westdance: More dancing

Daniel Fenwick daniel at fenwick.sparks.nv.us
Thu Jan 8 13:05:20 PST 2009

> Greetings Daniel!
> Thanks for speaking up, it's very useful to hear from people who like
> to dance but aren't part of the hardcore dance croud.  It's sometimes
> hard for a lot of us to even remember what seemed hard when we started
> out. :-)

I know how that goes...  :)

> Can I as a few more questions?

Certainly.  I'll even try to give answers that make sense.  :)

> When you say you don't like Geloxia and Contrapasso, is that because
> of complexity?  Or is it just that you don't care for them?  Or both?
> :-)  Either is a fine answer, I just want to better understand how
> people feel about the dances.

Some of both.  If we're lucky, we get to dance about once or twice a year
here, and not always that often.  (And half of the time I'm the one teaching
it, which should give a clue about the state of dance in the hinterlands. :)

> Regarding the dance set for 12th Night -- when you say there were more
> dances that you weren't interested in doing than ones you were, I'm
> guessing you ruled out the ECD dances because they are out of period
> (I'm kind of reading between the lines to get that from your later
> statement).

Actually, I'll dance the simpler English Country part of the time (hays
still tie my feet in knots, so I don't tend to dance dances with them. :)  )
Since EC is documentable only post period I'd prefer to not do them when we
are trying to show people they can have fun with simple things from within
period.  (I hope that makes sense.)

> Is that true, and if so, do you think that there are a
> reasonable number of others who share that feeling?  My preference
> would be to go away from them as well, but there's always been an
> assumption that a lot of people really like them even if they are out
> of period, and won't want to dance _unless_ they're on the list.

There may be some people who feel that way.  I haven't done a pole, so I
can't say what percentage is on either side.  When I started we did mostly
bransles and Hole in the Wall.  So, people liked bransles and Hole in the
Wall.  I still like Hole in the Wall, but since it's definitely post period
I don't even try to dance it at SCA events.  Now, there is a lot of EC
that's been taught, so people who started with it like EC and most probably
don't realize it was first printed in Playford, post period any more than
people realized that Hole in the Wall and Carabouska (sp?) weren't period
15-20 years ago.

> If
> that isn't so true, I would love to reduce the number of ECD dances we
> include.  There are plenty of bransles and almans that could replace
> them.

That would work for me, but you'd want to ask around more before you take my
opinion as representing a majority on this one.  :)

> Thanks for your thoughts, and also thanks for having dance at your
> Investiture!

You're most welcome.  :)

We are also planning for dance at Our Coronet.  My Lady and I really do
enjoy dancing and don't believe there is nearly enough of it anymore.


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