pennsicdance: Brainstormin' in the Rain

annikki at annikki at
Tue Aug 31 14:30:17 PDT 2004

Hi all!

I am SO agreeing with Lyev on that "this certainly was a great dancing war" comment.  Hope 
it just keeps getting better, even though I doubt we'll get the fantastically cooler weather that 
we got for most of it again.

Anyhow, Katherine posted a bunch of stats that were crunched during that Thursday 
rainstorm.  Before the number-crunching, the six of us hiding out from the rain (Gwommy, 
Swannoc, Katherine, Bartolo, Etienne, and I) did some brainstorming on ideas and random 
thoughts that made at least some sense at the time.  Not sure if they still make as much 
sense once many people hear them, but you never know.  Some of them, I think, have 
already been brought up; most haven't.  I'll just do the whole list to avoid missing any.

And if any of them are bad, well, brainstorming is also a great way to get bad ideas out of the 
system. It's after the brainstorming that you turn the good ideas into suggestions.  ;)

1. The 16th century party was a HUGE improvement over the Caroso Ball!

2. The parties in general keep getting better and better!  _But_ they need to be kept moving.  
Have a list of dances to do as a backup in case requests are slow or not appropriate to the 
party (ECD requests during an Italian party, too many Italian dances during an all-styles 

3.  On that same note of keeping parties moving, it might help if party organizers double 
check to see that the dances on their lists are in the Pile.  If not, hopefully they can get them 
included or bring sheet music to fill in the gaps.  Might also be helpful if musicians are 
arranged in advance (not sure if all of them were or weren't), so they have a chance to 
practice the more unfamiliar pieces ahead of time, which again keeps the party moving.

4.  A party with a more open format (like Domenico's fun party, which allowed for requests 
from all styles) would be a good idea for the nights when open dancing is not available in the 
barn because of courts.  It allows all dancers in the community to participate, regardless of
their tastes in dance style.  Save the more focused parties for nights when people have a 
choice in dance venue. 

5. Change the scheduling of parties to something along the lines of 8-10, rather than 9-12, 
particularly the focused ones.  If the parties are moving, the one hour time reduction 
shouldn't matter too much because there will be less downtime.  This might allow for more 
open dancing (10-12) in the dance tent.  Might also reduce the -need- for a choice in dance 
venue, as the focused style parties would be ending much earlier.

6. Maybe a bid system for dance parties, decided upon by whoever is running dance after a 
particular deadline?

7.  Moving the Pennsic Ball to Tuesday was another GREAT idea, as more and more
people seem to be leaving Friday.  (Besides, I don't know about the rest of crew, but after 
breaking down the floor I was dead on my feet!)

8. A comment box for dancing.  Pennsic A&S has an under used commentary system for 
teachers.  We may get better feedback from students if we instituted our own system.

9. Class scheduling after the submission deadline, to help facilitate a more equal distribution 
of teaching loads and bring in more instructors.  OR bring teacher scheduling in line with 
Pennsic University standards (which appear to be a limit of 4 classes per teacher, unless 
there has been a positive rating for the teacher by their students -- or so it was heard at 
some point or other). .... (that's one of those already-under-discussion things)


10.  Use rope to string some chairs together so they do not go wandering!  Or at least tag 
them with ribbon or cableties.  Roping them, however, would keep them in place while still 
allowing for some movement.  

How many more weeks until Pennsic? :)


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