AD - Guild levels...

Russell Kinder russmax at
Thu Apr 1 09:59:00 PST 1999

To the list,
   Some replies to Pug's good suggestions are given below.

Pug Bainter wrote:
> Russell (russmax at said something that sounded like:
> >    One person of Magister level would be chosen by the other members of
> > the guild to be the Proctor. This person is responsible for keeping
> > track of who are the members, and what level do they hold.
> I would recommend that this become an honest to god secretarial
> position. There is no need for a Magister level person to have to do
> this trivial stuff. It may be that there is not a need currently, but
> the idea of a guild is to ensure growth of the numbers within the guild
> and not just to promote the existing members of the guild.
> On the other hand, the Proctor would be responsible for organzing a large
> ball at least once year, notifying people when they have moved up,
> guiding them in the right direction when they don't know what to do,
> promoting dance and the guild (not the individuals), etc.

   Let me make sure I'm clear on what you are saying. It sounds like you
are proposing two positions. One is a clerical post to keep track of
names and ranks. The other is a leadership position to promote dance
within the kingdom, organize Kingdom Dance and Music each year, and help
guild members to promote dance at the local level. The clerical position
can be of any level within the guild, but the leadership position should
be of Magister rank. Is that it?

   Sounds reasonable enough. I'm not sure how much of a burden it would
be to maintain the membership roster.

   I'm not sure which of these would be called Proctor. Perhaps the
secretarial position would be Roster Keeper, and the leadership position
would be Proctor. The secretarial position could be held by the same
person indefinitely, but the leadership position ought to rotate around
after each Kingdom Dance, I think.

> Btw, for the long term I wouldn't limit the guild to just Court
> Dancers. There is no reason there can not be a larger guild that has
> people in charge of promoting the different styles of dance. (This is
> probably not a very popular idea.)

   I think the consensus is that Middle Eastern dance is fine, but
hardly any of the court dance-masters know much about it. It has so
little in common with court dance, that it doesn't make sense to us to
make it part of the same guild.

   On the other hand, when a Kingdom Dance & Music event is held, Middle
Eastern dance should be represented. Ideally, they would have a parallel
guild, and the two guilds would work together, along with the musicians,
to hold the event. It is beyond our grasp, I think, to organize that
guild for them. If they wanted to be a branch of our guild, that would
be OK, too, but I think the impetus for that would have to come from the
M.E. dancers.

> I like the additional requirements.
> I have at least one more to add. That they are able to teach some
> percentage of those dances without manuals. With a good dance manual,
> someone who knows the terms and forms can teach 20 dances quite easily.

   That's true. The assumption is certainly that you would know most of
the dances from memory. For some of the more complicated dances, or
seldom danced ones, I feel there is no shame is checking the book to
make sure one's memory is not in error. Also, I hate to get too
legalistic. Even if one teaches a dance from a book, by the end of
teaching it, the teacher knows the dance.

   Unless one has a learning disability that prevents memorizing, one
would almost certainly know the vast majority of the 10 or 20 dances by
heart, by the time one had met all the other requirements for Journeyman
or Magister levels. In that case, do we want to penalize a person with a
learning disability?

   So at first glance, I agree with Pug, but I think the problem takes
care of itself. Maybe a dancer could "cheat" his way to Inceptor (2nd)
level, by teaching 5 dances out of a book. On the other hand, that's
five dances he didn't know before.
At the Journeyman and Magister levels, the additional requirements
pretty well ensure that one has been dancing for awhile before attaining
those levels. The Journeyman must have been in charge of dancing at 3
events. That means organizing the ball, working with the musicians,
doing the walkthroughs and calling, and maybe running pre-ball classes.
The Magister adds 3 more events and has to have some familiarity with
original sources, as evidenced by reconstructions.

> While some people may not like the multi-tier structure, it is very
> period. Not to mention a good way of measuring progess within the Art.
> People are not forced to be classified if they do not wish to be. (I
> will not.)

   Yes. Let me emphasize that all levels of membership should have the
same vote and the same right to have a say in the guild's activities.
The Meridies guild charter limits the vote on Guild Proctor to
Journeyman and Magister levels, but I disagree with that. Anyone with
enough interest to be called Guild Member should have a say.

> As well, I don't know if the additional requirements for the Journeyman
> to be "qualified to start dance in a group" will be good enough, but
> that is because of my opinions of proper ways to start a guild. (I'm
> planning on teaching a quick class on guilds at King's College.) This
> is not to say that I disagree with the additional requirements, but the
> assumption that this would help them be qualified is misplaced in my
> opinion.

   That's a good point. This isn't explicitly written in the charter,
but the implication of a title like Journeyman, is that one is qualified
to go out and do it on his own. At Magister level, one should be more
than qualified. By "qualified", I mean that the person knows enough
about dance to start teaching on their own. 

   They may not know enough about the other aspects of starting and
running a guild, however. One must generate and sustain interest in the
guild, recruit, plan activities, work with the local A&S minister, etc.
One must deal with beginning and advanced dancers at the same time. One
must guard against be cliquish or exclusive. Etc, etc.

   I'm very interested in what you have to say about guilds, in general.
I will certainly be at King's College (heh heh.)

In service,
Lord Guillaume de Troyes
Dancer and Mooneschadowe Seneschal
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