AD - Guillaume's comments on Crown Guild discussion...

Russell Kinder russmax at
Tue Apr 20 12:24:20 PDT 1999


   Since I couldn't attend Crown, I am hoping that my comments on these
notes will adequately express my opinions to the group.

Kaitlyn McKenna wrote:
> Sorry for the delay.  It is not that I have trouble with my email, so
> much that my husband is telecommuting from home this week. He ties up
> the email line for long periods of time.

   I was expecting it would take you a couple of days. As far as I'm
concerned, this is very timely.

> Dance Guild Discussion: Crown Tourney
> In attendance:
[names snipped]
   The usual suspects, and a few new ones, besides. Huzzah!

> I. Discussion of Purpose statement
>   A. Propose deletions of "appropriate to the scope of the SCA" from
> purpose.
   The usual debate on OOP dances. It seems like the usual conclusion
was reached.

> RESULT: strike "appropriate..."  Purpose statement now reads: The
> primary purpose of the Guild is to promote the learning, teaching, and
> performance of Medieval, Renaissance, and SCA (original and commonly
> performed) dances.

   I'm in agreement with that.
>     B. RESULT: bullet point 4 in purpose statement now reads:
> producing and updating a Kingdom dance manual;

   What happened to producing a recording? I still think the guild
should endeavor to work with the kingdom's musicians to produce a
recording as a companion piece for the manual. I still intend to do so,
whether or not the guild specifies it or not. It doesn't say I can't,
and I've had that goal in mind for a several months now, anyway. I
suspect Avatar was the main objector, but whoever it was, perhaps the
wording of the charter could be changed to give
credit/authority/responsibility to the appropriate musicians, where it
is due. I think the wording should be such that cooperation between
A.G.E.D. and the Kingdom's musicians is fostered.

> II. Discussion of Proctor Section
>     C.Result: Strike first sentence of Proctor section:"The person in
> charge of the guild shall be call the Guild Proctor."

   I can see that the words "in charge" need to be replaced. That's a
poor word choice. I do think there needs to be something that says that
the Proctor is the one responsible for seeing that the Guild meets its
purpose and goals, though. Maybe this:

"The person responsible for overseeing the activities of the guild, and
ensuring that the purpose and goals of the guild are pursued shall be
called the Guild Proctor."

>     D. Discussion on proxy votes
>        1. proxy means that someone else can vote for you
>        2. voting in absentia by written correspondence is more the
> intended meaning of the line on proxies.
>        3. RESULT: everyone think about what wording we want to use and
> get back to it.

   I agree with point 2 above.

> III.  Discussion on the Rest ;)
>       A.RESULT: strike Garb requirement while teaching.

   I'm OK with that, but I did kind of like the garb requirement. 

>       B.RESULT: charter needs editing.  Take out the repeated steps in
> each section for next level..


>       C. Levels discussion
>          1. Requirements don't work.  how can we actuall define and
> judge advancement?  Previously tried in the College of Bards with
> abysmal results.

   This is different than the failed College of Bards for several reasons.
1st, the levels don't mean anything except as a sort of merit badge. 

2nd, the requirements are not subjective, and they are well defined, so
no judgement calls are necessary, and the Guild can't exclude you for
personal or political reasons. If you taught the dances, did the
performances, or did the reconstructions, then you get the level.

3rd, we're not saying what the College of Bards said: That you're not
allowed to call yourself a bard (dance teacher/master, in our case),
unless you meet *our* requirements.

4th, our goal is not to purify dance, but promote it, so no one will be
excluded because their teaching or performance doesn't meet our "standards".

5th, we are not seeking to put anyone down, but to promote dance. If
some dancers in the kingdom don't want to be a part of the Guild, but
they continue to promote dance in their areas, fine, they will have our
blessing (and assistance, if they want it).

6th, I hope that we do a better job than the College of Bards at
communicating to the whole kingdom what we are about, and, in general,
encouraging our art rather than discouraging it.

Finally, the levels seem to work very well in Meridies, fostering dance,
encouraging teachers, and making dance a "happening" thing there.

>          3. proctor needs to have expertise

   The Proctor should ideally be "magister" level, I think, but
requiring that is contrary to the populist sentiments running through
our discussions so far. For certain people to be happy with it, the
Proctor position is going to have to open to all membership levels. I
don't think that's a problem. Guild members aren't going pick an
inexperienced person to be in charge of the guild. 

>          4. performance requirements are missing in current
> incarnation of the charter

   Agreed. We also need to define what we mean by "performance" for this
discussion. To me, it means more than just being able to do a dance. It
means actual performance for an audience at an event or competition
without walkthroughs or calling. The dance needs to be documented,
rehearsed, and presented as a performance.

>          5.levels are not workable at present.  They could be added
> later.

   I strongly disagree. I think they are very workable.

>          6.We have less a heirarchy and more a set of concentric
> circle which would allow as many dancers in as satisfy that levels
> requirements. Levels are only bad if they become exclusive.

   Agreed. That is certainly the way I see the levels working.

>          7. We have kingdom awards to recognize teaching(service) and
> performance(arts) excellence.

   Agreed. The guild is in no way meant to replace that, or dictate to
the kingdom who is or isn't deserving of awards in the field of European dance.

>          8. One way to implement levels : the dancer does a sample of
> dances for the guild.  whole group decides.

    I really hate that. That sounds like we'd be falling into the trap
that the College of Bards fell into. It is enough that only one Guild
member of appropriate level and a local SCA officer witness the teaching
or performance. By requiring performance before the assembled guild, we
would become exclusive, and leave a door for personal or political
machinations. Let's make this easy, not hard. 

>          9.went round the circle for each person's opinion:
> levels for teachers is a good thing;
> levels are good because the create incentive;
> levels provide a direction to head;
> will help new people;
> levels as circles allow everybody in
> levels encourage a baseline to start from.

   I agree with all of that.

>         10. Proposal for 3 levels of teaching achievement and 3 levels
> for performance achievement. Research is incorporated into both.

   I want to keep things simpler. Rather than different levels for
teaching and performance, it should just be the same levels for both.
Perhaps performances could directly substitute for dances taught. Refer
to what I said above for what I mean by performance. I think most would
agree that I'm not letting anyone off the hook by not requiring them to
teach dances. 

   The person would still be required to do research/reconstruction for
the highest levels, whether they focus on teaching or performance.

   On the other hand, I can see some reasons for keeping the two
structures separate. The Proctor wants to know who can teach, as stated
in the guild's goals and the Proctor's duties. That could easily be
satisfied by the Proctor simply marking "P" or "T" next to each dance
turned in by the member. Thus the Proctor still knows who is teaching
what in the kingdom. 

   I think many will do a balance of teaching and performance. By
blending teaching and performance into one structure, no one is
penalized for pursuing both. Also, it is easier to keep track of one
level structure than two.

> Brainstorm session ensued as we waited for everybody to get back.  One
> possibility proposed was a system of identification of areas of
> expertise by self proposal as opposed to recognition.

   What does this mean? The only real reason for the guild to
"recognize" the achievements of teachers and performers is so that more
people will know what they can do. The system of levels in the current
charter is pretty much one of self-proposal anyway. You send in a letter
saying, "Look, I taught/performed/reconstructed/choreographed dances A,
B, C, etc., at event xxxxx. Guild member yyyyy witnessed it, as did my
Seneschal/MoA&S/dance guild leader zzzzz."

> 1. Purpose statement amended and approved
> 2.Proctor section amended and approved(still needs wording for proxy
> section)
> 3.We all have different connotations for "level system".  We need to
> thing about what we want and how to implement it.

   I think the biggest things missing from the Proctor bylaws are the
term of office of the Proctor and how the Guild would remove a Proctor,
if it became necessary.

> That's it.
> Let me know if you have questions.
> In service,
> kaitlyn

   Nice work, Mistress Kaitlyn. Thanks for taking notes and taking the
time to type it up and post it here.

--Guillaume de Troyes
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