
    
    The process was to dismantle two of Pillings's books coating
    alternative pages with adhesives and mounting them on plastic 3x5
    index cards, doing the same for our word cues on the other side of the
    same card.
    
    Using a "map", all we had to do was stick the Pillings' and word cues
    onto 2 sheets of paper and xerox a reduced copy of of these back to
    back, fold a certain way and staple, producing a 16 page program [2x3
    inches] which included:
        1: Title Page.
     2- 7: Dances 1-10.
     8- 9: Program listing and spaces for partner's names
    10-17: Dances 11-20.
       16: Announcements of future events.
    
    Where a copyright might be broken was the actual reproduction of the
    Pillings' pages. Had we simply copied the system, we would be no more
    guilty than the Boy Scouts signaling in Morris's code. Imaging the
    navy getting permission for sending SOS as "...---...".
    
    Since we were performing an educational service not for profit the
    original owners of copyrighted dances would have no complaints as we
    were promoting their product, as opposed to making a profit on the
    sale of their dances as one might consider Pillings doing. Seriously,
    though, I considered Pillings providing a service at cost as opposed
    to making a profit. Anything Pillings made over cost could be
    justified as payment for his labor out of the value he added to the
    original product.
    
    R Goss
    xxxxxxx.x.xxxx@xxx.xxx
  • ...

    Oberdan Otto Oct. 8, 2001, 7:24 a.m. (Message 27776, in reply to message 27774)

    >Seriously, though, I considered Pillings providing a service at cost 
    >as opposed to making a profit. Anything Pillings made over cost 
    >could be justified as payment for his labor out of the value he 
    >added to the original product.
    
    I most wholeheartedly agree. The Wee Green Book is a wonderful 
    product at a most reasonable price.
    
    However stories about Pillings heirs taking hard positions on 
    copyright infringement of the contents of their book are a bit much 
    to bear, considering that neither they nor the original Mr. Pillings 
    sought permission from the creators of all those dances to include 
    them in the book. I thank them for that wonderful little publication. 
    I thank Mr. Pillings for devising a great symbolic system which has 
    been IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN since the day it was published (i.e. anyone 
    can use it as they wish, although they should not claim credit for 
    creating it).
    
    The system Goss used many years ago for creating cribs could strictly 
    be considered a copyright infringement since it involved direct 
    duplication of the original graphics in the book. It is likely that 
    that infringement actually resulted in MORE sales of Pillings books 
    as a wider audience became familiar with the system.
    
    It is doubtful that any reconstruction of a dance description with 
    the symbolic system could be upheld as copyright infringement as long 
    as it was clearly not a photocopy of any artwork in the book. 
    Furthermore, given the laxity of Pillings and heirs in obtaining 
    permissions for the contents of their book, there is no ethical basis 
    for obtaining permission from them to use the symbolic system for any 
    regenerated descriptions or generations of dance descriptions that 
    never appeared in the book. Since they have been so ungenerous and so 
    shortsighted as to deny any such permission in the past to people who 
    were either legally unsophisticated or just trying to be courteous, I 
    would simply ignore their feelings on the subject and use the system 
    when and where I pleased.
    
    Furthermore, if any SCD person or organization were the victim of an 
    actual legal challenge by the Pillings heirs, I would happily 
    contribute to their legal defense fund. It would be very satisfying 
    to see the Pillings heirs lose a legal challenge on the use of the 
    symbolic system or to be slapped down for making a frivolous suit. My 
    guess is that the worldwide sales of Pillings is woefully 
    insufficient to support a legal challenge that did not actually 
    succeed. Chances of their following up on a threat to sue with a 
    legal foundation as shakey as theirs are tiny.
    
    Something the Pillings heirs should consider is marketing a computer 
    program to generate diagrams from computer-encoded descriptions. It 
    could be sold as "shareware" for $15 to $25, with periodic database 
    upgrades for $5. Furthermore, as the size and price of PDA's come 
    down it is only a matter of time before a clever computer-savvy SCDer 
    learns how to host these diagrams on PDAs and every other person on 
    the dance floor is carrying one in their pockets/sporrans instead of 
    a WGB.
    
    That is the legal/ethical/futurist opinion of someone who is not a 
    legal/ethical/future expert.
    
    Cheers, Oberdan.
    
    184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611 USA
    Voice: (805) 389-0063, FAX: (805) 484-2775, email: xxxxx@xxxxx.xxx
  • ...

    Adam Hughes Oct. 8, 2001, 3:29 p.m. (Message 27783, in reply to message 27774)

    Richard Goss wrote:
    
    >  8- 9: Program listing and spaces for partner's names
    
    <strangling noise>  Please tell me that the most archaic and elitist 
    custom of booking dances ahead is dying out elsewhere too.  A 19 year 
    old friend of mine arrived 15 minutes late for her home club's ball last 
    year, which resulted in her dancing 4 dances of 20 in the evening, all 
    with her mother.  But they all want more young people in their club...
    
    I'll be hearing next that women aren't allowed to ask men to dance...
    
    Adam
  • ...

    David Grubb Oct. 8, 2001, 4:27 p.m. (Message 27785, in reply to message 27783)

    Adam Hughes wrote:
    >Richard Goss wrote:
    >
    >>  8- 9: Program listing and spaces for partner's names
    >
    ><strangling noise>  Please tell me that the most archaic and elitist
    custom of booking dances ahead is dying out elsewhere too.  A 19 year
    old friend of mine arrived 15 minutes late for her home club's ball
    last year, which resulted in her dancing 4 dances of 20 in the
    evening, all with her mother.  But they all want more young people in
    their club...
    
    Please say which club it was, I want to make sure I never go there!
    
    
    David
  • ...

    Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov Oct. 8, 2001, 7:51 p.m. (Message 27788, in reply to message 27783)

    Although I have heard horror stories about this, I (thankfully) have 
    never encountered it to any serious degree in any of the places I've 
    danced.  Many of the balls I've attended offered booklets that had 
    space where you could write in your dance partner's name, but they were 
    not necessarily used to book ahead (except maybe one or two dances with 
    the spouse or significant other).  Many people, myself included, just 
    like to write in their partner's name after the fact and keep the 
    booklet as a souvenir of the dance.  
    
    --Lara Friedman-Shedlov
    Minneapolis, MN  USa
    
    
    Quoting Adam Hughes <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx>:
    
    > Richard Goss wrote:
    >
    > >  8- 9: Program listing and spaces for partner's names
    >
    > <strangling noise>  Please tell me that the most archaic and elitist
    > custom of booking dances ahead is dying out elsewhere too.  A 19 year
    >
    > old friend of mine arrived 15 minutes late for her home club's ball
    > last
    > year, which resulted in her dancing 4 dances of 20 in the evening,
    > all
    > with her mother.  But they all want more young people in their
    > club...
    >
    > I'll be hearing next that women aren't allowed to ask men to dance...
    >
    > Adam
    >
    > 
    
    
    
    *******************************
    Lara Friedman-Shedlov     
    xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx
    *******************************
  • ...

    res009k3 Oct. 9, 2001, 2:35 a.m. (Message 27808, in reply to message 27729)

    Responding to further up the thread.
    
    I have always felt that it takes an elitiest to call a practice elitist.
    
    The provided space will be used or not whether provided or not by
    those who wish to pre-book dance partners.
    
    It has always happened in one way or another from elitist balls that
    are really dances to someone saying ...
    Hey, Mary save me a dance.
    Sure, how about ....
    See you then.
    
    Strange that it is often an elitist who uses the term elitist refering
    to a different elete.
    
    The way I see it (and the practice has never bothered me one way or
    another), if you do not like the practice, the next time someone says,
    save dance number 16 for me, respond with, "Sorry, I don't pre-book,
    but if you ask me after dance 15, I'll dance with you if I am free."
    
    If you do not like the practice because you come late and get left
    out, come earlier with your pencil sharpened.
    
    I do agree that some get a little carried away with the practice. I
    have been to out of town weekends where there are "mini-mixers"
    between dinner and ball, and if one is not careful, ones evening is
    planned before it begins.
    
    At the same time, I do like to dance with special people, and the
    program is a good place to remind myself that I have reserved some
    dances for them. In my experience, I have always kept my booked dances
    to less than half the program.
    
    Goss
    xxxxxxx.x.xxxx@xxx.xxx
  • ...

    T L Harris Oct. 9, 2001, 2:15 p.m. (Message 27813, in reply to message 27729)

    >>> xxxxxx@xx.xxxxx.xxx 04/10/01 15:28 >>>
    Quoting Adam Hughes <xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx>:
    > Is it the norm outside the UK (or even in the UK) for dances to be briefed?
    
    Hi All,
    
    Our practice here for balls and socials (like our Summer Social this
    coming Friday) is to provide crib sheets before the time. Our teachers
    try to go through the dances on the programme during classes in the
    weeks before the event. At the event itself, the dances are called. At
    our Club, we have an social evening of dancing in lieu of classes once
    a month. Cribs aren't provided for that. The idea is that the dances
    are called, but not walked through, to give especially new folk the
    chance to get used to this. This year, however, we've had a number of
    enthusiastic new folk and for a few of the more complicated dances
    we've actually walked them through rather than just calling them,
    although the easier and more well-known ones are just called. We would
    rather do that and have our new and less experienced dancers join in,
    than stick to the practice of only calling the dance and having the
    new people feel too intimidated or nervous to join in. For the more
    advanced dances, the more experienced dancers also try to partner the
    less-experienced to help them along.
    
    Terry Lynne Harris
    Pretoria, South Africa
  • ...

    T L Harris Oct. 9, 2001, 2:24 p.m. (Message 27814, in reply to message 27729)

    >>> xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xx.xx 08/10/01 15:29 >>>
    Richard Goss wrote:
    >  8- 9: Program listing and spaces for partner's names
    <strangling noise>  Please tell me that the most archaic and elitist 
    custom of booking dances ahead is dying out elsewhere too.
    
    Hi All,
    
    When I started SCD 5 years ago, I was told of the practice of booking
    dances at balls. As a newcomer, I felt somewhat intimidated by the
    idea. In those 5 years, however, I haven't been to a ball or social
    where booking was the norm, thank goodness. I do indulge in a very
    limited amount of booking now and again, usually for sentimental
    reasons. Others in the Club do so as well, for certain special dances.
    But it's certainly not the norm.
    
    Terry Lynne Harris
    Pretoria, South Africa

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