academie: Report/News from University

Edvard Gayer scavard at
Mon Oct 16 12:51:50 PDT 2000

Hello all, welcome back to Monday!

This is likely to be a long post, with several important topics, so I'll try 
to format this smartly:

University Report

I got back from University after 7 pm Sunday night, a long ride for me but 
probably longer for others.  Thanks to everyone for coming, especially those 
who put not a few miles on their butts this weekend!There were several 
Academie members in attendance, including a few I had not met face-to-face 
before.  It was nice to see everyone!

Julianna's 1st-hour Beginning ECD class was well attended, as was the 
2nd-hour Intermediate ECD class that Steffan and Evelynne taught.  I didn't 
get an exact headcount for either, but I think they were both around a dozen 
or so.

The award for "Pleasant Suprize of the Day" went to the 3rd-hour Italian 
class.  Since Court and Convocation both ran over on time, and since our 
room was the furthest away from the rest of the classes (see below for more 
on this), I was worried that we wouldn't have many students.  Boy was I 
wrong!  My copy of the sign-in sheet had 17 names, and that doesn't include 
everyone, because I *know* we had well over 20 people by class end, 
including Her Majesty.  Queen Emer did Anello very well, only once 
forgetting that She was dancing a Man's part!  (Better, in fact, than me -- 
I forgot twice!)

About the room.  Arrgh!  We had several problems:  We were in a different 
building than where registration/lunch/court/schmoozing/merchanting all 
happened, we were on the top floor of that building, and our room was in the 
furthest corner OF that floor.  (Dancing?  Oh, you go out of this building, 
across the quad, into that door there, up the stairs, down the long hall, 
turn left, all the way to the end of THAT hall, turn left again... you get 
the idea)  Oh, and the room was full of tables/chairs when we got there.  On 
top of that, of the rooms I saw, ours was easily the smallest of the bunch.  
There were several great big rooms -- such as the one James used for his 
4th-period poetry class -- which had very nearly twice the capacity of our 
closet.  Yes, it probably COULD have been worse (for instance, the room 
could have exuded a funky lemur-esque odor, or it could have had all of the 
florescent bulbs replaced with blacklight strobes), but we did the best we 
could.  In spite of all of these difficulties, our instructors all did a 
HIGHLY commendable job, as all of our students had a good time and left with 
smiles on their faces and a spring to their step.  "Huzzah!" to Julianna, 
Steffan and Evelynne!

Lesson for next time, I/we need to ensure that we request the biggest room 
we can for our future University classes.  Richard probably had no idea the 
room was so small when he assigned it to us.  If this happens again, I will 
propose that we beat up James and take HIS room!  ;)

One final thought.  This was the first time I had travelled that far south, 
and I was mightily impressed with how much the people down there WANTED to 
dance!  This is great news, but it also means that the Academie has its work 
cut out, as a majority of our instructors seem to be stuck up here in the 
North.  If the Academie is serious about spreading dance to all of Atlantia, 
then we need to work on making more instructors available where the dancers 
are.  This means: (a) those in the north should plan to make a trip or two 
to share their experience with EVERYONE, not just those who are nearby, (b) 
we MUST support the local southern instructors as best we possibly can, and 
(c) we need to try to develop new instructors from the talent pool as 
quickly and as reasonably as possible.

Twelfth Night

Her Majesty indicated that Twelfth Night will be in Fayetteville, NC, and 
that She was *really* looking forward to the Masque (hint hint!).   
Fayetteville is in Attillium, which is in Windmaster's Hill, and we have 
people planted in Windmaster's (Gwendolyn, Ursula and James for starters).  
If I recall, Judith had previously indicated that she would be willing to 
head up the planning for the Masque.  We need to *first* find out who the 
Autocrat is, then *second* find out who will be in charge of the Masque.  It 
would be great if one of our local Academie members would be willing to 
volunteer themselves (**OR THE ACADEMIE**) to handle planning for the 
Masque, and then have Judith (and whomever she drafts to help her) 
coordinate with that person.

Twelfth Night is on Jan 13th.  Mark your calendars.


The site/group for the Winter University (first weekend in Feb) has not been 
officially finalized yet, but rumor has it that it MAY be in Storvik at the 
University of MD Armory, and that the Autocrat MAY be one of us!  If true, 
this is splendid news, since this might help us solve a dilemma with regards 
to the Symposium.....


For the past couple of weeks, the Academie has been trying to figure out how 
to best integrate European and Middle Eastern dance within the constraints 
of our selected site.  A lot of opinion and thoughtful commentary has been 
offered, but I do not believe that we have yet built a consensus.  
Unfortunately, we need to decide rather quickly so that we can begin the 
process of booking classes, inviting instructors, and so forth.

To summarize the situation... Discounting lecture-type classes, the site can 
realistically support only three dance classes at any one time, which means 
we can only plan on having three dance tracks.  There is sufficient interest 
in European dancing to dedicate all three tracks to just that, but we also 
have significant interest in Middle Eastern dance.  It would be nice to be 
able to offer 4 tracks, but the site just cannot support that.  There are 
arguments for and against each of the scenarios that have been offered up, 
but in essence, the options we're looking at are:

2 European tracks + 1 Middle Eastern track
2 1/2 European track + 1/2 Middle Eastern track
3 European track

I was talking to our Autocrat (Bryan) last night, and we came up with an 
idea.  If indeed it happens that Winterversity is in Storvik, with the site 
and Autocrat mentioned above, there may be a way to do everything we want... 
  Since Winterversity is a scant two weeks prior to the Symposium, why not 
have the dance track at Winterversity be primarily a Middle Eastern one?

If we teach any European dancing at Winterversity, we'll just end up 
teaching it again at the Symposium two weeks later.  If, instead, we 
dedicate the dance track at Winterversity to Middle Eastern dancing, we can 
then focus on European dancing at the Symposium, and everyone will get a 
chance to learn what they wish.

Granted, the distance between College Park, MD and Charlottesville, VA, 
though not terribly great, will probably leave us with some people who can 
only attend one of these two events.  Accordingly, we may want to consider 
offering a European class or two at Winterversity AND a Middle Eastern class 
or two at the Symposium.

All of this pre-supposes that Winterversity is happening when and where we 
THINK it's happening.  But if we can assume for a moment that it WILL be 
this way, are there any obvious problems we've overlooked?

(PS - The last time I danced at the Armory, there was a significant Middle 
Eastern track.  So significant that it absorbed nearly all of the available 
women!  But in any event, the site CAN support Middle Eastern dancing AND 
draw big numbers.)

(PPS - For those who know the Midrealm's Master Sion, I am told by a little 
bird that he *might* be interested in helping us at the Symposium.  The 
sooner we know what WE'RE doing, the sooner we can tell others!)

In summary...

That's all for now (and I'm sure y'all are happy I'm ending this before it 
turns into a novel!)  Congrats again to our instructors for this weekend's 
performance, and for overcoming adversity with a smile.  We need to quickly 
come to closure on the Middle Eastern dancing issue as it relates to 
Winterversity and the Symposium, and we need to begin our planning for 
Twelfth Night.

It may only be October, but it sure looks like we're gonna have a FUN 
Winter!  :)

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