pennsicdance: Any dance classes for the youth at Pennsic this year?

Krege, Barbara B KREGE at
Tue Apr 17 05:02:45 PDT 2012

Cariadoc, were you at the children's dance class last year at Pennsic?
It was huge--my guess there were at least 35 children (of all ages) plus their adults, dancing during that hour.

Some of these children, would never be in an adult dance class.
But they loved it and had fun, and they were introduced to dance or had a chance to dance.
And maybe some of their parents were introduced to dance, who normally don't dance and found that they loved dancing too.

I have taught dances to groups of just youth, a number of times--two occasions for performances, another time for a competition and then at an inter-kingdom war.  
These children were ages 7 to 17 and they took it seriously, usually from the beginning, in that they were attentative and respectful and focused.  There was not much horseplay or playing around.

I have had children (of all ages) dance with the adults in other dance classes -- because their parents wanted to dance and there was no one to watch the child.  There can be a lot of disruption in teaching an essentially adult group, with a 5 year old (and other ages) wanting to play.  And I have seen adults express displeasure that the 5 year old (and other ages) is "dancing" with them. 
Sometimes I have held the child, so that the parent can dance.  Sometimes the parent has danced with the child in their arms. 
And I have danced with 5 and 6 year olds in an evening's dance ball--you adapt the movements and tell them a lot about what to do next--the adults dancing will reach out and help direct the children where to go and what to do next.  
But I always did what I could do, to make dancing available to all ages and to accomodate the parents (of small children), who wanted to dance.

I don't see having children's and youth dance classes as a way of segregating them.  
I see it as an opportunity for them to dance and to have fun dancing.
I see it as an opportunity for them to learn dances, to learn some of the dance ettiquette, to introduce their parents to dance, and to discover the joy of dancing.  
Some dances are just more tailormade for children's boundless energy and sometimes lack of focus.
Having adults there to help and interspersed among the groups will help them learn more quickly and stay focused.

The youth who already are dancing will continue to take the adult classes.
Those youth, who get a chance to dance at Pennsic with the youth, may be braver to take future adult classes  and to continue dancing.
I have had many youth over the years, tell me that it is intimidating to them, to walk into an adult A&S class--because they don't know if they are welcome or not.

Another suggestion, is to get feedback from the youth, who attend dance classes, throughout Pennsic this year, to help in planning future Pennsic's dance schedules.

(THL Jayne Barber)

From: pennsicdance-bounces at [pennsicdance-bounces at] on behalf of Greg Lindahl [lindahl at]
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 2:58 AM
To: David Friedman; pennsicdance at
Subject: Re: pennsicdance: Any dance classes for the youth at   Pennsic thisyear?

On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 11:12:43PM -0700, David Friedman 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.


We have teenage kids and more mature younger kids in the normal
classes and the Beginner Ball and even the normal evening dancing --
that's not a problem at all. The point of the kids classes is for less
mature children.

-- Gregory

From: pennsicdance-bounces at [pennsicdance-bounces at] on behalf of David Friedman [ddfr at]
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:12 AM
To: David Learmonth
Cc: pennsicdance at
Subject: Re: pennsicdance: Any dance classes for the youth at   Pennsic thisyear?
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
It is an excellent idea that we do plan some children's classes into the
> mix at Pennsic.  It seemed to go over really well last year!
> Two quick points to mention:
> 1.  If we do these, we should make sure to have a lot of volunteer ringers
> and/or other adults involved.  Last year I think each small group of kids
> had a sufficient other dance teacher in their group, not to teach directly,
> but just to guide them and move them in the right direction and such.  I've
> run some kids classes before at local events where it was just me and the
> children, and for a physical activity like that it can get a bit crazy, as
> some of them will want to just start running around, but if there are at
> least a few adults involved, it can help keep it together.
> 2.  Now I'm not sure how exactly to approach this, so probably just Young
> Kids and Older Kids will work fine.  But I found once upon a time that it
> wasn't so much the Age of the kids involved, but their Attention Span /
> Rambunctiousness that determined the level of dance complexity they could
> handle.  Of course if we run the Young Kids classes first, then we can
> generally tell which ones would be good candidates to attend the Older Kids
> classes as well.  :)
> (no offense intended to the kids or anything.  But I remember an excellent
> 4 year old girl, and a very disruptive 10 year old boy.  Though Boys vs
> Girls may result for some differences as well, but I wouldn't think we'd
> want to do a Boys dance class, vs a Girls.)
> I can definitely help out as a ringer, but I know I'm going to be busy at
> Pennsic, so if someone else (perhaps with children) wants to take the lead
> on this, I think that would work best.  But if no one can, let me know and
> I potentially can do it.  (but I'll need help at the class!)   :)
> A Children's Ball is definitely an interesting idea.  Not sure whether to
> make something formal, or just have a few of these classes themselves, and
> call the last one the ball?  I'm just wondering if there would really be a
> huge difference in the "Class" vs the "Ball", though it might be fun for
> the kids to have a "Ball", and we could maybe get a band for it?  And
> snacks?
> Darius
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 7:36 AM, Krege, Barbara B  wrote:
> > Sorry to hear Emma that you won't be at Pennsic.  Thanks for letting me
> > know.
> >
> >
> >
> > I hope someone else will teach a couple of dance classes, one for the
> > younger and one for the older children.
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks for teaching the children last year.
> >
> >
> >
> > Barbara
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: sarah scroggie [sarah.scroggie at]
> > Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2012 9:32 PM
> > To: Krege, Barbara B
> > Subject: Re: pennsicdance: Any dance classes for the youth at Pennsic this
> > year?
> >
> > As of now I don't think we will be attending Pensic this year (we don't
> > make it every year) Maybe someone else will take up the challange. The
> > dances I remember including in the class were: Sellanger's round, Petit
> > Vrien (Higglety Pigglety My Fine hen), Montard bransle, bransle with
> > improvisations, Rose bransle (ring around the Rosie), and Galliard basics:
> > clapping in rhythm  and jumping on the cadence.
> >
> >   Of the constructive feedback I received from some older girls (age
> > 8-12), it might be worth looking at a class aimed at an intermediate aged
> > audience as well, they felt the class was a little childish. Not that they
> > cannot join in adult dance classes, but the pre-teens and and early teens
> > might enjoy a social dance class especially for them as well.
> >
> >      Emma
> >
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