The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163266   Message #3893894
Posted By: Mr Red
14-Dec-17 - 03:40 AM
Thread Name: the teaching of dancing
Subject: RE: the teaching of dancing
One thing that is not obvious is the effect of the person that grabs or pushes a learner. Best to ask for people who know to desist. Pointing is the best way.

The act of more than a gentle contact is a danger signal. We are hard-wired to react to danger with a complete wipe of our short-term memory. So all our logic and reasoning in trying to make sense of the last 7 seconds and what we put in there as relevant has no data, and we fill it with attention to the moment. Loud bangs do the same.

If it happens in a walk through then we aren't registering what the caller says. Ditto talking at this time.

A lot of callers explain the move during the walk through but precis it with a simple phrase in the dance. eg there are dances where 2 couples star and the outer two do a grand chain around. The short form usually becomes maypole.

Consistency of jargon is essential. When learning we need the same cues. When I started Irish Set it was confusing but imagine going to the Irish Tent at a French Festival and having to translate from the French word to the Irish to the ECeilidh move! It was a disaster. The caller was Irish so it was his second language (or maybe third!).

I noticed a couple of things in the English Tent: They were so enthusiastic, dare I say mad, even parents and children, and they dance sober. And they knew the dances pretty well, so much so their local flavours had some interesting variations eg Snowball (?) the bottom couples did the 1, 2 3, etc couple moves in reverse as the tops did their moves. Back to entusiasm they wanted to move all the time.
For learners it is actually better to have some standing around time to observe and digest.

I just spotted Orcadian Strip the Willow. In ECeilidh we start the strip from about every 5/6 couples because with longways sets there would otherwise be a lot of standing around at the start. Scottish calling wouldn't call for that. But either way it is a simple enough dance once people have the idea of stripping. And it can get frantic if the music speeds up. Scottish does call for that! Young people love it. And Stripping is unphrased so you can't loose your place. If you want to teach Stripping, OStW is ideal.