[Anst-dancers] [Bg-dance] Fwd: One Hour of Dance - Class details

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Wed Mar 24 11:17:27 PDT 2010

Darius the Dancer sent this to the SCA-Dance list, manifestly.  A few
people in my group have idly discussed a challenge dance set where you
just play music and the dancers self-arrange and pick it up (or fail).
Darius actually went ahead and did a variation on it, with the results
that he mentions.  My few addenda are marked
     [... - DdL]

-- DdL, tmcd at panix.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
     Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 05:11:35 -0400
     From: David Learmonth <david.a.learmonth at gmail.com>
     To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
     Subject: [SCA-Dance] One Hour of Dance - Class details


Some people at Terp [Terpsichore at the Tower, 2010, a dance event
near Ann Arbor, MI - DdL] requested that I post some notes about my
"class" this past weekend, so here are a few quick notes, and my list
of dances, as well as my list that I worked with from our event a
month before, Step Spritely.

Oh, and if anyone has any comments / questions, especially if you
attended, feel free to let me know / tell the group.  Thanks!

- general format was to have no pauses between dances

- a few seconds gap existed between mp3 player tracks, in which time I
would call out the next dance, and the general formation for couples
(i.e. 3 couples in a line, 2 couples facing, etc)

- people were free to sit out dances as they pleased, though we ended
up with 12 people for most of the class, which tended to motivate
people to stay dancing, since it is a very handy dance number
[12 is evenly divisible by 6, 4, 3, and 2, so any dances for
one/two/three couples has everyone dancing - DdL]

- despite not knowing a dance, or having exactly the right number of
people, dancers were encouraged to try it anyway, faking it, or
improving [improvising? - DdL] something for the numbers they had

- we recommend that participants have intermediate level experience to
participate (if you have enough "ringers", then you can certainly pull
more people through, as long as they are dancers who won't get

- also, it is good if they know something of the various styles
beforehand.  I think my main concern is that newer dancers will tend
to have to put in a lot more effort to keep up / correct their steps,
and this may exhaust them quicker.

- Besides having some ringers in the group, and generally a high level
of experience, I tried to call a decent amount of the dances
throughout the hour

- Experience so far dictates that people definitely start to get tired
at about 40 minutes into the continuous dancing, even with staggered
faster and slower dances.

(at Step Spritely, I actually paused for a 5 minute break at that
point.  At Terp I did not, and people seemed generally fine, although
a few said afterwards that I killed them) :)

- oh, and at Steps it was mentioned that the format didn't give as
much chance to change partners, so at Terp we revised it to
specifically have the lords switch partners Every dance by one
position around the set / circle.  People seemed alright with this.

I really like the idea of this class in general, as I think that it
invigorates some of us, and is a neat challenge.

- one potential addition that has been mentioned is that I should edit
my music to have an extra repeat, and then to NOT call out the dances
before hand, but instead to just let people treat it more like a
bransle suite, giving them that first repeat (or a few bars) to get
into appropriate groups

- alternatively / additionally, I could set it up such that we have a
set of all dances that could be done in a circle / faked in a circle,
then we wouldn't have the formation issue

So, here are the dances from each class.  I actually think that this
format / selection could be adjusted slightly, depending on your
audience.  Terp probably could have handled something even harder,
though that isn't completely the point of the class (it is to have
fun, and not necessarily do the hardest dances possible).  Meanwhile,
and I can let you know how this goes, we have an event this weekend
that is more classes targetting average SCAdians (non-dancers), so for
that, Guillaume wants to try this class, but I'm definitely
recommending something a bit easier.  (and probably inserting a break
would be a good idea)

Oh, and statistics-wise, for Terp, we made it through 26 of the 27
dances.  (I knew I shouldn't have bothered tacking the last one on,
but it was just in case we had the time).  Meanwhile, for Step
Spritely, we actually just went Alphabetically through dances, and
made it through 19 (Ly Bens was the last dance), but we started late,
and took a break, and some of the dance recordings were longer.

(oh, and the names are from the mp3 names)
01 - Gathering Peasecods(Best)
02 - Pease Bransle(Fast-4Repeats)
03 - Queens Alman(4 Repeats)
04 - Contrapasso In Due(Well Edited)
05 - Anello(Good-2 Repeats)
06 - Cuckolds All In A Row(Singing Intro)
07 - Gelosia(Slow)
08 - Black Nag(Fast)
09 - Belfiore
10 - Lorayne Alman
11 - Goddesses(11 Verse)
12 - Bizzaria D'Amore
13 - Saltarello La Regina(Normal)
14 - Scottish Bransle
15 - Hermit's bransle
16 - Jenny Pluck Pears(Fast Verses-Slow Chorus)
17 - Rosti Boli(Best)
18 - Upon A Summer's Day(Best)
19 - Washerwoman's Bransle(Best)
20 - La Castellana(Fast)
21 - Vita Di Cholino(Best)
22 - Scotch Cap(Best-3 Verse)
23 - Ly Bens Distonys(Alright-Single Chorus)
24 - Black Alman(4 Repeats-Slow)
25 - Petit Vriens(Alright-3 Repeats)
26 - Aridan Bransle(Speeds Up)
27 - Whirlygig A[BBA3]3

Step Spritely:
All In A Garden Green
Amoroso(12 Doubles-Normal-4 Repeats)
Anello(Good-2 Repeats)
Aridan Bransle(Speeds Up)
Bizzaria D'Amore
Black Alman(4 Repeats-Slow)
Black Nag(Fast)
Contrapasso In Due(Well Edited)
Cuckolds All In A Row(Singing Intro)
Gathering Peasecods(Best)
Goddesses(11 Verse)
Hyde Park(Fast-2 Repeats)
Jenny Pluck Pears(Fast Verses-Slow Chorus)
La Castellana(Fast)
Lorayne Alman
Ly Bens Distonys(Alright-Single Chorus)
New Bo Peep
Pease Bransle(Fast-4Repeats)
Petit Vriens(Alright-3 Repeats)
Picking Of Sticks(Best)
Queens Alman(4 Repeats)
Quen Quer Que(Vocal-Best-4 Repeats)
Rosti Boli(Best)
Saltarello La Regina(Normal)
Scotch Cap(Best-3 Verse)
Scottish Bransle
Upon A Summer's Day(Best)
Vita Di Cholino(Best)
Washerwoman's Bransle(Best)
Whirlygig A[BBA3]3

There you go!  I hope it helps / is of interest.  I think it worked
fairly well.  Though I was definitely a bit tired in Etienne's class
afterwards.  (very warmed up, but definitely a bit exhausted by the
time I finished several of the fancy Italian steps).  Oh, and my lady
I think felt that she may have pushed it a bit much that afternoon,
following up this class with I believe it was either the Morris dance
or the Irish dance, and then Bouffons after that.  :) And the floor we
were on was ok, but not that forgiving.

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