academie: Dance at University

Greg Lindahl lindahl at
Mon Feb 5 15:20:40 PST 2001

> (uneven results, partly due to uneven experience levels -
> one set's experience level was the prior hour)

Which brings me to one thing that I think we *didn't* do well at
University: spreading out the experienced dancers, and encouraging
people to switch partners and sets on a regular basis.

We're re-creating social dance, where it was expected that you would
dance with many partners in an evening, and if someone asks you to
dance, your answer is usually "Yes, thank you!". A fair fraction of
modern dancers think that asking someone to dance means you're
sexually interested in them, and/or that they need to bring a partner
with them and dance with their own partner all night. Yeeeech!

One good way to educate people about the joys of partner swapping is
to remind them during evening dancing. But an even better way is to do
it in class. And if you're doing an advanced class, have the more
advanced dancers raise their hands, and then ask them to pair up with
a less experienced dancer.

It also pays to split up folks from the same group. During Rowen's
class, the Black Nag set in the front right had two Black Diamond
couples in it. They've learned the "extra loop" heresy, spread by Lord
Angus, who learned it from Master Robyyan in Windmaster's Hill. Well,
since they were a majority in their set, they didn't notice that no
one else was doing extra loops, and the teacher hadn't taught the
extra loop. Had they been split up into separate couples or sets, they
would have noticed.

> dancing happened after feast, including sellingers round, horses
> bransle, hearts ease, rostiboli, tangle bransle, nonesuch, anello,
> gathering peascods.  judith and angus and evelynne helped as my
> voice was going by then.

A nice mix of dances, and a good reinforcement of what was taught in

-- Gregory Blount

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