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Competition for young callers?

GUEST,FloraG 22 Apr 13 - 03:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 13 - 04:49 AM
Mo the caller 22 Apr 13 - 05:05 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM
treewind 22 Apr 13 - 08:07 AM
Bert 22 Apr 13 - 09:50 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Apr 13 - 10:37 AM
Bert 22 Apr 13 - 10:55 AM
Steve Gardham 22 Apr 13 - 10:59 AM
Bert 22 Apr 13 - 11:02 AM
Mo the caller 23 Apr 13 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Florag 23 Apr 13 - 10:43 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Apr 13 - 10:54 AM
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Subject: Competition for youngcallers?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 03:43 AM

Much to my surprise my 8 year old great niece asked to call a dance at a barn dance on Saturday and did very well ( for an 8 year old). It set me wondering how young callers become experienced callers. Where do they make their mistakes and get a chance to improve?

Is there a case for one of the larger festivals to do a workshop/ competition series for young callers? ( Under 25 perhaps). There tend to be competitions for young players but not callers. Would enough adult dancers be willing to be guinea pigs for such an occasion? Would there be tutors willing to give them a chance and a young caller evening?

Has anyone any other suggestions for increasing the number of young callers and decreasing the average age of existing callers?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 04:49 AM

We, The Beech Band, went to an event in Chester called The "Have a go Ceilidh". Anyone could play, anyone could dance and anyone could call.

We repeated the event in Manchester. We are a flexible band anyway with between 15 and 30 musicians turning up to play accoustically and around 100 over 4 years. We have a regular caller who did most of the night but 3 other callers with much less experience called a couple of dances each and much fun was had.

The Hall had no license so we encouraged people to bring food to share and drinks.

I strongly recommend this style of event - 25 may for the next one


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:05 AM

Finding the guinea pig dancers was the problem in Chester, the first time we met, and the time the gang from the Beech came we were over 2 dozen (musicians and dancers/callers) and there was a really good atmosphere (if slightly crowded).
We couldn't keep this up on a regular basis. So stopped after a couple of damp squibs with less than 12 present. Manchester has a bigger catchment perhaps but you only do it now and then.

I'm not sure about festivals, yes I'm sure we would be prepared to come and dance.....but it would depend what it clashed with. In some festivals there is so much to tempt ticket holders.

The Sheffield Ceilidh Soc have a superb caller, she called at the Chester November ceilidh, run by the Festival committee.


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM

Mo's event in Chester was a real eye opener for us. Not sure why it didn't work out in Chester - it was great fun.

Give it ago. I wouldn'y touch cometitions witha barge poll - one winner lots of 'loosers'?


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: treewind
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 08:07 AM

Around here The Round in Cambridge gives lots of opportunities for young callers to practice their skills at their weekly meetings.

I'd guess that other dance clubs around the country give a similar opportunity in theory, but I suspect that they don't have so many younger members; The Round has a huge range of ages but definitely includes students.

Otherwise - it's a matter of jumping in and having a go, I suppose.

I was once playing in a ceilidh where the caller started losing her voice. We decided everyone in the band should have a go at calling one dance, regardless of (lack of) experience. I had to call and play melodeon at the same time. Fortunately nobody had previously told me that was impossible or difficult, so I just did it. I would certainly have have done better with some practice, but we got through it.


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 09:50 AM

When I was starting out I found the Square Dance Callers Club of Great Britain was a great place.


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:37 AM

Have run workshops at Whitby FF for young/beginner callers and also a one day course in Sheffield. I doubt if I'm the only one. I hope not.

My own introduction to calling came from being a dancer in a team, then a musician in the band and then the necessity to form my own band when the old band went its own way. But this happened over quite a long period. Finally retired now.

The main drawback to being a caller or musician is I suppose the same for professional performers, being booked up for months in advance and having to miss out on family things.


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:55 AM

Steve, I found the main drawback was not being able to dance.


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 10:59 AM

Hi, Bert,

Why would that be a drawback?


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Subject: RE: Competition for youngcallers?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 11:02 AM

Well I like dancing. That's why I started Square Dancing. Of course while you are calling, you are not (usually) dancing at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Competition for young callers?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 08:27 AM

Flora mentioned an 8 yr old, Les suggested doing something for under 25s.
I suspect they don't belong lumped together.

8 year olds might be happy to have something organised for them.

Some festivals are letting the 'youth' organise their own events. E.g. Chesterr festival
have put different young booked artist in charge of the Youth Room on each day of the May late bank Holiday weekend. Including Greg & Ciaran (the one who got a day off school to win the BBC young folk award)

Some University folk clubs run ceilidhs, and maybe members get a chance to learn.

Otherwise it's a case of doing what the rest of us had to do, persuading someone who runs a club that we attend to let us call one dance, and build up from there.


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Subject: RE: Competition for young callers?
From: GUEST,Florag
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 10:43 AM

It just stuck me that there is now more to encourage young players - competitions; degrees etc and nothing really for the callers.
Could each festival have a ' 2 dances each ' night - or the first 1/2 hour for new callers?
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Competition for young callers?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 10:54 AM

Sorry, Bert,
I misinterpreted your comment to mean you couldn't actually dance at all. Yes, I agree, it could be very frustrating especially when my favourite dances were being called, Cumberland Square, Drops of Brandy, Waves of Torry, but at least I got to demonstrate the couple dances.


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