pennsicdance: final thoughts from the peanut gallery pt1

whirlygig whirlygig at
Tue Aug 30 01:53:40 PDT 2005

I hate to return to any of these points from yesterday AM.
But I would like to respond on-list as well.

I have some other projects I need to put some of this time and energy
towards.  (bills, new CDs..., bills)   I'll be available off-list as needed.

Sorry this got long and needed 2 parts!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sean D. Sorrentino" <sdsorrentino at>
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 8:46 AM
Subject: RE: pennsicdance: questions to all & thoughts from the peanut

----- Original Message ----- 
> We have non-period dances being propagated and a
> second dance community being started around them.

Misconception #1:
The dances were not / are not being propagated.
Nor is a second community forming around them at Pennsic.
They were just not being forcibly shoved under the carpet.

Yes- they were danced when requested.  And when I saw them danced in the
barn, several people sat them out due to boredom with the dance.  They were
not taught, just danced.  They were often announced as modern, allowed to
happen without fan fare, and then people moved on to the next dance.

> Rotten atmosphere, bad floor, awful acoustics

The tent acoustics aren't that great either.  Better, but not by much.
We make do.  And we do it well at both places   :)

There are plenty of dancers in the barn that feel the snubbing they've
received in the tent counts as a 'rotten atmosphere'.

As for myself- although the floor is beautiful, and I know a TON of work
goes into it - Heck, I helped with painting a few of 'tiles' a few years
ago; and saw the pain Adele was in after working on the floor again this
 - the slope that the floor sits on did a *horrible* number to my feet,
knees, and back 2 years ago to the point I could hardly walk by the end of
some of the evenings I danced there.  My Dr's scolded me soundly when I got

> people who think that "only" having 1/3 of the dances
> per evening be GOOP is fine.

I think that the night with the most OOP; was the Saturday night between
weekends?  When the dancer from the tent who volunteered left when she
didn't see anyone waiting to dance, and others (many thanks, others!!!)
stepped up to the plate to fill in when they saw no one else was there.

Of the 45+ dances that night over the course of 6 hours, MAYBE 10-15 were
OOP.  And most seemed to be requested by dancers who came from the same
barony as the person leading dance that night.  (Please correct me off-list
if I'm wrong in these observations or mixed up my days/nights???  Sleep was
a bit scarce this year ;)  )

Either way, it was a fun night for those present and dancing.
But, admittedly, I'm certain the night would have been different if the
original volunteer had stuck around.
(we missed you, volunteer!!! Please come back next year   :)  )

> >3)  Split of musicians between venues-
> So we can add lack of musicians to the list of reasons that the Barn is

We had a several live musicians who thankfully did show up so we didn't have
to rely on CDs.
But even canned music was better then none at all, and from what I recall -
no one complained on list about this being a 'substandard' suggestion BEFORE
And those volunteering did honor my request to keep the MIDI music to a bare
minimum when cds /tapes were used.

But when we can get 30+  dancers a night at peek having a good time,
laughing, and enjoying themselves-
I'd hesitate to call that substandard.

> We can increase the communication all we want, but if
> the two sides are talking past each other, what good
> is it?

As near as I can tell- Dominico, you and I are the only ones on the list
that are really talking past each other.

You have turned nearly all of my posts around into something negative, and
something to be sneered at
- no matter how positive, moderate, and constructive suggestions and
alternatives I've tried.

There are shades of grey here.

For the rest of you:
I just really hesitate, and get a bad heavy feeling in my stomach,
when ANY small group starts acting like it's going to dictate a policy for a
larger group that is not fully represented.

> We say, "no GOOP dances before midnight." You
> say, "new and improved!

Where did I say that this was 'new' or an 'improvement'?
I said I tried an experiment this year with publicly taking out the midnight
It was an experiment only.
I also can admit it backfired- although not in the way I expected it to.

But most of the people complaining about it are the ones on this list.
NOT the ones who were in the barn enjoying themselves- who are not
represented on this list.

I have also heard from people who often dance in the barn, both during and
after Pennsic,
that they also DO prefer the midnight rule as it has been.

My volunteer dance masters/mistresses seem to be split 50/50.

Okay.  So taste test (experiment) is now over.
"New Coke" is still not better then "Classic Coke"  ;)

What the dance staff for next year decides will stand.

...more in a sec:

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