pennsicdance: Katherine's Invites

Catherine Dean catherinedean at
Thu Aug 25 14:25:05 PDT 2005

A bit of a slow response, but I've been away from my office all day and wanted to respond with exact wording since Conrad asked so nicely

>I think the invitatons is a good idea (I mostly declined taking one cause I knew about the
party and would rather you pass one to someone else), but sometimes if you get an invitation to something it implies one is required. Did these invites have something like "Everyone welcome" or "Tell/bring all your friends on them"?

The announcement in the Pennsic book read as follows:

Katherine Mercer invites you to attend an evening of dance in the style of the city of Langres. Dances will include bransles, pavans, galliards, and other dances described in Arbeau’s Orchesography. All ages and skill levels welcome!

(I would have included no partner necessary and bring your friends, but space was tight).

The invitations I handed out were very similar--that text is on my computer at home-- (and also announced, fwiw, that there would be a special band featured--Conna, I appreciate your frustration at it not being an open pit, but for me part of having it be a party was to have a cohesive dance band that had rehearsed the dances that were to be done and knew exactly the tempo and repeat structure that I wanted).

When I handed out invitations I made sure to tell folks I didn't know (and many I did) tthat everyone was welcome and that they should bring their friends, that there would be great music and food so that even non-dancers could have a good time.  Many people asked if they could bring their child/parent and the answer was always yes. I also heard that some folks came up to the tent during the evening wondering if it was a private party and, much to their credit, some of the dancers (Duchess Elena, I believe, and possibly some others) told them that it was open to the public and warmly invited them in to join the dancing.  

So, in answer to Conrad's question: Yes.  Everything about my party (I can't speak for the others) was as welcoming, friendly, and open to beginners as I could *humanly* make it.  I recommend this method highly--it seems to have worked well.  If anyone has heard tales of dancers feeling intimidated or unwelcomed at my party I would love to hear them so that I can improve before next year, if Adele is kind enough to grant my request to hold a similar event at Pennsic 36.

Arbeau Evangelist
(really, it's the perfect dance manual...)

"Virginians are of genuine Blood--They will dance or die!"
    Philip Vickers Fithian
    August 25, 1774

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