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Difference Between Briefing a dance and Recapping a Dance

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  • ...

    ParadiseMO March 6, 2006, 2:44 a.m. (Message 44502)

    In response to Susi Mayr question about the difference between briefing a  
    dance and recapping a dance: Briefing a dance would be the emcee giving  
    instructions as you would find them in a dance book: "On bars 1 - 8, first and  
    second couples dance rights and lefts.  On bars 9 -16, first couple dances  down 
    the middle and up to second place, with second couple stepping up on bars  11 
    and 12."
     
    Recapping a dance would just give little jogs to the memory: "Rights and  
    lefts followed by down the middle and up".
     
    DOUG SCHNEIDER
    Highland Mist Scottish Country Dancers
    St. Louis Missouri/Illinois USA
  • ...

    redrose_solutions March 6, 2006, 11:07 a.m. (Message 44508, in reply to message 44502)

    Thanks for the explanation. It makes me wonder, however, why you feel the
    need to have both breifing and recap. I would consider a recap sufficient
    at a social event/ball, especially if the programme is published in advance
    of the event itself. As Jim Healy says, why waste valuable dancing time?
    
    Susi
    
    
    
    >-- Original Message --
    >From: xxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx
    >Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2006 20:44:24 EST
    >To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    >Subject: Difference Between Briefing a dance and Recapping a Dance
    >Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    >
    >
    >In response to Susi Mayr question about the difference between briefing
    a
    >
    >dance and recapping a dance: Briefing a dance would be the emcee giving
  • ...

    0AM7L@SIA March 7, 2006, 5:49 p.m. (Message 44526, in reply to message 44508)

    >The answer is:   Because presumably not everyone is local thus hasn't had the
    luxury of practicing those dances exclusively for weeks ahead of time.  If
    Branches want non-locals to attend events, they must take them into
    consideration.   If they don't want to 'waste valuable time' briefing or walking
    dances for the benefit of non-locals, then they shouldn't promote the event via
    flyers mailed to other branches, on their websites, handouts on tables at other
    balls, etc.  You can't have it both ways:   You either earn your Branch some
    income off out-of-towners--in which case you must consider them--or you don't.
    
    Margaret Sarna
    Michigan
    
    
    
    Thanks for the explanation. It makes me wonder, however, why you feel the
  • ...

    Andrew Buxton March 7, 2006, 6:26 p.m. (Message 44528, in reply to message 44526)

    Here in Sussex, there is a dance happening somewhere almost every
    Saturday.  We can't possibly practise in class every dance on every
    programme even once (despite quite a lot of overlap between
    programmes) and someone wanting to go to one of those may well be
    unable to attend the particular class when it's practised.  So I don't
    think it's fair to expect that people going to events will be fully
    confident of every dance.
       
      We've discussed the difficulty for visitors of getting partners (and
      a place in a set) for each dance.  If you have to check Pilling or a
      printed briefing in the gap between dances there's even less chance
      of getting in.  If you know there's going to be a briefing you can
      have more confidence in asking someone.
       
      Andrew Buxton
      Brighton, UK
    
    Don & Margaret Sarna <xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:
      >The answer is: Because presumably not everyone is local thus hasn't had the
    luxury of practicing those dances exclusively for weeks ahead of time. If
    Branches want non-locals to attend events, they must take them into
    consideration. 
    		
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  • ...

    Ian Brockbank March 8, 2006, 11:17 a.m. (Message 44561, in reply to message 44528)

    Andrew Buxton wrote:
    
    > Here in Sussex, there is a dance happening somewhere almost 
    > every Saturday.  We can't possibly practise in class every 
    > dance on every programme even once (despite quite a lot of 
    > overlap between programmes) and someone wanting to go to one 
    > of those may well be unable to attend the particular class 
    > when it's practised.  So I don't think it's fair to expect 
    > that people going to events will be fully confident of every dance.
    >    
    >   We've discussed the difficulty for visitors of getting 
    > partners (and a place in a set) for each dance.  If you have 
    > to check Pilling or a printed briefing in the gap between 
    > dances there's even less chance of getting in.  If you know 
    > there's going to be a briefing you can have more confidence 
    > in asking someone.
    
    That's an argument for a recap.  It's not an argument for reading
    out the full text of the instructions.  If they can't get it from
    a brief recap, they won't get it from the full text.
    
    I don't know if we're arguing different things here.  The original
    posting had the instructions given twice before the dance started,
    and the subsequent explanation implied the first set of instructions
    was a full teach of the dance.  To me that's overkill.  It's too
    much to take in all at once, and it won't stop me going wrong.  A
    quick recap should be enough for people to go "oh yes".  If they
    need more then I really doubt that any amount of talking will do,
    and they'll have to rely on the rest of the set.  If instructions
    can be sent out in advance, that would allow people to do some
    swotting (if the information goes in that way for them).
    
    Of course there may be one or two more complicated or less well
    known dances on the programme which do merit a bit more.  But these
    should be the exception.  (If they're the rule, then the group needs
    to rethink its programmes...)
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    http://www.scottishdance.net/
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau March 8, 2006, 12:18 p.m. (Message 44563, in reply to message 44561)

    Ian Brockbank wrote:
    
    > I don't know if we're arguing different things here.  The original
    > posting had the instructions given twice before the dance started,
    > and the subsequent explanation implied the first set of instructions
    > was a full teach of the dance.  To me that's overkill.  It's too
    > much to take in all at once, and it won't stop me going wrong.
    
    I also think this is strange.
    
    IMHO, the full written instructions for a dance should never be read aloud -- 
    not in class and definitely not in a social situation. They're much too 
    tedious for that! Their place is on the teacher's desk when he or she 
    prepares their lesson, and their purpose is to communicate to the teacher how 
    the dance is meant to go, so they can figure out how to explain it to the 
    class -- often preferably by way of demonstration rather than reading out 
    chapter and verse, and not necessarily from the beginning of the dance 
    straight through to the end.
    
    If you're a computer person, think of full dance descriptions as assembly 
    code. They are necessary to communicate to others exactly what is going on, 
    but they are not usually what one wants to think »in« during the creative 
    process. When I make up a dance, I usually think in terms of movements of 
    imaginary people in my head (or squares and circles on a piece of paper), 
    like »the dancing couple goes down the middle and up and the 2s move up«. 
    Only when I have arrived at something that appears workable as a dance I try 
    to translate that to formal SCD-speak, as in »9-16: 1st couple lead down the 
    middle and up (2nd couple move up on 11-12)«.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one
    equals nothing.                                           -- Ninon de L'Enclos
  • ...

    SMiskoe March 7, 2006, 6:21 p.m. (Message 44527, in reply to message 44502)

    There are 6+ dance parties all within driving distance in the space of  about 
    4 months. 16 dances per party, that's 96 dances to be learned by  heart.  Not 
    possible.  Perhaps there are some repeats but not  many.  This is why we need 
    briefings and recaps.
    Sylvia Miskoe, Concord NH USA
  • ...

    0AM7L@SIA March 7, 2006, 6:56 p.m. (Message 44529, in reply to message 44527)

    >Thankyouthankyouthankyou.  Our sentiments exactly.
    
    Margaret
    
     There are 6+ dance parties all within driving distance in the space of
    about 4 months. 16 dances per party, that's 96 dances to be learned by
    heart.  Not possible.  Perhaps there are some repeats but not  many.  This
    is why we need briefings and recaps.
  • ...

    mlamontbrown March 7, 2006, 7:17 p.m. (Message 44531, in reply to message 44527)

    While I have no objection to a brief re-cap, I really cannot see the justification
    for anything more. Presumably it is possible to get hold of the programme, and the
    instructions, before going to the dance - what is wrong in putting in a little
    homework, or even learning the dances while travelling to the dance?
    
    How many teachers and MCs have given in to a request to walk a dance, and thought
    "that was a complete waste of time" as people still go wrong? (give right hand
    instead of left, cast up instead of down, etc.)
    
    Yes the out-of-towners need to be looked after, but if that's because there are a lot
    of home-grown dances on the programme then perhaps that is the fault of the programme
    compiler.
    Making everyone stand through a detailed description of a dance they already know is
    as bad as making people dance an unknown dance without any help.
    
    Malcolm
    
    Malcolm L Brown
    York 
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    > [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx] On Behalf
    Of
  • ...

    0AM7L@SIA March 9, 2006, 3:13 a.m. (Message 44595, in reply to message 44527)

    >Thankyouthankyouthankyou.  Our sentiments exactly.
    
    Margaret Sarna
    Michigan
    
     There are 6+ dance parties all within driving distance in the space of
    about 4 months. 16 dances per party, that's 96 dances to be learned by
    heart.  Not possible.  Perhaps there are some repeats but not  many.  This
    is why we need briefings and recaps.
  • ...

    Pia Walker March 9, 2006, 10:21 a.m. (Message 44599, in reply to message 44595)

    And if we are to bring in much younger people, who presumably work during
    the week and therefore do not have the time or the inclination to memorize
    said dances, then briefing and recaps are necessary too.
    
    Here a lot of dances are on Fridays and I certainly can not be bothered
    going to dances where I have to think after a week which start at 8 and goes
    on until sometimes 6 or 7 o'clock every day.
    
    Pia
  • ...

    redrose_solutions March 7, 2006, 9:44 p.m. (Message 44537, in reply to message 44502)

    I agree with Malcom that a succint re-cap is fine (I'm not arguing in favour
    of no recaps at all - at the moment).
    
    A more detailed briefing would be OK if a dance is new, perhaps written for
    a special occasion, and is being taught to everyone in the room for the first
    time (this happened with Napier's Index at the Sydney Branch 50th Anniversary
    Ball a few years ago). Or perhaps for a very "local" dance when the organising
    Branch or group is aware of a large number of out-of-towners wanting to join
    in.
    
    I would certainly want to know the programme and ideally have instructions
    or source references for any unusual or local dances in advance. I would
    also be prepared to put some effort into learning some, though not necessarily
    all, of the dances unknown to me, and also to sit out anything I didn't know
    or didn't feel confident about.
    
    However, I fail to see why one would need both a briefing and a recap of
    the same dance, one more or less immediately after the other, all the way
    through an evening's programme. Perhaps this is a reflection of an underlying
    cultural /educational difference between the UK/Europe and North America?
    
    
    Susi
    
    Susi Mayr
    Vienna, Austria
    xxxx@xxxxxxx.xx.xx
    
    >-- Original Message --
    >From: "mlamontbrown" <xxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    >To: "'SCD news and discussion'" <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    >Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 18:17:03 -0000
    >Subject: RE: Difference Between Briefing a dance and Recapping a Dance
    >Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    >
    >
    >While I have no objection to a brief re-cap, I really cannot see the justification
    >for anything more. Presumably it is possible to get hold of the programme,
    >and the
    >instructions, before going to the dance - what is wrong in putting in a
    little
    >homework, or even learning the dances while travelling to the dance?
    >
    >How many teachers and MCs have given in to a request to walk a dance, and
    >thought
    >"that was a complete waste of time" as people still go wrong? (give right
    >hand
    >instead of left, cast up instead of down, etc.)
    >
    >Yes the out-of-towners need to be looked after, but if that's because there
    >are a lot
    >of home-grown dances on the programme then perhaps that is the fault of
    the
    >programme
    >compiler.
    >Making everyone stand through a detailed description of a dance they already
    >know is
    >as bad as making people dance an unknown dance without any help.
    >
    >Malcolm
    >
    >Malcolm L Brown
    >York
    >> -----Original Message-----
    >> From: strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    >> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-mlamontbrown=xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx]
    >On Behalf
    >Of
    >> xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx
    >> Sent: 07 March 2006 17:22
    >> To: xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    >> Subject: Re: Difference Between Briefing a dance and Recapping a Dance
    >>
    >> There are 6+ dance parties all within driving distance in the space of
    > about
    >> 4 months. 16 dances per party, that's 96 dances to be learned by  heart.
    > Not
    >> possible.  Perhaps there are some repeats but not  many.  This is why
    we
  • ...

    Alasdair Graham March 7, 2006, 10:36 p.m. (Message 44538, in reply to message 44537)

    Summer dancing in Alva (near Stirling, Scotland) is held for 12 weeks during 
    each summer with a different programme each week and 20 dances on the 
    programme.  There are no recaps.
    Similarly the twice monthly Castle Club Dances in Stirling during the winter 
    months have no recaps.
    
    In both cases a booklet is issued in advance containing the names of the 
    dances, and source for each, for every evening's dancing.
    These venues are generally full (nine sets or more in the smaller winter 
    venue) and the dancers attending are able to complete the dances without any 
    problem.  What you find is the more confident dancers are usually in the top 
    sets with the less confident towards the bottom of the rows.
    At these venues dancers form up immediately after the preceding dance.
    
    At dances in the Helensburgh, Glasgow and Ayr Branch areas a brief recap is 
    given for each dance.
    Dancers do not form sets before the dance is called at these events, as a 
    general rule.  However, again the more confident dancers form up nearer the 
    top of the rows and therefore the bands will see the same people most of the 
    time.
    
    I have noticed one or two sets which prefer to dance within their own group, 
    one set comprises 'birlers' and another a 'self help' group who manage 
    better when dancing together.  The vast majority dance with different 
    partners each dance.
    
    There is a saying here "he who pays the piper calls the tune" and if bands 
    are accepting money to play at venues where they do not like the customs 
    then perhaps they should refuse the bookings.
    
    Alasdair Graham
    Dumbarton, Scotland.
    
    For those who indulge in pedantic corrections see 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedantic
  • ...

    SMiskoe March 7, 2006, 11:11 p.m. (Message 44539, in reply to message 44502)

    So, I am a tourist with 15 years' dance experience.  I arrive in a  town, ask 
    at the desk where I can find dancing, am told of a dance and rush off  after 
    dinner.  It won't be a very good experience if there is no briefing  because I 
    have been expected to look at the program in advance, or purchase a  crib 
    book in advance.
    And I will be a tourist hunting for some dancing in June.
    I also remember an evening in Hopetoun House, one of my first experiences  of 
    a Scottish evening (but I had lots of experience dancing).  I was 4th  couple 
    for Kingussie Flower.  I had a nodding acquaintance with the dance  and I 
    felt that as 4th woman, with an experienced partner, I would be ok.   I remember 
    everyone in the set reading their cribs, almost continuously, and not  one 
    couple was able to complete the dance without a mistake.
    Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau March 7, 2006, 11:22 p.m. (Message 44541, in reply to message 44502)

    Malcolm Brown wrote:
    
    > While I have no objection to a brief re-cap, I really cannot see the
    > justification for anything more. Presumably it is possible to get hold of
    > the programme, and the instructions, before going to the dance - what is
    > wrong in putting in a little homework, or even learning the dances while
    > travelling to the dance?
    
    I'm absolutely on Malcolm's side here. I'd also say that if the dances on a 
    program require extensive explanations and walk-throughs then perhaps they 
    should not have been on the program to start with.
    
    The other thing is that for a re-cap to be worth the time it needs to be 
    helpful. I have had occasion to listen to many re-caps that were a complete 
    and utter waste of breath simply because they left everyone in more of a 
    muddle than before. If it is all right to require dancers to do their 
    homework in advance, this must apply even more so to those who are supposed 
    to give the re-caps -- yet many re-cappers either appear to be seeing the 
    dance description in question for the first time in their lives when they're 
    up on the stage to give the re-cap, or else seem to harbour the delusion that 
    the full original dance description from the book, read out verbatim, forms a 
    suitable re-cap for that dance (to name but two phenomena commonly 
    encountered).
    
    On a different tack: I may have said this before, but the SCD group in Münster 
    (in Westphalia) operates an interesting system at their annual ball: 
    Obviously one cannot ask whether walk-throughs are desired on a 
    dance-by-dance basis, as there will be people who will absolutely insist on 
    walking through the »Linton Ploughman«. So at the entrance everyone is given 
    a number of little sticky dots (like 3), which they can then put beside the 
    dances on a huge copy of the ball programme (stuck on a nearby wall) that 
    they are most desperate to walk through. The top few dances (like 3) with 
    most dots nearby are the ones that will be walked through.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Never believe anything until it's officially denied.        -- Margaret Atwood
  • ...

    Chris1Ronald March 8, 2006, 4:50 p.m. (Message 44570, in reply to message 44502)

    Malcolm  Brown wrote:
    
    > While I have no objection to a brief re-cap, I really  cannot see the
    > justification for anything more. Presumably it is  possible to get hold of
    > the programme, and the instructions, before  going to the dance - what is
    > wrong in putting in a little homework, or  even learning the dances while
    > travelling to the  dance?
    
    Anselm (in Germany) and others (in the UK, Austria, Monaco,....) endorsed  
    this comment, while some comments from the US seem to be going the other  way.  
    Someone said that there could be a cultural  difference, related to the way 
    children are educated. 
     
    Maybe.  But I wouldn't want the impression to get around that, over  this 
    side of the pond, dancers aren't willing or able to study a  briefing booklet, or 
    look up a dance in Pilling, or google it  up on the internet.
     
    When I began dancing SCD in earnest (in New York) I would spend hours  before 
    a dance studying the briefing booklet, using red and white dice to help  me 
    figure out what the instructions meant.  (I have five red dice for the  women, 
    and five white dice for the men, so I can cope with any dance up to  five 
    couples.)   Plus I could talk to other dancers and discuss  any queries I had, and 
    maybe walk through some tricky bits, plus sometimes  there were official 
    walk-throughs in the afternoon beforehand,  plus sometimes the weekend teachers 
    would teach a dance  in class.  I need these props less now, but I do always 
    study the  booklet - or look up the dances in the various ways that are open to 
    all of  us.   
     
    In short, by the time a ball or dance finally arrives, all I want and all I  
    expect is a crisp and accurate reminder of how the dance goes.  A  short 
    briefing or recap, in other words.  (These terms, along with that of  
    'talk-through' are synonymous to me.)   
     
    Frankly, I feel I owe it to my fellow dancers to study the dances as well  as 
    I can before a dance.   And I can confirm that there are  many dancers on 
    this side of the Atlantic, including renowned teachers (native  American born as 
    well as UK-born), who lament the trend towards long  and repetitive "briefs" 
    and in fact are quite militant about it.  They  feel it discourages 
    self-reliance, and helps perpetuate a vicious  circle of dancers not being well prepared 
    and MCs providing longer and  longer "briefs".  
     
    By the way, Anselm, that sticky dots idea seems rather neat.  I  might try it 
    sometime.
     
    Chris (New York)
    
    Anselm wrote "everyone is given 
    a number of little sticky dots (like  3), which they can then put beside the 
    dances on a huge copy of the ball  programme (stuck on a nearby wall) that 
    they are most desperate to walk  through. The top few dances (like 3) with 
    most dots nearby are the ones that  will be walked through."
  • ...

    Patricia Ruggiero March 8, 2006, 5:05 p.m. (Message 44571, in reply to message 44570)

    Chris wrote:
      
    > In short, by the time a ball or dance finally arrives, all I 
    > want and all I  
    > expect is a crisp and accurate reminder of how the dance 
    > goes.  A  short 
    > briefing or recap, in other words. 
    >  
    > Frankly, I feel I owe it to my fellow dancers to study the 
    > dances as well  as 
    > I can before a dance.
    
    Well said, Chris.  I'll add that it's my experience that if one doesn't know
    a complicated dance before the briefing, one is not likely to learn it from
    same; therefore, long and detailed briefings (a contradiction in terms) are
    not of benefit to those who don't know the dance, while being an irritant to
    those who do.
    
    Pat
    Charlottesville, Virginia USA
  • ...

    Christina France March 9, 2006, 10:50 a.m. (Message 44600, in reply to message 44502)

    Pia and All,
    	I agree a recap is very welcomed after a weeks hard work and all you
    want to do is relax.
    	Christina

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