[SCA-Dance] The Creepy, the rude, and the weird

Monica Hultin mhultin at mts.net
Wed Jul 22 11:24:05 EDT 2009

Re: Physically moving someone into place, in the English Country Dance group
I belong to, I have a lot of beginners who like dancing with me because I
will, if required, physically move them into position. However, if the set
messes up, sometimes it's just easier to get everyone set up, skip some
steps and come in correctly with the music.  (As opposed to playing
catchup.)  There is one woman who absolutely hates being handled this way
and it just gets her more confused, so understanding who appreciates being
handled, and who can't is the trick.  At your group's regular dance
practice, you know who these gentles are.  Dancing at Pennsic, probably not.

However, when the dance is being run through, and you see someone is having
a problem that can't be corrected by a few gentle words, don't be shy to ask
the instructor to run through the directions again, or give your set a
moment to work out what they're doing.  A simple, "our group needs to run
through that again", as opposed to, "this person hasn't a clue", works well
to avoid embarrassment.  And who knows, another set may have appreciate the
refresher as well.

Having said that...I haven't been to a ball regularly, but do any of them
run on the assumption, we've taught the dances during the day, we are
presenting dances of different range of difficulties throughout the evening,
please just take part in the dances you know?  This way instructors give a
quick synopsis of the dance, and off they go, that way more dances can be
covered in an evening, instead of spending time reteaching each dance, and a
handful of more difficult dances can be included.  If this is the case,
please don't join into advanced dances you are unfamiliar with, instead sit
and enjoy watching it and trying to figure out the choreography, so maybe at
some point you can dance it.  Also, don't convince someone who doesn't know
or can't pick up a difficult dance to do so, the domino effect to the set,
(if it's progressive) can just lead to frustration to the other dancers, and
embarrass the unfamiliar dancer.


-----Original Message-----
From: sca-dance-bounces+mhultin=mts.net at sca-dance.org
[mailto:sca-dance-bounces+mhultin=mts.net at sca-dance.org]On Behalf Of Lindsy
Sent: July 22, 2009 12:11 AM
To: SCA Dance
Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] The Creepy, the rude, and the weird

I partially disagree with physically showing somone the right placement in
the dance. I'm the kind of person who must be shown physically how to do
things or they make no sense to me, and this sometimes (often times) means
them saying, "Fish, like this!", taking hold of me, and repositioning me.
I'm not offended by it, but I know some others are, so it's always best to
ask permission unless you know the person's okay with it.

What turns me off, etiquette-wise, is when everyone is larning a dance and a
know it all tries to take over teaching in the middle of somoene else doing
so.  Quietly explaining something to your confused partner is one thing
(I've done it and seen it done several times) but being loud, boorish and
disruptive about it is another.

I hope this helps!

                Lydia de Berce, called "Fish"

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to
say it."
                   S. G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire

From: Niki <janeeve2001 at yahoo.com>
To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 8:39:34 AM
Subject: [SCA-Dance] The Creepy, the rude, and the weird

Hi there,

We've all been there and seen it - some dancer that either creeps us out or
has such bad manners we feel we need to sterilize after dancing with them -
or so weird we want to avoid dancing with them at all costs.

So, I'm wondering:

What did they do?

What do you wish they had done instead?  Please list the obvious too.

I'm doing a class at Pennsic, where I'm going to try to educate some people
who just may not know better.  But, I want to make sure I have an
appropriate amount of material as well.  It focuses on ECD, but I'm also
interested in hearing other stories.

Already on the agenda:

Hand Holding - low (of course) and no death grips
Eye contact - no bug eyes, staring at a persons chest does not eye contact
make, and no staring the person down
Reverancing - if nothing else - straight backs

Lady Jane Milford, OM

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