pennsicdance: more fringy ponderings

Elaine Cohen elainec at
Sat Aug 27 05:18:38 PDT 2005

 >Korobushka, Road to the Isles… however these dances have been around 
Society for 15-20+ YEARS. Yes-
 >more dances are now available that are documented and period, that are 
easier to teach, easier on the knees, ears, and
 > authentic tastes. But these few, 25 odd dances have become part of 
our SCA *culture*. Why not let them be just that.
 > And simply drop the 70+ obscure ones there’s no readily availble 
music for anyway, and NOT ADD ANY New folk
 > dances from this line out?

I agree with this, and retaining such things would not stagnate our 
culture. Adding more period choices
helps our culture grow. We would not continue to do out of period dances 
once our culture evolves to the point
where they are no longer desired. Keeping them as an option allows 
people who have been
in the society a long time, but whose focus is now in activities other 
than dance to stop by the barn
at Pennsic, do a dance or two, and then go party or whatever. When I was 
asked to do a ball for a Rose
Tourney, I was specifically asked to include a few specific dances 
(Korobushka, Road to the Isles and
Hole in the Head, er Wall) that many or the knights and former royals 
had learned years ago and might
be persuaded to do. Learning even a simple new period dance was not 
something they would be inclined
to do.

Prohibiting the dances people learned early on in the society fosters an 
us/them (dancers/nondancers) feeling
and causes people to conclude (however wrongly) that we are a closed 
group and they are not welcome. No
matter how welcoming we otherwise try to be, the message is that the 
dances they learned are not good enough, so
we must be snobs. For us the question becomes one of which is more 
important - making more people feel
welcome or keeping our mix of dances period.

A no out of period dance after midnight (or 11pm or even 10pm) makes 
more sense to me from this
standpoint than the current rule, since most of the dancers left by then 
are of the more serious variety,
who are more inclined to gravitate toward a preference for period only 

Must dash now - kids are waking up!

Yay, dancing :)
Alina of Foxwood
Barony of Cynnabar

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