pennsicdance: final thoughts from the peanut gallery pt2

whirlygig whirlygig at
Tue Aug 30 01:55:31 PDT 2005

> "If you will not listen, why should we consider communicating further.

Because, Dominico, I AM listening to you and the others.

But I do not feel that I am being heard- so I tend to try to find new words,
and repeat the points I am trying to make.

But as has been gently pointed out to me:
      I am not helping.  And, in fact, possibly/probably causing more harm
then good right now.

((And really have to go care for the list of things from my 'real life' that
are starting to intrude.  :)  ))

> I can't see how I can put this any more
> plainly. The dances are out of period, not the same
> style, and marked for deletion.

I get that.  I can even concede with the point- To a point.

And that point being:
I feel, gradual evolution and elimination will serve the dance community far
greater then inflaming the ire of the general populace with sweeping
statements about complete elimination like I heard stated at Pennsic, and on
this list.

> It especially irritates me that new dancers at Pennsic get captured by
people who will
> waste their brain cells and muscle memory teaching them GOOP dances.

Again- the OOP were not being taught all that much, just danced.
Certainly not as much as even 2 years ago!

I can't say that any dance will do that for a new dancer.
It's generally the teacher/dance master/mistress that leads it.

       It's the PERSON LEADING that does more to get someone believing that
they CAN dance, and shares the contagious enthusiasm in a way about how much
they like to dance.  If the dancer catches that enthusiasm at Pennsic, they
will often seek out the tent for classes and further instruction.  Throwing
an easier dance (like New Boe Peep, Petit Vrens, Montard Bransle) at them in
the process is a perk and helps facilitate everything better.

     How many people on this list have said they got started with 'Hole in
the Wall' or some other dance and stuck around to learn more?  Was it
because of the interaction within the dance, or the person who was
leading/teaching it?

Where's the waste of time?
These new dancers will potentially be the new "us" in 10 years.
They are SCA Dancing's life's blood.

Catch them any way we can!

> I suggest we draw the line like this.
> 1. no more dancing in the Barn  before the tent closes
> 2. no GOOP dances in the Tent at all.
> This may not have been the official policy last year,
> but by default this is what happened. It worked just fine.

There have never been OOP dances in the tent as near as I can tell.  Except
for that (really nifty!) minuet class I took, which as was pointed out was
offered as a contrast and as a lesson on where period dance evolved into
Or did you mean none in the barn?

What changed is that what's been going on in the barn the last 2 years was
brought onto the radar by doing it again this year.

I'm guessing that most of the core dancers from the barn might be willing to
make the concession of a no GooP policy if they can keep the barn as a dance

But I can not and will NOT be the spokeswoman for that talk.
And I can only hope you will include other barn dancers in the discussion
before making any decisions on this.

I'm having a hard enough time with the points I've been trying to make.

> I would like to find out what the real motivations of
> those who are trying to "reinvigorate" the dancing in
> the barn really are.

I stated them.
Dominico already rejected several of these arguments as nonsense.
You can also re-read my posts about barn dance from before Pennsic.
NONE of the reasons for having dance in the barn were so we could keep OOP

- The core group of dancers in the barn are as social with each other as
core group of the dancers in the tent.
- Dancing in the barn is visible as a way dance in the tent is not
& it's a good advertisement for dance in general.  Our enthusiasm catches
new dancers too.
- Some people do not like the tent for dancing for a variety of reasons;
including bad experiences with dancers in the tent and the slope in the
- Its a way to involve the puppy-pile of teenagers, and sends the adult
RPGrs back to their own camps.  Dancers also keep the barn neater then
either of those groups which keeps the Pennsic staff happier.
- If it's listed in the Pennsic book as being run by dance staff, then
someone from the dance staff should run it.

I was thanked many times for stepping up from people on the dance staff, as
well as dancers in the tent and barn- I really appreciate it.  And despite
all this stress, I'd still like to have the opportunity to do this again.
I learned a lot this year!

Overall - most people seem to believe that having the 2 venues is a good
thing, especially to offer a variety of choice.

If there's a themed night in one venue, having open set lists in the other
offers a choice.  I had someone volunteer specifically for that reason.  He
didn't like the theme, so he came up and led in the barn.  (Again - Thank

> I can't help but think that there
> are some who want to keep the GOOP dances alive

Right now my primary concern is not about the OOP dances -
It's about keeping the BARN alive.

My main argument about keeping the OOP has *never* been about keeping them;
it's about the methodology of what's being proposed to get rid of them!

I also just find it really odd that all this energy and time is going into
discussing such a relatively small number of dances that are slowly fading
as time is passing without all the fuss and fanfare.

> and are deliberately splitting the group to do so.

What I feel is splitting the group:

- the people in the barn being called the "Great Unwashed Masses" and "Dance
Slobs" by people in the tent
- the name calling returned by people in the barn calling people in the tent
"Dance Nazi's" and "Dance Snobs."
- It's the story of a friend of mine, nearly in tears, told me about having
her nicer, all be it not Italian, field garb sized up by dancers she
during the Italian 15c party- and bluntly turned down when she was looking
for a partner for a few of her favorite dances.
- its the fact that dancers in the barn felt the need to leave when
dancers from the tent came up and took over the space.

All of these are things I observed directly.  Not second-hand accounts.

What kind of role-models are any of us being when THIS is how we are seen
treating each other?

Thanks for reading, sorry again that this got long!
Talk to you all / See you all later in the season!


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