pennsicdance: Dance Suggestions

whirlygig whirlygig at
Thu Aug 25 00:13:13 PDT 2005

Idea for the dance parties:
Get a permanent advertising space in the Pennsic Independent?
Make a friendly invite for the party page and post the schedule of what's
happening when- then there would be no question everyone's invited that way.
Be sure and state "matching attire not requred" or something.  I'm just not
sure what that would cost...

Overall - I actually like the idea of the parties!  Having the option to
dance an entire night within a single theme is pretty nifty.

How to increase the cross over between the two and bridge the gap:

1) Stop the name calling:  i.e. Don't refer to the barn dancers as the
"Great Unwashed Masses" or the Dancers in the Tent as "Dance Nazi's"
2) Barn dancers, encourage newcomers to take classes or attend the themed
dances.  Have the schedules for both posted in the barn at night.
Tent dancers- send people to the barn if they don't like the theme of the
3) Treat the barn like the avarage baroinal event post-feast dance revel,
and the tent something more specific like a ball, Terpsichorie, or KWDS.
There's a lot of dignity and fun in both :)

Question of 2 Venues:
Here's a sum up of something I wrote to someone before pennsic about this:

1)  continuity.
To keep people used to the idea of dance being alive and well in the barn
AND TENT (and to avoid the 'puppy pile' of teenagers, and the RPGamers from
taking over the space.)
If it's advertised in the book that its going to be there- then it should be
there and staffed well.

2)  A lesser reason - (but one of the greater reasons I'm working to keep
barn dance up and running,) is that it attracts NEW dancers like you
wouldn't believe.
For the new Pennsic/SCA/dance person, the Tent, and the dancers in it can
seem Advanced, Professional... and occasionally intimidating.  6 years ago,
I know I felt that way.
     Dancing in the barn got me to loosen up, realize that I'm not going to
be ridiculed for mistakes, and got me interested in taking classes I
wouldn't have otherwise taken.   And now here I am :)

3)  Dance in the barn is visible in a way dancing in the tent is not.
Being right next to the Cooper's Store, we get a lot of foot traffic.
People hear a dance they recognize and they join in and stick around.
In 3 words:    It's good advertisement.

4)  It's also a good public service for those that want something to do, but
don't want to go to the themed dances, drinking parties, or Bardic Circle

5)  Last and not least - in the past, the first few nights after the floor
is together, - I've observed-  it's often the dance masters and mistresses,
apprentices, and Laurels of the society who have taken over and are calling
the dances.  And I think this is a good thing (in moderation)!

One can only dance "Official Bransle," "Black Nag" or "Petit Vrenz" so many
times before you want burn the bloody music!
As Adele once said to me "We are at Pennsic to dance and have fun too, not
just share and teach the craft of dance."
And what's fun for the dance specialists is generally not the same 25-30
common dances (period or not) everyone knows, and if a common dance is
requested- it's often not being taught.
        I know I like being able to dance without having to stop and teach
(every. single. dance.)
It's also fun for me being able to watch the more complicated dances one
CAN'T teach in a quick amount of time (or dance with my bad knees); like the
Galliards, the 16th C. Italian, or the Greesley (sp?) Manuscript dances.

      But for the new dancer, this isn't as much fun for them.   And again,
can be confusing and/or frustrating.
      And it's, in part, why there is also that 'energy shift' between
leaving the tent and going to the barn.

So - having 2 venues is a good thing.  Although the split between them got
rather nasty this year compared to pervious years.

Midnight Rule:

I say abolish it.
It made sense when there was only one venue.  With having 2, it doesn't make
sense anymore.
Unless it is to just guarentee that the dancers coming up from the tent
around midnight can dance the GOOP as well ;)  *tee hee*

Seriously, the people who want to dance them want to dance them earlier in
the night and don't want to wait around.  And they attract people to the
barn who otherwise might not show up and stick around.  If we can just dance
them, don't make a fuss about dancing them, and get them out of the way- the
more likely dancers off the street will stay for the period dances done
right afterwards. :)

Question of GooP/Soop dances:
The best suggestion I've come up with is to "grandfather in" SOME 15-25 of
these dances as SCA tradition and announce them as out-of-period for
purposes of academic honesty.
I've listed 19 dances below that I've seen most frequently.

When the current count of dances available in the cheet sheet books online
is close to 278 (168 in period), we are not talking about a lot of dances.
Yes, frequency is an issue.  Yes, perception of "Fun/Accessability" is an
issue.  But the perception will be easier to change then forcably dropping
these dances all together.
And the more we argue amongst ourselves about this, the more publicity we're
giving to them to begin with and the more people will HEAR the "it's only
fun if it's not period" line.

            There are a lot of baronies who will not be reached by this
dance community about stopping teaching them, so people will always learn
them and bring that knowledge out to large inter-kingdom events.  There will
always be polyester loner garb, nylon tents, and propane grills.  Allowing
these dances to stay is a nice way of saying that we as a communitiy do not
take ourselves way overly seriously, and that we do listen to what the
POPULACE want.  Face it- we are the Tiger Woods here and tend to specialize
in dance.
        Yes, we as a dance community can continue to be a great example of
periodness -, but being/acting high-handed about what the average SCA
populace dancer can/can not dance is a big part of what is causing the
schizm we're facing right now.

My Proposed GOOP keepers:
Korobushka; SCA Road to the Isles; Mari's Wedding; Gae Gordens; Postie's
Jig; John Tallow's Cannon; Earl of Salisbury Pavanne; Female Sailor, Landler

SOOP keepers:
Playford 2 & 3 Dances, including Hole in the Wall, Mr. Isaac's Maggot, and

SCA Chor. / Reconstruction Keepers (which I don't feel I should have to
count, but that for a different day):
Quen Quer Que; Gracca Amorosa; Hearlds in Love; Manschaft Pavanne;
Carolingian Pavanne; Salterello La Regina, Riunione,

And belive me, if I thought we could get rid of Maltese Bransle as it's
danced, I would in a heartbeat.- so I guess that actually makes 20.
For the record:  I HATE Maltese the way some of you hate Road to the Isles
or Korobushka!

My $2.22
~Lorelei Skye, Dance Enthusiast who coordinated the barn this year;)

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