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Ceilidh Safety

kab 11 Sep 06 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,squeezeboxhp 11 Sep 06 - 07:46 AM
Bunnahabhain 11 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM
Ruston Hornsby 11 Sep 06 - 09:46 AM
*Laura* 11 Sep 06 - 09:51 AM
Mr Red 11 Sep 06 - 12:14 PM
Barry Finn 11 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM
Compton 11 Sep 06 - 01:45 PM
Adrianl 11 Sep 06 - 02:35 PM
lamarca 11 Sep 06 - 03:45 PM
julian morbihan 12 Sep 06 - 07:19 AM
Mr Red 12 Sep 06 - 07:54 AM
Paul Burke 12 Sep 06 - 07:58 AM
fiddler 12 Sep 06 - 08:10 AM
Bunnahabhain 12 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM
Mr Red 14 Sep 06 - 08:22 AM
Mo the caller 14 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM
Mr Red 14 Sep 06 - 12:43 PM
Mo the caller 14 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM
fiddler 15 Sep 06 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 15 Sep 06 - 06:24 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Sep 06 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,slynes 15 Sep 06 - 08:36 AM
steve_harris 15 Sep 06 - 06:52 PM
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Subject: Ceilidh Safety
From: kab
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 07:14 AM

Although not a dancer I have looked in at the dance tents at a couple of recent festivals.
I have noticed some very slippery floors,some ASBO type dancers and heard of a few accidents resuting from combinations of these and other phenomenae.
What in the opinion of experienced dancers can be done to alleviate dangerous situations and do dancing abilities need to be seperated bearing in mind the need to popularise dance to an extent without alienating the better/keener dancers who in large part are also the educators in this activity?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: GUEST,squeezeboxhp
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 07:46 AM

get a life and let people risk assess for themselves


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 09:03 AM

Well, you could remove all music, and alcohol, and it would be safe to dance then....

Or more sensibly, you try and make sure the floor is a reasonable size, and not too slippery. Here in Edinburgh, we use slipstop alot, its a rosin based powder which gives you more grip, although that is more common when we have a decent proportion of us in soft soled pumps/ghillies, which need all the grip you can get.

As regards to ASBO type dancers, just refuse to dance with them. Or, if yoy're feeling patient , you dance with them, and try and calm them down, or at least get them to listen to the music, and be more aware of the space around them, ie teach them. Even good dancers can have accidents

You only seperate dancers of differing abilities for the purposes of teaching, not for social dancing.

I'm demonstration convener for a Scottish country dance society, and so frequently end up running the dancing at ceilidhs with all levels of ability present, and so know more about this than I want to.....


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Ruston Hornsby
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 09:46 AM

Ideally each dancer should wear BS approved folk dancing safety shoes/high viz clothing and a hard hat, be individually risk asessed and be sepatated from the next dancer by a steel security fence. Alternatively we could follow squeezeboxhp's suggestion and try and keep activities like this free from the "lets treat everyone as being incapable of thinking for themselves" Health and Safety harbingers.

- Does ASBO in this instance mean "Anti-Social Body Odor" as I've seen quite a few people with that at ceilidhs?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: *Laura*
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 09:51 AM

A ceilidh would not be the same if you didn't have the session the next morning comparing bruises.....

xLx


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 12:14 PM

It is a fact of life - the number of Yoof at ceilidhs has reached crisis point. It is the place to be. That means inappropriate behavior is to be expected. Not condoned or accepted but personal risk assessment demands that we EXPECT bad behavior once the clues are presented.

As for liquid on the dance floor - at Bromyard one steqrding crew put chairs in the middle of the floor and stood by it. How booze gets in the middle of the floor is inappropriate behavior. Why can't they walk around the dance floor?

Another day I spotted a wet area just on the side, ripe for cracking bones on the edge of the raised floor. I rushed to the entrance, picked-up the bucket and mop, and asked if they could mop the floor. They looked at me dageers (man assuming it is woman's work). I had to say, "water, danger, stewards duties!" and she sort of sheepishly said "Show me". The point is stewards are always on duty (me) where there is danger and the duty steward doesn't know what has happened - but they must react. Thy don't always think and I have vowed to take an industrial roll of mop-up paper next year.

I am constantly kicking away/picking-up loose: paper, glow bangles, shards of Morris sticks, and other detritus from the dance area. Not because I am a really nice guy (modesty forbids) but because I may be one of the victims. As an energetic dancer I have more reason than most.

I intend to be dancing in my grave - tendons and bones must not prevent that.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Barry Finn
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 01:17 PM

"Does ASBO in this instance mean "Anti-Social Body Odor"????

"the number of Yoof at ceilidhs has reached crisis point" What's a Yoof???

Thanks
Barry


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Compton
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 01:45 PM

Any thought that the "man in charge"..the caller ought to be keeping control..or is that being silly?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Adrianl
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 02:35 PM

In a large crowded festival ceilidh tent with bright lights in to the eyes of the caller the caller can probably only see the first few sets.

Unruly dancers tend to get frozen out of sets.

At Towersey I saw the stewards stand around slippery patches (a particularly exciting activity for the steward) until drying material arrived.

But in the end you accept the risk or don't dance.

Adrian


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: lamarca
Date: 11 Sep 06 - 03:45 PM

I used to drive up to Baltimore (in my more energetic and foolish youth) for a regular session at a now-defunct pub called The Gandy Dancer. There was a miniscule space in the middle of the pub that they laughingly called the dance floor, but we'd always find room for a couple of country sets.

There was one regular attendee that my friends and I called "Jumping Jack Flash", who always came in lace-up work boots. He tended to flail his arms and legs around a lot. I learned that it was actually safer to be in the same set with him than in adjacent set - you were less likely to be kicked on the fly!

At the US festivals for which I've worked crew, one of the Dance Tent chores has always been to completely sweep down the temporary, outdoors dance floor in between each musical set. The Dance Tent is always supplied with two industrial sized push brooms, and festival volunteers are specifically assigned a shift to do the sweeping and whatever mop-up is needed. Also, every stage at our outdoor festival is issued a "Stage Box" daily - the box is a large plastic storage container filled with dry erase markers for posting the daily schedule or changes, duct tape, Sharpie markers, several large plastic garbage bags for the backstage area, 2 rolls of paper towels and a dozen cloth "shop towels" - cheap cloth towels that are purchased in bags of 50-100 at a local hardware store. When the stage closes down for the day, the stage manager brings back the stage box and the dirty towels to our crew center, and is issued a new set of supplies as needed the next day.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: julian morbihan
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:19 AM

"Although not a dancer..." - exactly - those that can do and those that can't, tell you it's too dangerous.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:54 AM

Disagree.

Anyone can see some of the danger, and certainly when that is "troublesome people".

I do adjust my enthusiasm and caution in accordance with the conditions, looking to where I want to be and where the hoons are heading is de riguer in a polka. Well, for sensible people. It does mean yer head revolves maddly and that is disorienting sometimes.

I find that on a dry dance floor the most dangerous things are the paper flyers, they are just as slippy as a bit of water especially when lubricated by dust. I move them, but use them to soak-up when I see wet. Lay and leave - it's a quick deal. Mops are hard to find, flyers are always there in profusion.

Maybe we should point-out. English Ceilidhs (or E-Ceilidh if you subscribe to the e-mail forum) is not gentile, it involes people who, because of their skill and experience, dance with more joire de vivre than is indicated by the length of that vivre. It is where the rockers, twister, pogoers etc go because they can no longer go to dances populated by yoof. As luck would have it yoof are visiting us right now and they will be the energetic cailidhnauts of 2020 and beyond. And I have to say the festivals I go to the vast majority of yoof have only one fault. Their youth. When did I hand the baton on for that?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:58 AM

English Ceilidh... not gentile

Oy vey! It is gentile. It's not genteel though.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: fiddler
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:10 AM

In the main not a sensible argument!

This syle of dancing is dangerous......

As a caller I've had serious injuries form the dance floor when I have been working including two who sadly came out of hospital in wooden overcoats. Most have been during walk throughs of dances

It is usually performed in party atmoshpheres for enjoyment not prancing about with care and or decorum!

Stewards should keep an eye on floor conditions but the dancer makes the decision to dance whare and with whom!

The organiser takes responsibility for the state of the venue fabric and must be seen to excersise due care for their customers.

I have a clause in my contract about ceilidh dancing being enerjetic and that the organisers are responsible for ensuring that those attending are fit for purpose! Not those words but that is the gist of it. I can't give everyone a medical and an HSE talk about slipping sliding and back problems after baskets now can I!

The crux of health and safety is care and consideration and having thought about it so the situations can be managed effectively.

BTW Bonecruncher does a good trade in repairs to damaged feet - usually free to Stewards at festivals but damm effective.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM

A good caller is by farthe most important saftey measure. Someone who can read the crowd well enough to give walkthoughs as needed, and picks the right dances for the level of crowding etc makes things far more fun. Safe is simply a nice side effect of that.

The lawyer proofing of notices about slippery floors etc is unavoidable. You can never stop numties hurting themselves if they're trying hard enough, but you can stop them bankrupting the festival by suing

We have go through that rigmarole for Scottish country dances, which are rather more controlled and sober than ceilidhs. With more space, and everyone in soft shoes, you can get away with so much more than at a ceilidh if you know what you're doing though.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:22 AM

It has to be said - the element of abandon IS part and parcel of the fun. Some of the things abandonned are caution. I replace it with vigilance.
The only injury so far is a torn calf muscle (the one holding the two other muscles together). & that came about at a more sedate ceilidh club but I was trying to add one more turn in a hornpipe.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 08:45 AM

The people who do longer find it fun to prance about as part of a rugby scrum have moved on from 'Ceilidh' to 'Social Dance' (though many enjoy both).
If festival organisers label the dances well dancers will separate themselves.
It is a joy to dance with expert dancers at a 'Dancers Dance' and do dances with ease that it would take all night to stumble through at our home clubs. But we also need experienced dancers to mix with beginners.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 12:43 PM

When my brain moves faster than my feet, or I can no longer get all three of the ground at the same time - then I will dance dancers dances. Till then its ceilidhs and barn dances (I am no snob) all the way. With occasional forays into French and Cajun.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM

Irish set dancing, contras, squares can be lively too (but yes, the brain has to keep up). I think we are older than you (qualify for pensioners tickets anyway).
As long as we can keep dancing we are happy. And judging by some members of our home club we've got 20 or more years yet.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: fiddler
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 03:49 AM

Dancing is for fun!

As long as you are still able to smile and relax and we are not spoiling it for someone else, and they are not spoiling it for us - what the h*ll!

Andy


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:24 AM

I once took a class on playing for dancing with Jim Johnstone. One of his tips: don't program the Dashing White Sergeant if your dancers are elderly. It doesn't have any moments for people to stand still and get their breath back, so its cardiovascular demands are unusually high.

A friend of mine once played for a ceilidh that was mostly elderly foreign tourists. One of them was very insistent about getting an encore dance at the end of the programme. So they did one, and the requester keeled over and died instantly of a heart attack while doing it.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:37 AM

I know a child who can fall over the pattern in a carpet.... I've seen her trip and fall on a perfectly flat and clear surface... God forbid she ever discovers ceilidhs!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: GUEST,slynes
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 08:36 AM

The alternative pronunciation for Ceildh is "collidey" isn't it???


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh Safety
From: steve_harris
Date: 15 Sep 06 - 06:52 PM

> How booze gets in the middle of the floor is inappropriate behavior. > Why can't they walk around the dance floor?

It really depends on the venue layout. If walking across the dance floor is loads easier than navigating a narrom muddy track around the edge, that's what people will do.

I recall at least one year at Bromyard when the layout was such that you HAD to walk on the dance floor to get to some of the seating.


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