[Anst-dancers] Dancing fading?

Antonello antonello.sca at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 26 19:19:33 PST 2007

Lowrie!  it's so good to hear that you are playing (albeit just a little)
again!  i was genuinely excited when i heard from Perronnelle that you might
be at Yule for KDMS.  i miss your energy level and your passion for dance in

Myfanwy, i also am concerned about the level of involvement from the masses.
The Stargate Sunday Dance Guild has gone through some pretty severe up and
down motions.  currently we are down, not unlike so many others in the
Kingdom.  My take on the whole dance thing is this:

1.  New blood is vital.  SCA in general hasnt performed well in recruiting
new members, or in retention for that matter.  of course, i'm just as much
to blame as anyone for that.  Sometimes life just rears its ugly head and
cant be ignored.  I do, however, make an effort when i can to talk about
those aspects that might interest the person i'm speaking to, but let's face
it...not everyone 'gets' SCA.  i've been accused of being in a cult, running
away from life, and everything in between.  But i digress.  Our guild is
planning a move in 2008 to Central Market where we can perhaps attract a new
crowd.  Garb will be encouraged.
2.  Time to dance.  I believe that if dance is to flourish, time needs to be
dedicated for it.  I dont see a real effort being made to have dance on the
schedule at events.  i'm not talking about an 'aside' ball or an
afterthought, but a genuine and sincere commitment made to have court
dancing or a ball at major kingdom events no matter where they are held.
This means someone has to coordinate it and they have to be held accountable
for coordinating it properly.  We all need to step up and make that happen.
3.  AGED?  what's that?  I forgot it existed!  In my opinion, AGED's number
one priority should be PR.  AGED (that's us, ya'll) needs to be representing
the dance community to make sure dance is happening frequently at events.
It also needs to be supporting local and regional guilds with a regular
presence and maybe even materials, advice and whatever else it may see as
4.  Support from the top.  Dance can only be guaranteed if it is supported
from their Majesties and the heirarchy.  From the Kingdom to the Barony to
the Shire, dance and other performing arts need to be encouraged by our
leaders.  What i'd like to know is: why do i so rarely see performances at
court or during a ball.  i've never seen a King or Queen command/request
(planned or otherwise) that a dance or song or tale be perfomed solely for
his/her entertainment.  i'm opening myself up here, i know.  But that alone
would force many of us more dedicated souls to grow our skills and
repertoire.  Also, our fighters really need to be encouraged to learn how to
dance.  Sir William of Weir swears that dancing helped his footwork and
agility.  Perhaps an "armor-clad dance-a-thon" is in order at an upcoming
5.  What's danced.  While i dont mean to purposely disrespect anyone here,
we need to dance what the masses want to dance.  if that means we dance 80%
beginner-to-mid level dances every week at practice, then that's what we
should do.  Now, DON"T confuse that with not expanding the horizons of the
dance community.  I'm all for advanced dances and would like to learn more
of them myself, but if you as a teacher are the only one who has an interest
in really developing your skill to that level, you may just have to travel a
little to get your fix.  Perhaps the regional dance practice mentioned is
worth a look with both a beginner session and an advanced session.

Just my 2 cents.

I would love to see as many of you at Yule as can make it.  I am
coordinating a masked ball and invite all here to come revel at 2pm this

Ld Antonello
Stargate Sunday Dance Principle
Barony of the Stargate
Kingdom of Ansteorra

-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-dancers-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-dancers-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of
Myfanwy ferch Eifion
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 7:50 AM
To: ansteorra-dancers at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Anst-dancers] Dancing fading?

O.k, I'm a little concerned about dancing in Ansteorra.  The way it looks to
me is that as a Kingdom our interest in dancing has faded.

The reasons why I say this are:
1) Kingdom Dance and Music a couple of years ago had relatively low
attendance.  Then this year the interest was so low that they placed it with
another event and then there was so little response for the call for
teachers that they cancelled that part of the event.
2) There has not been many events were a ball has been advertised.
3) There is so little traffic on the ansteorra-dancers list that several
people thought that the list had gone away.
4) Although not necessarily the same thing, still a show of the "symptom,"
when Pug announced that he needed to step down as proctor because he had not
done anything, only one person responded and that was with questions and
only Pug answered the questions.

So, what do we as dancers want to do to fix this?  Is it having AGED and all
the "baggage" associated with it that is causing the issue?  Should we put
AGED dormant?  Should we get a new proctor and see if we can stir up
interest again?  (Yes, there is somebody interested in holding proctor.)  If
it isn't AGED, is it just because we dancers are an aging society?  If that
is it, how do we get younger people interested in the Kingdom dancing
society?  Is it something else entirely?

I personally miss having the "kingdom" level group.  I don't care if it is a
guild or not.  However, I like playing, talking, and dancing with others who
want to take dancing above just doing all the easy dances.  I like to work
with people in dancing who think about/research/practice outside of dance
guild/KDMS/Gulf War.  I like working on more complicated dances and that
means we need people who want to work at that level which when we look at a
broader group of people means that is more likely to occur.

I will admit, I haven't been dancing much the last year or so.  I started
going back to my dance guild meeting recently because I remembered that I
*like* to dance.  I need to ignore all the things that keep me from it, and
just do it anyway.


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