[SCA-Dance] Fwd: pennsicdance: The Future of KWDS, part 2

White, John white at drexel.edu
Sat Jul 23 22:16:10 EDT 2011

>My name is Daniel, and I am a herald. [1] Every year there's Known
>World Heraldic Symposium.  I've been to most of them in the past 10
>years or so, and a number of people have done so.  Sometimes people
>can't go because of work or whatever, and sometimes they can.

I think that the issue is the difference between  many of the other "Known World"
events, and the dance version.  The fencing version is mostly fencing, with a bunch
of other random extra non-fencing stuff surrounding it (actually, the one we
put on recently was combined, I think, with the costuming version).  The heraldry
version sounds like a great party, and I know there are classes, but it may be
that the party part is more of a draw than the classes (I've never been to one -
I gave up trying to keep up with the SCA College about 25 years ago).  I'd guess
that the needlework one (there is one, right?) is classes, but mostly meeting folks
and networking and finding out about cool stuff, and partying while you stitch.

The dancing version is mainly about teaching dance.  I seriously doubt that it
would be possible to "run out" of things to teach - I could teach probably
between 150-200 dances if I had to, even if they'd be utterly forgotten within
a month (even if I did it 5 dances at a time ... after all, it didn't take all that 
long for my Bella Gioiosa to vanish from the collective memory in the middle
of the country).  But with that quantity of stuff to teach, and a different
version for every person to look at a manuscript, there's just a heck of a lot
of stuff to absorb across that one weekend - maybe too much to assimilate
in only a year.

Also, there are tons of opportunities to dance, even in large numbers all
together (wars, events dedicated specifically to a ball, etc) but not all that
many opportunities to learn dance in an all-dance-all-the-time environment.
Some people are trying to change that - set up academies and scholas and
the like - and a yearly KWDS actually stands to do more to damage those
efforts than KWDS itself, while not necessarily keeping KWDS's numbers

Well, what I'm really trying to say is that there isn't really a way to compare
other KW*S events and KWD*S.  I think we have to take dance (and music)
on its own merits, and look at the culture surrounding dance, the efforts
across the known world to promote and advance dance, and whether a
yearly KWD*S is helping that, or just letting more people who want to run
one be able to run one while they're still young(ish) ...

          \\Dafydd Cyhoeddwr

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