pennsicdance: Any dance classes for the youth at Pennsic thisyear?

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at
Mon Apr 16 23:43:46 PDT 2012

I would recommend you attend the class then, to see the differences.
 Martin and Emma ran an excellent one last year, and it was quite different
from our standard dance classes, but I feel very appropriate, all the way
to toddler age.

Sure, some kids will be attentive enough to take the full dance classes.
 This works particularly well when it is just a few children in a class
with several adults / teens.  In fact I taught a kid this weekend in my
class.  It went great.

But get a large group of them together, and there is some added chaos.  But
also, I don't think it unreasonable that they taught more dances they
thought might be more fun for kids initially.

Remember, that we also want to get them Interested.  Once they are
committed and focused enough, they potentially can attend other classes
without being a disruptive influence, and while getting a suitable
education themselves.

I'm really surprised, as I would think that it makes sense that you don't
teach an Adult, the same as a Toddler?

I'm not saying you don't show them respect.  But I'm pretty sure it makes
sense to teach a bit differently, even if it isn't required for all the

Or hey, maybe just more fun for the kids anyways?  Such as, kids like to
tumble.  Well, that was involved in one of the dances.  I doubt that as
many adults would have an interest in flopping on the ground, or
necessarily differences in physical conditions for the two groups.

And since this is a physical activity, it may impact their rambunctiousness
more than one where they sit down and work on a craft.

But I don't know, I've taught several kids classes over the years, and
hundreds of "adult" classes, but I am not technically an expert for
teaching children, so I can't say the differences.

What is the age range of kids you teach?  How many in a class?  Are you
doing it with zero other adults in the class?  And what type of activity
are you teaching?

Ok, you've got my back up a bit.  I'm not sure your intent, perhaps just to
actually understand the situation of why we would call the children's
classes (and not to criticize our techniques).  I hope this helps then to
explain where we are coming from / our experience.

I have been pulled every which way in a class where the kids wouldn't pay
attention (and I was the only adult).  I haven't had that happen in an
adult class yet, though sure, sometimes people can get chatty.

Perhaps part of the difference will be whether the people chose to be there
or not, whether children or adults.  But I still bet some kids will be
disruptive regardless, if you get a large enough group, and not enough
adults in the mix.

But hey, a lot of the same principles apply to both.  I think in a kids
class, it is just even more important to have ringers / adults / people
with some authority spaced out in the class amongst the sets, but ringers
in various sets always help in teaching dances.

Oh, ok, and one last thing.  It is quite possible that in a Social type of
activity like this, that kids might actually like dancing with other Kids,
a bit more than with adults.  I know that due to poor recruiting for the
last decade or two, it seems that there aren't nearly as many people around
age 20 in the SCA, and that even that impacts dancers of that age, who
would like to socialize with others similar to them somewhat as well.

Alright, and one other thing.  The SCA is an interesting mix, but it can be
tough to achieve the right balance with kids.  i.e. not ALL activities at
Pennsic are appropriate for children.  I know that is a bit more extreme
case, but I'm just saying that the reality of the SCA is also to try to be
inclusive where we can, but it honestly doesn't make sense in all cases.
 (even in heavy combat, it would probably be a bad idea to have a lot of
children, as they would more than likely sustain injuries.  Adults already
do get injured, but with kids, it may affect their development if the
injuries are bad enough.)

But hey, I don't believe we tend to turn away children from the normal
dance classes.  They are welcome to come.  Some do, but not so many.  Maybe
they see the benefit of the Focused classes.  Maybe it is just advertising.
 I would hope that they could feel like they would be allowed to attend
 (assuming SCA children's rules allow it, so i.e. with a parent I expect),
as long as they are there to learn and participate, and if they are coming
in with the appropriate skill level as required for the class, if one is


On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 2:12 AM, David Friedman <ddfr at>wrote:

> I'm curious why people see this as "children's dance classes" rather
> than "novice dance classes." I don't teach dance, but for things I do
> teach I don't see any reason to segregate the class by age.
> One of the things I like about the Society is that children can be
> included rather than separated off.
> On Mon, 16 Apr 2012 15:09:00 -0400, David Learmonth

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