Mudcat Café message #3892933 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163266   Message #3892933
Posted By: Mr Red
09-Dec-17 - 05:37 AM
Thread Name: the teaching of dancing
Subject: RE: the teaching of dancing
not an experienced teacher, but a publicist and popularist.
My advice to newbies at our regular series in Stroud, Gloucs, England is:

"There are only two rules. 1) Smile 2) Keep moving."
They get it.

It helps that we have nationally known live bands and experienced callers, but these things vary. I do say listen to the caller, but my emphasis is on having fun, and that has to be conveyed. We do get a healthy crop of young people, and an age spread despite the demographic tending to those nearing (or teetering) towards retirement. We have a policy of asking anyone looking like they need a partner to get a few dances with the organisers. And, because this is my forte, I go round before and during the break and hand out flyers for the season. That is my opener for speaking to people. We don't have a Morris/song spot in the break because this is social dance and we want people to socialise, get their drinks, and anyway Morris dancers might represent 8 tickets we didn't sell. It is not the profit that worries us, though we aim to not make a loss (over a season). ie Sustainability.

If I get the time to mention to newbies I will point out that learning is like a language: You think in letters at the start, then you recognise words, and sentences start to be familiar. I am at the paragraph stage, but like all stories, that varies with the storyteller

And, as publicist, I do a fair amount of taking posters to willing shops, libraries, tourist offices etc in an area maybe 16 miles radius. And as festival goers may (ha) have noticed, at Festivals.

Maybe the man all dressed in red adds an aura that removes hints of stuffiness. Who knows, but it can't do any harm.