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

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at
Tue Apr 17 07:34:08 PDT 2012

Well said!  (much better / more succinct than my stream of consciousness
answer).  :)

I think there are quite a few different types of classes that we do run at
Pennsic, and although they have a different focus, it isn't our intent to

And definitely some of our best dancers now have been joining the adults
since they were 4 or 5, or younger.


On Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 8:02 AM, Krege, Barbara B <KREGE at> wrote:

> 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.
> Barbara
> (THL Jayne Barber)

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