[SCA-Dance] One Hour of Dance - Class details

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Wed Mar 24 13:00:48 EDT 2010

Hi again,

People have asked, so yes, go ahead and forward my "notes" or do with them
as you please.  I have no formal version otherwise, it was just an

Oh, and yes, I guess I meant "improvising", not "improving".  (I was
actually thinking Improv-ing, but take out the dash and it is a different
word.)   :)

Darius the Dancer

On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 5:11 AM, David Learmonth <
david.a.learmonth at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello!
> Some people at Terp requested that I post some notes about my "class" this
> past weekend, so here are a few quick notes, and my list of dances, as well
> as my list that I worked with from our event a month before, Step Spritely.
> Oh, and if anyone has any comments / questions, especially if you attended,
> feel free to let me know / tell the group.  Thanks!
> - general format was to have no pauses between dances
> - a few seconds gap existed between mp3 player tracks, in which time I
> would call out the next dance, and the general formation for couples (i.e. 3
> couples in a line, 2 couples facing, etc)
> - people were free to sit out dances as they pleased, though we ended up
> with 12 people for most of the class, which tended to motivate people to
> stay dancing, since it is a very handy dance number
> - despite not knowing a dance, or having exactly the right number of
> people, dancers were encouraged to try it anyway, faking it, or improving
> something for the numbers they had
> - we recommend that participants have intermediate level experience to
> participate  (if you have enough "ringers", then you can certainly pull more
> people through, as long as they are dancers who won't get discouraged)
>    - also, it is good if they know something of the various styles
> beforehand.  I think my main concern is that newer dancers will tend to have
> to put in a lot more effort to keep up / correct their steps, and this may
> exhaust them quicker.
> - Besides having some ringers in the group, and generally a high level of
> experience, I tried to call a decent amount of the dances throughout the
> hour
> - Experience so far dictates that people definitely start to get tired at
> about 40 minutes into the continuous dancing, even with staggered faster and
> slower dances.
> (at Step Spritely, I actually paused for a 5 minute break at that point.
> At Terp I did not, and people seemed generally fine, although a few said
> afterwards that I killed them)  :)
> - oh, and at Steps it was mentioned that the format didn't give as much
> chance to change partners, so at Terp we revised it to specifically have the
> lords switch partners Every dance by one position around the set / circle.
> People seemed alright with this.
> I really like the idea of this class in general, as I think that it
> invigorates some of us, and is a neat challenge.
> - one potential addition that has been mentioned is that I should edit my
> music to have an extra repeat, and then to NOT call out the dances before
> hand, but instead to just let people treat it more like a bransle suite,
> giving them that first repeat (or a few bars) to get into appropriate groups
> - alternatively / additionally, I could set it up such that we have a set
> of all dances that could be done in a circle / faked in a circle, then we
> wouldn't have the formation issue
> So, here are the dances from each class.  I actually think that this format
> / selection could be adjusted slightly, depending on your audience.  Terp
> probably could have handled something even harder, though that isn't
> completely the point of the class (it is to have fun, and not necessarily do
> the hardest dances possible).  Meanwhile, and I can let you know how this
> goes, we have an event this weekend that is more classes targetting average
> SCAdians (non-dancers), so for that, Guillaume wants to try this class, but
> I'm definitely recommending something a bit easier.  (and probably inserting
> a break would be a good idea)
> Oh, and statistics-wise, for Terp, we made it through 26 of the 27 dances.
> (I knew I shouldn't have bothered tacking the last one on, but it was just
> in case we had the time).  Meanwhile, for Step Spritely, we actually just
> went Alphabetically through dances, and made it through 19 (Ly Bens was the
> last dance), but we started late, and took a break, and some of the dance
> recordings were longer.
> (oh, and the names are from the mp3 names)
> Terp:
> 01 - Gathering Peasecods(Best)
> 02 - Pease Bransle(Fast-4Repeats)
> 03 - Queens Alman(4 Repeats)
> 04 - Contrapasso In Due(Well Edited)
> 05 - Anello(Good-2 Repeats)
> 06 - Cuckolds All In A Row(Singing Intro)
> 07 - Gelosia(Slow)
> 08 - Black Nag(Fast)
> 09 - Belfiore
> 10 - Lorayne Alman
> 11 - Goddesses(11 Verse)
> 12 - Bizzaria D'Amore
> 13 - Saltarello La Regina(Normal)
> 14 - Scottish Bransle
> 15 - Hermit's bransle
> 16 - Jenny Pluck Pears(Fast Verses-Slow Chorus)
> 17 - Rosti Boli(Best)
> 18 - Upon A Summer's Day(Best)
> 19 - Washerwoman's Bransle(Best)
> 20 - La Castellana(Fast)
> 21 - Vita Di Cholino(Best)
> 22 - Scotch Cap(Best-3 Verse)
> 23 - Ly Bens Distonys(Alright-Single Chorus)
> 24 - Black Alman(4 Repeats-Slow)
> 25 - Petit Vriens(Alright-3 Repeats)
> 26 - Aridan Bransle(Speeds Up)
> 27 - Whirlygig A[BBA3]3
> Step Spritely:
> All In A Garden Green
> Amoroso(12 Doubles-Normal-4 Repeats)
> Anello(Good-2 Repeats)
> Aridan Bransle(Speeds Up)
> Belfiore
> Bizzaria D'Amore
> Black Alman(4 Repeats-Slow)
> Black Nag(Fast)
> Contrapasso In Due(Well Edited)
> Cuckolds All In A Row(Singing Intro)
> Gathering Peasecods(Best)
> Gelosia(Slow)
> Goddesses(11 Verse)
> hermit
> Hyde Park(Fast-2 Repeats)
> Jenny Pluck Pears(Fast Verses-Slow Chorus)
> La Castellana(Fast)
> Lorayne Alman
> Ly Bens Distonys(Alright-Single Chorus)
> New Bo Peep
> Pease Bransle(Fast-4Repeats)
> Petit Vriens(Alright-3 Repeats)
> Picking Of Sticks(Best)
> Queens Alman(4 Repeats)
> Quen Quer Que(Vocal-Best-4 Repeats)
> Rosti Boli(Best)
> Saltarello La Regina(Normal)
> Scotch Cap(Best-3 Verse)
> Scottish Bransle
> Upon A Summer's Day(Best)
> Vita Di Cholino(Best)
> Washerwoman's Bransle(Best)
> Whirlygig A[BBA3]3
> There you go!  I hope it helps / is of interest.  I think it worked fairly
> well.  Though I was definitely a bit tired in Etienne's class afterwards.
> (very warmed up, but definitely a bit exhausted by the time I finished
> several of the fancy Italian steps).  Oh, and my lady I think felt that she
> may have pushed it a bit much that afternoon, following up this class with I
> believe it was either the Morris dance or the Irish dance, and then Bouffons
> after that.  :)  And the floor we were on was ok, but not that forgiving.
> Darius

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