AD - Re: Introduction

Russell Kinder russmax at cowboy.net
Thu Apr 1 14:45:28 PST 1999


Unto Lady Cecily Alys de Percy,

   Let me take the presumption of speaking for all in welcoming you to
the Ansteorra dance list.

   You are experiencing one of the most common and daunting difficulties
in getting dance started in your local group.
 
> I am trying to get the shire interested in dance with very little luck.
> Other gentles in neighboring shires and baronies do quite a bit of
> dancing, so I do get to do some - when I am not playing the music for the
> dance. Do you have this kind of problem in your area - lack of interest
> in dance? If so, what do you do to increase interest?

   There are primarily two things you need to get dance going in your
group. Zeal and persistence. If you can schedule a regular time each
month (maybe 2x a month or even once a week), you will eventually begin
to have participation. For the first several months, attendance will be
sparse to non-existent. Then it will slowly increase, until a critical
mass is reached, and it is perceived as the "thing" to do. I realize
that it is sometimes difficult to find a regular place to dance.

   The other thing to do is recruit. This is where the zeal comes in.
Sure, always announce your practices at populace meetings, and on other
occasions. People need to be reminded again and again that there are
dance meetings. 

   The way that I've found that works best is to ask people one at a
time, personally and directly. Say things like, "I think you are a
wonderful and graceful Lord/Lady. I would love it if you would come to
dance practice. There are some great dances that I would love to do, and
I think you would be good at them."

   People are almost always flattered if they are personally invited.
Don't get discouraged if people turn you down, just keep it up. What you
are going through has been experienced by almost everyone who has
started dance in their groups. Dance also waxes and wanes, requiring
additional efforts during the lean times.


> I am primarily interested in recreating the branles, pavanes, galliards, etc.
> that are definitely period. English country dancing is fun, but not exactly
> period. My long term goal is to recreate Spanish court dances, and Italian
> balli. The latter is very difficult, I know. But, they are alot of fun, too.

   You are wonderful, and I think I love you (as a dancer, of course).
We love Italian dance and galliards. I wish I had some sources for
Spanish court dance. That would be wonderful. If you become overly
discouraged in Twae Linnes, you are always welcome to move to
Mooneschadowe (Stillwater, OK).  I'm sure you would find the summer heat
oppressive, though. We do.

   Let me close with words of encouragement. I think you must be doing a
wonderful job with dance, if you were recognized with an AoA for your
efforts. Keep it up. Continue with fervor and patience, and you will be rewarded.

Lord Guillaume de Troyes,
Mooneschadowe dancer
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