pennsicdance: Dance Suggestions

Gwommy Anpurpaidh gwommy at
Sat Aug 27 20:43:15 PDT 2005

Everyone seems to have some good points.  A lot of which got me
thinking and a few more ideas and things have came to mind based on
the responce I got.

1) GOOP Dances
Some still like it, and many don't.  I think that the strongest point
made was to follow Copora and the fact that SCA does evolve.  There
are many options and different directions that we can take this.

 a)We could just ban the really GOOP dances from Pennsic(to me, that
would include the Russian, Scottish, and Irish dances as well as
Landler).  They'd only be banned for 2 weeks out of the year.  If you
really want to dance them, then you can do so in your dance practice
in your home group.  This would be what I'd prefer.

 b)Limit the amount of time that GOOP can be done.  I think that
9-10pm in the barn is a good time.  It'll get people to start dancing
and it'll be done and over with when the hardcore dancers are the only
ones left wanting to dance.

 c)We could quit making a big deal about it and just let the GOOP
dances ride.  If enough people are interested in dancing a GOOP dance,
then let them dance.  It's not going to kill anyone, it might make a
few people cringe, but they'll live.

2) Dance Parties
Dance parties are alright, I've attended most of them myself.  I'm not
trying to diss anyone for them.  I've just had numerous people think
that the parties are private functions.  It does look different from
regular open dance nights because there's decoration and food and most
passer-byers think that there must be something special going on and
that it'd be best to not interrupt.

Another problem is that not all the genres or themes of the dance
parties have 3 hours worth of dancing.  Dances have to get repeated a
couple of times.  If we are to continue with the 'dance party' themes,
then I think the suggestion to double them up back-to-back is a good
idea.  That will give an extra night or two of open dancing in the

Also, I realize we only have the dance parties in the tent.  Why not
have some in the barn?  Perhaps the barn dancers wouldn't feel so left
out if they could have some dance parties?  Besides, you could have a
much bigger turn out since the barn can hold many more people.

3) Having Two Dance Areas
We have two different places where we can dance, therefore we're going
to have two groups no matter how you run dance in either place.  Some
people prefer the barn because they don't care about dancing on
cement, the barn is bigger, it has better lighting, it's well
centralized, and they don't have to leave it by midnight.  The dance
tent is just preferred by those that don't like dancing on the cement,
and actually, I can't think of any other reasons why.  The big
question seems to be how do we run both areas while minimizing a big
group seperation?

The simple answer is that it doesn't matter what we do, there's always
going to be some sort of seperation or disagreement because everyone
has their own thoughts on how things should be run.

Taking some of the responces from my first suggestion of having
beginner dancing in the barn and advanced dancing in the tent, I've
come up with something a little better.  Let's have open dancing in
both the tent and the barn and allow dances of all levels to be
requested.  Since we only have 3 hours in the tent, let's have it so
that the dances don't have to be taught, and that they be taught in
the barn if need be.

The whole point is to have somewhere to go and have fun.  I don't
think it'd be asking too much to give the beginners somewhere to learn
more dances.  And having somewhere to dance dances without
walkthroughs would be great, I'm sure many people would like that.  I
don't think that splitting the beginners and more advanced dancers
would be that big of a problem.  For example, many of the dances that
require sets we'll find people that already know it and sit out until
it's been taught.  Thinking about it that way, the people that know
the dance are dancing the dance with other people that know the dance
anyway.  So why waste time waiting for them to teach it in the barn
when we could just go ahead and dance it in the tent?

Besides, I think that the beginners would feel less intimidated if
they learned dances without so many advanced dancers around.  Of
course, you'd probably still need some experienced dancers to keep
them in line.

Or...What if we reversed the roles of the barn and the tent?  We'll
dance dances in the barn without walkthroughs until midnight and teach
dances in the tent for the more beginner types.  That's sure to get
some cross-interaction.  Besides that, it's easier to hear the teacher
in the tent than in the barn.  Even with something like this, we
wouldn't have to exclude the beginners that showed up in the barn.  We
could simply tell them that we can probably drag you through it or if
you really wanted to learn it, that they could go request it in the
tent to be taught.

There's some more food for thought.  I'm trying to come with ideas to
make as many people happy as possible, but you know how it goes, you
can't make everyone happy.  So what do people think about these ideas?

Yay!  Dancing!

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