pennsicdance: Brainstormin' in the Rain

L.J. Sparvero lyev at
Wed Sep 1 07:25:22 PDT 2004

At 05:30 PM 8/31/2004, annikki at wrote:
>1. The 16th century party was a HUGE improvement over the Caroso Ball!

People seemed to enjoy the somewhat laid back nature of it, as in a 
gathering of friends and guests. Elena did a superb job of going around and 
making them feel welcome on that dreary, stormy night.

>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

This (and some other comments) ties in with a request I'd like to make. I'd 
like for the parties in the tent to aim for something that people won't 
necessarily get from just an open dancing night. Some people will go to an 
"English Revel" cause they like English dances, some will go cause they 
want to be at an English party to show off their nifty new English garb.

The 16th century Italian party's goal was to try and set the atmosphere 
that the people there were guests at an Italian party honoring a Duchess 
(Elena). So people who wanted to watch the dancing and just sit around out 
of the rain could do so, and the people who enjoy 16c Italian dances could 
request lots of them.

>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.

I had wanted to get the Pile out well in advance, but this didn't happen, 
so any missing dance tunes are my responsibility. The distribution pile 
will be different next year, but keep in mind that if the Pile goes out in 
January, then the balls that we'll be doing will be set (with their 
playlists) in January, so start planning your ball proposal now!

It's the ball organizer's responsibility to find musicians, but it seemed 
like there were lots of volunteers for the balls.

>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.

That's a good point, but for this to work we'd need more people willing to 
go to the barn and coordinate open dancing on the party nights. Katriana 
did a great job both playing music and organizing some open dance on 
several nights.

>7.  Moving the Pennsic Ball to Tuesday was another GREAT idea, as more and 
>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!)

Thanks! Unless I hear objections, it will be Tuesday again next year.

On that note, I have no firm need to run the Ball next year. Heck, Judith 
probably did more work than I did, between all the Ball Prep classes and 
organizing Wolgemut for the post-revel. If someone really wants to be in 
charge of the ball, drop me a line.

>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 

All these were done already, glad you approve ;-) Last year I heard tons of 
people wanting to teach classes, so I put in the 4 classes limit (and 
accepting extra classes to fill in blank spaces).

But by the deadline, there were more empty spaces than filled ones, even if 
I accepted every extra class people volunteered for ;-) It took a bit of 
arm-twisting to get a full schedule, even when I pushed the final deadline 
back as far as I could manage.

See also my previous post on deadlines. I think that I've managed to 
convince the A&S staff that I can provide a complete and error free 
schedule right at the deadline that I'm given (I got a few complements on 
punctuality), so I'm assuming I can ask for a later deadline this year (and 
thus pass on the extra time to the dance instructors to get their requests in).

>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.

Actually the chairs do need to move during the day. Some Pennsic University 
classes during the day ended up with too few chairs (don't ask me why), and 
they need the chairs from tents that are not using all of them (including 
our tent). Conversely, at night we need all our chairs back, plus some 
more. So the chairs will migrate back and forth as needed. It's one other 
thing the ball organizers need to do in the evenings.

Are 20 chairs enough during the day for classes? Or should this be 25-30? 
I've requested 75 for evening functions next year, as long as the chairs 
get back to the A&S tents that are not using them we're in good shape.

>How many more weeks until Pennsic? :)

Um, 48?

Yay Pennsic Dancing! -Lyev

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