[SCA-Dance] Dancing at non-dance events

Sonya patches023 at verizon.net
Tue Jan 21 14:43:13 EST 2014

This bounced. Sorry.



From: patches023 at verizon.net [mailto:patches023 at verizon.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:15 AM
To: jducoeur at gmail.com; patches023 at verizon.net
Cc: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
Subject: Re: Re: [SCA-Dance] Dancing at non-dance events


About recruiting, I also do a dance at Balticon a medium science fiction con
in Baltimore. We do get some folks from it but not a lot. There are a couple
of other science fiction/animae cons in the DC area that maybe I could check


Thanks for the validation about dancing after feast.  It seems like the
consensus is that dancing after feast is not a recipe for success.  Can we
turn the discussion to how to get the event stewards on board with doing the
dancing earlier?  Usually dance is competing with other activities for
space, how do people get the event stewards to give up some large space for
dancing?  Or maybe my expectations need to be lowered.  When people have
done dancing earlier in the day, has it been a big ball?  


I like the solution of interspersing dancing and fighting (or whatever the
other main activity is).  


Thanks again for the great suggestions and brain storming.



On 01/21/14, Justin du coeur<jducoeur at gmail.com> wrote:


On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 5:34 PM, Sonya <patches023@
<mailto:patches023 at verizon.net> verizon.net> wrote:

However, when I have attended an event that is not dance
focused, such as the ones listed above, the dancing is usually scheduled for
right after the feast and it only happens 20 percent of the time.  What
usually happens is that court runs long or the feast runs long or both run
long and then everyone wants to pack up and go home or people need to help
clean up in the kitchen (which IS a very worthwhile thing to do) and dancing
is dropped.


Yep, very common pattern.  Around here (Carolingia, East), Gundormr and I
have evolved a fairly hard-and-fast rule that we do not *allow* dancing to
be scheduled if we believe it's going to fail.


Frankly, I think there's a nasty downward spiral that develops quite easily:
dancing gets scheduled late, so a lot of people leave before it, so you wind
up with relatively few dancers, so it comes across as kind of sad and
pathetic, so even fewer people stay for it next time.  So to combat that,
our rule has become that we will only run dancing if we think it stands a
good chance of being *fun*, to create the reverse spiral instead -- we have
a good time, folks *see* that the dancing is fun, so more are inclined to
join in next time.  It's not a panacea, but it helps.


In general, this has led to us largely abandoning the old tradition of
dancing after feasts: as others have observed, we've collectively gotten
older, and folks are on average less interested in starting to dance at
8-8:30pm.  (And, sadly, fewer are staying for feast nowadays.)  So we've
tended to instead schedule the dancing in the afternoon lately, at events
where that makes sense.  We tend not to try when the event has a core
"showcase" that everyone is paying attention to at that time, but at a
typical everything-to-everybody event it often works well to stick an hour
or two of dancing in the main hall in the afternoon.


I'll also agree with Darius that running dancing at cons can be surprisingly
successful.  Arisia is the big convention in these parts (3500 people or
so), and I ran the ball there this past weekend.  I'd say we had about 75
people dancing: not exactly the Pennsic Ball, but plenty enough to make for
a really fun, full dance floor, and a pretty good turnout for 3pm on a
Sunday.  That's becoming one of our more significant recruiting
opportunities each year...

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