Mudcat Café message #3578570 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152935   Message #3578570
Posted By: OlgaJ
24-Nov-13 - 06:19 AM
Thread Name: What makes a good caller?
Subject: RE: What makes a good caller?
1. Try to know what sort of crowd you are going to be calling for. Not easy a weddings etc. but you need to keep it simple if there are lots of non-dancers, children, and people on the wrong side of a couple of bottles of wine who just want to have fun.
2. Listen to the musicians if they know the crowd better than you do. Its no good playing Playford dances for people who are expecting a Hoe-down or the other way round. We have occasionally played with callers who bring a pre-arranged list with them and insist on sticking to it. You need to have enough 'extra' dances in to change at least half of the list.
3. Don't shout at people who are confused when you are trying to explain a move. Either demonstrate yourself or find a set that knows what they are doing and ask them to demonstrate it for you.
4. Dance clubs are where you should be trying out new dances, not PTAs and weddings. We have played at events where there have been multiple callers and they all try to outdo each other by using complicated calls which in some cases end up being abandoned after 10 minutes during which time they could have called something everybody knew. If you are a caller dancing to another caller don't try to correct them even if you think they are wrong. Lots of dances can have slightly different moves in them.
5. Don't lose sight of the fact that people are often paying good money to hear you call, making them the customer, and you need to keep everyone happy if you want to be asked back.

Most of the callers we use are very good and very accommodating but we have come across all of the above at some point over the last few years.

If there is a caller out there in the York/Pocklington area who would like to work with us occasionally please see out website. We can't guarantee regular work but we are starting to pick up a few bookings for next year and currently don't have a permanent caller of our own, but try to use the nearest caller on our list to the venue to save on travelling.Alterego Ceilidh Band