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SCD: Fun for everyone (was Teaching and guns)

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    BSHobbs March 15, 2006, 6:03 p.m. (Message 44723)

    In a message dated 15-03-06 3:44:33 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
    xx.xxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx writes:
    
    > An Englishman and his wife have been dancing with us here for some years 
    > now. 
    > 
    . . . but in a dance, while he is 
    > generally at the right place at the right time, there is no way I can get 
    > him to do anything like a Scottish step !
    > 
    > Should I be scolding him?
    > Or be glad that he comes along regularly with enthusiasm and a friendly 
    > smile?
    > 
    > Martin,
    > in Grenoble, France. 
    > 
    
    I am always glad to have a regularly attending enthusiastic dancer in my 
    class.
    
    I have only two rules in my class:
    
    !.  Have fun.
    2. Be at the right place at the right time.   If, despite your best efforts, 
    your mental or physical faculties fail you and you are not in the right place 
    at the right time, refer to rule one.
    
    I teach an adult class in the elementary school.   The activity room has a 
    big poster from the President's fitness council with the slogan, "The fun starts 
    here! Let's go!" This has become my catch phrase for the class.
    
    People come SCDing for a variety of reasons. As was discussed earlier in this 
    thread, some want to learn to be perfect dancers, others (a lot of others) 
    come to class to move about to Scottish music. Everybody has their own goals. 
    Hopefully, with good teaching and gentle cajoling, the Scottish shufflers will 
    want to learn how to do the steps correctly.
    
    I do have a twenty minute technique lesson in every class because they can 
    benefit from it; the class generally appreciates it.  Before I took over the 
    class from a retiring teacher they had not had any technique in their class for 
    years.
    I relate the technique lesson to a dance, stressing that step or formation 
    practice is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. Rather than focusing on 
    the minutia of, say, closing in 3rd, I tell the class why it is important to 
    close in 3rd--and then they want to know the little details.  (It's more than 
    just looking good, it's efficiency of the step.)
     Deportment and foot positions = steps = formations = dances.
    
    I am lucky that my class is all at about the same level.   When I do get a 
    beginner joining the class they give me a good excuse to go over the rudimentary 
    basics again--to everyone's benefit.   And the other dancers welcome them in 
    the class
    
    I sympathise with those who teach the only SCD class for miles around and 
    have a wide gap in the talent pool. As long as the Scottish shufflers can keep up 
    with the Nureyevs and Fontaines (in their own way), then I say "Good on 
    them!"
    
    Bradley Hobbs
    Vermont (we have no Branch here)
    San Francisco and Boston Branches

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