academie: Report on Proposed Ball Style for Silver Anniversary

Oxford, David dmo at
Tue Oct 24 10:49:20 PDT 2000


I thought I'd pass along to you all the results of a practice run-through of the
ball-style I proposed for Isenfir's Silver Anniversary.  If you recall, it was
basically a modified Caroso-style ball.

At our last dance practice on Oct 19th, we had 24 people there so we had a
pretty good sample size to try the format out on.  I prepared dance notes/cheat
sheets for 47 dances, and burned two CDs containing only those 47 dances.  I
also had a token to be worn around the neck of the person who got the next dance
choice (on Thursday it was a big earring on a ribbon... SA will have something
fancier :)

The rules I explained to people were that they should be seated between dances,
should be quiet during dance instruction and while dances were being chosen,
should try not to choose someone as a partner who'd already chosen a dance (for
the person who was choosing the current dance), should not choose a dance
already danced, and if they wanted a break before break times they should remove
themselves from the dance floor area (but still speak quietly while the
dancemaster was talking).

Our resident court baron chose the first dance, and we went on from there.  For
each dance, I organized the sets and then did a single walkthrough.  I let them
know we wouldn't be "teaching" the dances, but we would do a complete
walkthrough of them, except for a very few (SCA Maltese Bransle, Official
Bransle, etc) where a quick reminder would suffice.

The results?  A wonderful evening!  We did 14 dances in about 2.5 hours, plus a
couple breaks.  The format was very well-received, and people said they really
liked it.  A couple of reminders were necessary to get people to sit back down
after each dance, but it got to be habit soon enough, and gave a more organized
"formal activity" feel to the whole thing.  

Overall, it went splendidly, and everyone liked it, so I think it will more than
likely do quite well at SA on Saturday.  For those who can't be there, I'm
sorry.  For those of you who WILL be there, we should have a great time.  I'll
let you know how this goes at a full-blown event, but now that I've got Isenfiri
indoctrinated in the format, I'll have a lot of help "enforcing" the rules, so I
anticipate a smooth, fun evening of dance.

And for any of you all who can't make it during the day, dancing should begin
round about 7:00pm, so if you've got commitments during the day but are free in
the evening, come up for some good dancing!


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