academie: Report/News from University
scavard at hotmail.com
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:
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
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.
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!)
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
It may only be October, but it sure looks like we're gonna have a FUN
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