[Anst-dancers] Resurrecting dance in Ansteorra

Russell Kinder russmax at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jun 12 13:11:12 PDT 2003


Now that my husband has put his 200 cents in, I'd like to add to what
he has to say:

First, Guillaume and I have been enjoying a nice long break. I think we
mutually decided that after KWDMS, there wasn't a point to that
anymore.  We weren't active players, but KWDMS ate up my life for a
little over a month.  So, now we're going to be active again.

Part of our plan, I know, is to get to know our local group.  We are
going to start going to fighter practices and other things, so we
ourselves will no longer just be part of the dance community.  As soon
as Guillaume is better, he'll start fighting again.  One of us may even
become involved in light fighting.  (I'll leave it up to those of you
who know us better to speculate more on that one.)  We think that
attendence will grow the more people know us.  If we are visible, and
liked, then people will want to be around us.  Yes, I am talking about
popularity.  If we are unable to attract people who are *important*,
then we shall do our best to become important to the local community
ourselves.

I believe there is a magical number of dancers at balls.  If you can
get 20, 20 more will show up, and then you have 40.  When 40 people are
dancing, it seems like the thing to do, and even more people will join
in.

On Thursday, June 12, 2003, at 08:20  AM, Debbie Spangler wrote:

> In essence, we have only partially re-created when we have had events
> with
> competitions, fighting, courts and feasts--but no dancing. We have
> bards and
> musicians perform during the feasts (and sometimes musicians play
> quietly
> during court) but dancing is lacking. When did the dancing take place
> in
> Medieval/Renaissance times? Where can we fit it in our events? Perhaps
> we
> need to present dance during an event to show Ansteorra how it could
> work
> into MOST all events. Is it possible to start with Coronation?

That is our feeling exactly.  The challenge is to help non-dancers see
our vision of re-creation.  No dancing means part of the picture is
missing.  We have performed dance during feast at a few events I can
remember, including Namron Protectorate and Candlemas.

> As far as dances that interest the populace: Half Hannikin, Gathering
> Peascods, Goddesses, and Whirligig usually always draw a crowd on the
> dance
> floor. With the exception of Whirligig all are easy to pick up
> quickly. Some
> of the bransles attract a crowd. I personally have found that Ballo del
> Fiore is not the better dance.  Ones like Rostiboli, Amoroso and
> Villanella
> are (and of course, Petit Vriens).

Why does everyone hate court dancing?  I love the dances from the Inns
of Court - and you pretty much can't beat those for being stately,
EASY, and with plenty of room for flirting!  AND they make pretty
figures on the dance floor.  Why can't these be the big, popular thing
instead of Hole in the Wall?  I'm kind of tired of hearing about
"boring" pavans.  :)  The reason we suggest Ballo del Fiore is because
Guillaume and I would love to have at least TWO staple dances from each
repetoire, that anyone can jump in and do.  One reason 15th century
dances are easy to sell is because most of them have a
leading/following structure, so you can grab a new dancer, and they'll
jump right in.

> Maybe we need to take practice to fighter practices. Another item
> that's big
> with my dance guild: Every other month I hold a Caroso-like ball--and I
> always get a big attendance that day! It's Caroso-like because we
> don't have
> that many lords dancing to separate the two. I really enjoyed the
> Caroso
> ball at Knowne World.

That would be where the social dancing fits in.  If you give people a
social hour as well as an opportunity to dance........

On Thursday, June 12, 2003, at 08:54  AM, Bordelon, Wendel wrote:

> Wonderful idea but the commitment needs to be taken just a
> bit further. Nothing happens at an SCA without someone making
> it happen. There is no fighting, no feast, no A&S competition
> without someone deciding it needs to happen and organizing it.
>
> If you want dancing to become an automatic part of an event
> (like the A&S competition) then it must be part of just
> about every event, often enough and long enough that people
> come to expect there to be dancing at events.
>
> If you want it on the schedule, and wish for a defined time
> (and a place) to dance then get involved with the event
> planning from the START. Make it easy for the event Steward
> to have dance at the event by volunteering to do the work
> ask only for a time and place. Your enthusiasm and commitment
> is what will win people over.

That sometimes isn't enough. When we lived up north, we had dancing ON
THE SCHEDULE at just about every event. However, we would get pushed
back when the tourney ran late, then feast ran late, then court ran
late..... Dancing would then start at 11pm, with our faithful few ready
to fall over after a long day.  We still danced, but often it was 6 of
us in a corner until 2 or 3 am.  Not the best time for being seen.
Sometimes, it isn't for lack of planning, coordination, or enthusiasm
that dance doesn't happen.  It is because people aren't interested.
That can't happen without a change in an attitude towards dancing, in
general.

On Thursday, June 12, 2003, at 09:42  AM, Nadine Latief wrote:

> Regional dance practices is good, because I get to do more dances that
> I
> like and they can be inspiring. Look at what KWD has done for our own
> Kingdom dance interests. As for the problem of dancers being a sub
> mainstream, I can point you to Pennsic, where people feel the same way.
> It's society-wide. I'm not sure what the solution is, besides making
> sure
> the people in control are dancers, socializing and politizing more? Or
> come
> to events where they are dance and support it. So we have more then 3
> people teaching at King's College, more then 6 people showing up at
> events
> with dance.

For us, personally, I think we just don't want our time eaten away by
regional dance events.  We may try and go to that KW costuming/light
fighting thing and dance there.  Not just to dance, but to take some
classes, as well.  If we are missing out on Kingdom events, and not
making dance happen there, then it won't happen.  I love big dances.  I
love big dance collegiums.  Right now, we would love to work on getting
a good tradition set up for Kingdom Dance and Music.  After that, I
think we'd be more amenable to the idea of a regional dance practice.

We are very sorry we won't be making it to King's College.  I honestly
think we would have if it weren't for unexpected events in our personal
lives.  Also, it would have helped if it were 2 weeks after KWD,
instead of one.  We will make a concerted effort to put in more
appearances, and help make dance happen throughout the kingdom.  Thank
you Lowrie, for putting in so much effort to this King's College.

We'll talk more, later, I'm sure!

HL Isabeau




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