[SCA-Dance] KWDS report (What I Did on my Summer Vacation...)

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Tue Jul 21 20:40:48 EDT 2009

Ah, so much to discuss.

Just to chime in briefly myself.  (ok, it wasn't brief.  sorry about that.
I just want to help if I can)

Firstly, I'd really really like to hear for sure (this week if at all
possible) if Europe is throwing their hat into the ring officially.  I think
part of the dynamic of these decisions is dependent on whether Europe is
looking at bidding for 2011 or 2013, if at all.  If we could confirm this in
the next day or two, then perhaps the groups who are looking to bid in North
America could then even have a direct phone chat this week before Pennsic,
to discuss options.

As for Annual KWDSesesses, I am leary of this.  I can see where it could be
handy if Europe is in the mix, but it would also decrease the attendance in

But ultimately, for the annual issue, my feeling is also that it would be
too much.  I'm afraid of everyone burning themselves out by doing it too
frequently.  I think that keeping it as a more special trip every other year
will help to not dilute it, and will also help for people to afford the
trip.  I also agree that it is good to be able to attend non-SCA activities
as well on off years.  (even though I've been usually busy with Pennsic as

(in case we do move to Annually, let's just make sure that it isn't set as a
full precedent.  maybe for a short run of a few times we could do it, but it
was a lot of work, and we already have issues with getting sufficient
volunteers in some areas, that I wouldn't want us to be scrambling to find
groups that could do KWDSes that often)

I definitely agree though that in bringing KWDS to different geographic
regions, even though a large portion of the attendees is the core group of
us dancers, it brings the wealth of knowledge and experience to different
regions, and helps out and inspires these local groups.  (Quite a few people
in our area are intending to try to make the next one, whereas in previous
years there were only a handful of us who had made it to a KWDS, and only
myself who had made it to all of the ones since Boston).

Though, I am proud / insane to say that I have Driven (not flown) to Boston,
Texas, Seattle, and Hamilton.  I think that for those looking to save money,
if there are groups of 4 people, and IF they can afford a bit of extra time,
that most of them are drivable for a good number of people within the
eastern half of the continent.  (Seattle just happened to work into our
plans, otherwise we would normally fly it, obviously).  :)

(you do get an interesting situation with Known World, that we have a split
of attendees when it comes to finances.  Definitely there are people, like
myself, who try to save money on the trip wherever I can, including crash
space and such if possible.  It is tough, because with accommodations and
such, it is priced more like a normal conference most years than a typical

I know that people get eager.  I would hope that perhaps some other
excellent events, such as Terp and Crystal Ball, could fill that need in
between years.  I think that KWDS should be held up as something important,
where we hope that most of us could attend to bring the experience and
knowledge.  Something beyond all the other SCA dance experiences.

When I was looking for classes for this past KWDS, I was specifically
looking for several classes where we could really go further into the
details, into the discussions.  I think this is also an aspect that needs
TIME in between events.  We want people to have a chance to work on their
research from one KWDS to the next.

If nothing else, I think that biennial KWDSes would be more successful just
to give people more time to do the research they want to do between events.
To improve the quality.  To test out their potential class on their local

Trust me, even with 2 years of notice and at least 1 year of prodding, many
teachers were still scrambling to get everything they wanted to teach
together!  :)

Ok, anyway, sorry to be long winded.  In summary, an experiment has
potential, but I'm concerned about both Burnout for the dance community, and
diluting the quality of the event / amount of time for new research.  But
hey, maybe with the enthusiasm, we may have reached critical mass?  (though
I don't know, if we start losing attendees due to splitting people between
years, it may make the event less economically viable!)

Ok, to note on this too, we have found that this has been a problem in our
area.  WAY too many events being booked, to the point of too many conflicts,
and too many events not achieving expected attendance, such that they are no
longer economical.  This could happen with KWDS potentially.

But yeah, more likely for myself, I'd probably try to attend All the KWDSes,
to the point where I would just be exhausted and have to disappear for a
while.  So really, I'm still thinking to space them out.  Unless we have
twice the number of travelling dancers as attended our KWDS, to be able to
support the frequency of events?

Ok, last thing is that I would suggest (/agree with Janelyn) that maybe the
core few groups bidding at this point may want to confirm details amongst
yourselves as to what seems most viable, in either a group effort, or for an
individual group to proceed.  My personal feeling is that you want a strong
core of a few people who will be coordinating, even as you delegate what you
can to other local group members.  So it would be good to know how strong
each potential autocrat feels their support is on that front?  Or whether
combining efforts would make sense for that division of labour potentially.

Good luck with everything!  We'll still plan to send more of our details
too, sorry for the delays, we're trying to finalize everything.  Our
attendance was only around 150 though.  But we didn't get quite the numbers
of local drop in traffic we were expecting, so a heck of a lot of that
number were travellers, if that helps for calculations.  (i.e. I'm still
thinking that 150 - 200 is a good estimate for somewhere accessible to many
of us, such as Indiana, Ohio, or likely NY).


P.S.  I don't think so, but hopefully nothing I've said can be taken as
offensive at all.  I've been on a bad streak lately, probably due to
tiredness.  :)

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