[SCA-Dance] KWDS - Who decides where it goes?
david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Sun Jul 23 01:49:18 EDT 2017
Hi Dancers and Musicians, Darius here. I heard the question recently of
someone wondering about the bid process for the Known World Dance and Music
Symposium, and figured I'd offer my completely Unofficial Answer. :)
Disclaimer: Of course KWDS is like any other event, in that it needs to
submit a proper Event Bid that starts at your local group, and goes all the
way up through Kingdom and on to the Society MoAS (Minister of Arts and
Science). Like any other event, you do need to get these approvals.
Typically approvals are confirmed around 1 year in advance (hopefully) or
more if possible, and we recommend starting the process 2 years before you
plan to run the event. (Australia was working on it 4 years ahead)
What follows though is the *Unofficial Pre-Bid Process* that seems to have
developed, which is *NOT a rule *by any stretch (Anyone can still put in
their own bid), but just a way our friendly Dance Community has decided to
play nicely together to make our lives easier and more efficient.
NOTE: And if you're interested, Anyone can ask us past people involved in
KWDSes for help and information, such as past budgets. Please don't feel
you are ever alone in this large undertaking. We're here to help!
*Unofficial Pre-Bid Process*
As stated, even just putting together a Bid for KWDS can be a substantial
undertaking. To make everyone's lives easier, so far we've only ever had 1
KWDS bid for any particular year.
But how does this get decided? Ultimately, it is up to *the groups who are
interested in hosting it to decide amongst themselves*. But here are my
recommendations on where to begin.
1. Start asking your local dancers, and your local group, if this might be
something they are interested in running.
2. Contact a few past event stewards / autocrats, or others involved in a
KWDS, to get info and answer questions.
***3. Through these, and just chatting with other dancers, *start the
Rumour that you're potentially Interested*. See what people generally
think. Get people talking about the possibility, get people excited. You
can still easily back out at this point. You don't need a site yet, just
an idea that you think you could possibly put one of these together and
find a reasonable site and some good support people (*you'll need a decent
4. From there, you'll want to *touch base with other interested parties*.
This can happen at KWDS or before, or there is often a *meeting at Pennsic*,
as there will be again this year. If you can't make it, *send a
representative*, or just get in touch with people on the phone or email.
5. All interested parties chat about it and see who seems most ready. You
can still be all pursuing sites and such if need be. But basically from
here, it is up to You! *There is no grand council of dancers deciding
this, we can only advise*. We certainly like to see it move around
geographically, though there are no absolutes. It is really about getting
interested groups who would like to host, and giving people a chance.
*How do you "decide"?*
Those who are interested just look and think about who has good support and
a strong bid, and what location might be better. *There are no official
rules, it really is up to you*.
In 2001 - Del just starts getting people excited about KWDS in Australia in
2005. No one argued that I know of. :)
In 2005 - Trahaearn was interested in running 2007 in Seattle. Our crew in
Ealdormere were interested in running 2007 as well. Trahaearn and I had a
Galliard Competition to decide who would run 2007, and somewhat by default,
who would run 2009. I lost. (though I'd like to say that really, I looked
at their support and felt that they had a strong group of people ready to
go. Whereas for myself, I wasn't quite ready for the project at that
moment, though we did have people keen about it. So I kind of spoke for
Ealdormere in this case.)
In 2009 - 3 groups were all excited to run the next KWDS in 2011. Indiana,
Ohio, and New York all negotiated, and decided to run 3 consecutive years,
2011, 2012, and 2013, breaking with the previous 2 year pattern, because no
one really expects people to plan their lives 6 years in advance! They
knew there was some risk of saturation, since we can't all travel every
year, but they pulled it off!
In Aug 2015 - a few groups were looking at the 2017 date, and gathering
info. One was interested, but not ready yet. Another was moving forward,
but just couldn't find a feasible site. Meanwhile Patches and crew were
working away as well, and had a feasible location and host group, so they
went with it. Nothing was quite finalized until 2016, but it still went
forward and they did an amazing job!
And that is about it for the Pre-Bid Process. Start the *Rumour* that you
are interested, get people *Excited*, and *Discuss* with other groups
who've expressed an interest to see who feels most ready.
This is not a requirement, but certainly saves us all time and effort of
having to compete for bids. :)
Other than that, if you are thinking about running a KWDS, here are just a
few helpful Insights I've had about this event, and how it is different
from other dance events like Pennsic or Terpsichore:
1. *It is about the People*. What makes KWDS AWESOME, is getting as many
AWESOME people there as possible. This brings so much cool content,
collaboration, and amazing dancing. (Pennsic and Terp are about the people
as well, but KWDS draws even more in that you don't get elsewhere)
2. Think of it like a *Convention or Professional Conference*, much more
than a regular Event. The Budget is higher (think easily $5000 or more),
and that doesn't include food or lodging, but what you're providing is just
the Best Experience and Highest Quality Content, and if you can do it,
Special Guest Teachers we wouldn't normally see at SCA events. It can be
difficult to convince local groups of the nature of this type of event, but
it works, and people don't mind spending $50 or so just for site fee, given
that many will be Flying to get there. We know what we are getting, and
you can definitely expect to get 100 - 200 people or more attending.
(numbers vary with location and variables, but estimates can be improved
with more info).
3. What sort of *classes *can it have? *Basically, ANYTHING*! The skill
level is so high, that you can definitely have a selection of classes that
take a Deep Dive into topics. Click through www.kwds.org to see some past
years. Of course it will depend partly on what people offer, but also
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Specific People for Specific Classes / Topics!
People have expertise, you can ask them what they are doing, or ask them
for something in that area. You can also ask for REPEATS of past year's
classes! There is no harm in that.
But yes, I'd say, Anything Goes for classes! You of course want some
balance. The scheduling optimization is crazy challenging. But as long as
each hour has a little something for everyone, then you could certainly
decide to have a slot where all people do is discuss the sources, or read
Italian, or create new dances on the spot, or bring theatrics or
improvisation into your dances, or work on upper body movements and
accents, or dance every possible version of a dance from every source, or
look at period Fencing movements and how they relate, or looking at Society
around dance at the time (like we had one on Religion trying to suppress
Dance), or how to hold your sword while dancing, or dance challenges like
name that tune or keep dancing till you drop, etc, etc, etc! This event
more than any other can do these kinds of things, without fear of
overwhelming newer dancers, and with near guarantee to have people
attending the classes!
4. How do you get all the *Awesome People*?
Get people Excited! Advertise Early and Often. Tell people about some of
the highlights you have planned, like guest teachers. Tell people about
the other fun dance laurels who are coming.
And bug your own Royalty, and announce it at all your Kingdom events! This
is a *once in a lifetime experience* unlike any other, to be immersed in an
aspect of *The Dream* that few of us get regular exposure to. A Grand
Ball, with so many Skilled Musicians and Dancers. A chance to give your
local dancing a boost of enthusiasm and knowledge. Even those who don't
dance should want to don their finery just to experience the majesty of it,
even just for the Saturday Evening Ball. (oh, and I recommend a cheaper
Saturday-only rate to draw in more locals)
After so many KWDSes, I've realized that all Known World level events are
amazing, so even if it isn't my area of expertise, when they come to my
kingdom I now try to attend / assist, just to see all the coolest things
the SCA has to offer.
That's it for this message. I hope people found it helpful / interesting.
I just LOVE this event, and really want to see more people excited to run
it, and for it to run as smoothly as possible.
Yay Dancing and Music!
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