[Anst-dancers] Choosing a time to start running/teaching dance

Russell Kinder russmax at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jul 15 13:39:19 PDT 2003

Okay, I picked through the e-mails and found a discussion going on. 
Here are some of my thoughts.

In areas where dance happens, there is certainly not a shortage of 
dance teachers. There are at least 5 people who are capable of running 
dance in the Houston Area, 5 people in the DFW area (6 when Helene 
returns), 4 or 5 in the OKC/Norman area. In Austin, there are also 4 or 
5 or 6 people as well.

The people who have a real challenge are currently in Stillwater, San 
Antonio, College Station, and all the other places that would like to 
have dance, or where there is only one teacher --- but this will all be 
in a seperate post.

I see a few instances in which people start leading dance naturally:

a) they move to a new group that has no dance
b) they know more about dance than the current dance teacher
c) a dance teacher steps aside and lets a student start running the 
local practice

We've encouraged (and I was encouraged to teach - although I will admit 
I don't actually like teaching) teachers by first getting them involved 
with some kind of performance practice, second by encouraging them to 
do a reconstruction, or at least read a few dance resources, and then 
teach a class at a collegium. At that point, I think it's safe to say 
they are prepared for running balls, running dance practice, etc.

Another method is to have one of your great dancers teach basics, or 
choreographies, while you get more involved personally with individual 
students. At the moment, these are duties Guillaume and I see-saw on 
during practice. We take turns, depending on how much of a voice we 

I think that any event is a good time for people to start running 
balls. I think if you are helping a new dance teacher, it best works if 
you know them fairly well, and have danced with them before. It makes 
that person feel more comfortable in a high-stress situation.

Also, events with a more dance-friendly attitude are much better for 
these folks.

For a brand new teacher, I don't think the rather everything-but-dance 
atmosphere of Ansteorra is the best place to break them in. Even the 
best of us sometimes fail to get dance going at events (think of Miguel 
and Connell's coronation - wasn't it just 4 people?, or recently Namron 
Protectorate - we had about 6-8) It would have to be somebody that was 
very ready, extremely enthusiastic, and prepared for a let down.

Personally, I'd much rather run a ball where dance is guaranteed to 
happen, you have musicians, and experienced dancers (Known World Dance, 
Kingdom Dance, Gulf Wars, Pennsic). Who cares about more experienced 
dance leaders observing you? If they want things done differently, they 
should volunteer to run dance themselves. It's not like there is a 
shortage of capable folks at these events.

I have more I could say, but I think that's enough for one post.


On Monday, July 14, 2003, at 05:31  PM, Alicia Whitecotton wrote:
>  Also, and not to sound discouraging, maybe Coronation isn't the best 
> time to try out someone inexperienced at running dance.  Especially 
> because if it didn't come off, it would be much more likely to 
> undermine the confidence of the new person, but it would okay to 
> someone who has been doing this a long time (and is used to having 
> problems getting things going i.e. Guillame and Isabeau).  So my 
> suggestion is that maybe at another smaller, local event we should 
> encourage the breaking in of new dance teachers, but not at big > 
> events.

On Monday, July 14, 2003, at 10:14  PM, Nadine Latief wrote:
> I definitely think it's better to start off running balls at smaller 
> local events. This Pennsic will be the first time that I'm running one 
> of the evening dances, and it's quite intimidating. What with the 
> number of people dancing, the size of the dance barn, running the 
> musicians, pleasing both the Italian lovers and the ECD crowd, and all 
> this with dance laurels watching you. Eeek. I was originally going to 
> co-run it with Darius, but issues with scheduling and stuff came up, 
> so I asked Philip to mentor me instead. Otherwise I would've asked 
> Lyev.

On Tuesday, July 15, 2003, at 01:01  AM, Craig Shupee' wrote:
> Which is it? 'It' would have been cool if a new dance leader from 
> Stargate had emerged.  This was a perfect opportunity for someone new 
> to be able to step in and teach some.  Or, it would have been cool if 
> Guillaume and Isabeau (or someone else) had volunteered to mentor a 
> new person since the usual Stargate dance leaders were working.

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