pennsicdance: Absolute Beginner

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at
Tue Jul 17 21:59:42 PDT 2012

Agreed.  Mimed bransles are good.  Fairly simple, and can be fun / silly /
can have a bit of a story or some related proposed history.  :)

I think that anything is fair game for those classes.  Sometimes there may
have been some scheduling regarding various areas for absolute beginner
(though I think that was actually for the "focused beginner" category).
 But either way, people attending probably don't mind the practice, and
odds are you won't be fully repeating someone else's class, that they've
also attended.

And hey, if you find yourself with extra time, you can always throw in one
more dance.  Or just practice the ones you have.

Absolute beginner is good for just giving some of the basic concepts, and
having people have fun.  Learning singles and doubles, and getting a feel
for the music  (though that comes over time, and I don't think everyone
gets as much feel for it the first time they are dancing).  But even Arbeau
suggests singing the steps in your head (or out loud as we are teaching
them I'm sure is good too), in particular for some of the fancier bransles,
but can work for mimed as well.

The only other thing I can say is that it is much more about Having Fun,
than it is about getting it perfect.  I think if they are having fun, that
should help build their confidence.  (Hey, it took me Years to get to where
I'm at, and I still have much more I want to learn and improve upon)

Ditto.  If you'd like ringers to join in, don't be afraid to let a few of
us know if we're around before your class.  Or even during your class.


On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM, Rebecca Friedman
<rebeccaanne3 at>wrote:

> Thank you both very much! I'll plan to do that, then, and adjust as needed.
> In service,
> Rebecca
> On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM, William Bornander <wrborn at>
> wrote:
> > It is rather hard to know what to expect as you could get anywhere from 5
> > or less up to 20, 30 or even 50 students. You will likely have a good
> > number of ringers around if you find that is needed or helpful they are
> > almost always willing to dance.
> >
> > As far as dance selections I would think that is a very good choice as
> > people can easially learn at their level. Some can be sorting left and
> > right and others are not only learning the dance but playing with the
> > mimes. I would think they would be a good first dance to teach at war in
> > that it is easier then most of the other possibilities as you can have
> just
> > one set to watch and encourage.
> >
> > In service,
> > Wilhelm
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >________________________________
> > > From: Rebecca Friedman <rebeccaanne3 at>
> > >To: pennsicdance at
> > >Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:14 PM
> > >Subject: pennsicdance: Absolute Beginner
> > >
> > >So, I seem to be teaching it this year, and I've never done so before! I
> > >also haven't attended it, so I'm not quite sure what's appropriate. If I
> > >were designing a class for absolute beginners, I'd pick pantomime
> bransles
> > >- that's what I've had most luck with in the past. Probably
> Washerwoman's,
> > >Horses' and Peas. Would that be appropriate, or would I be doubling
> > someone
> > >else/are there specific expectations for Absolute Beginner? If so, could
> > >someone tell me what they are? Thanks! And sorry for sending this out so
> > >late!
> > >
> > >Rebecca
> > >_______________________________________________
> > >pennsicdance mailing list
> > >pennsicdance at
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > pennsicdance mailing list
> > pennsicdance at
> >
> >
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