Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nutmeg Workshop - Musician's Perspective

Email to Strathspey.org from Susie re getting dancers to attend events.
Reposted with permission.


I read the postings about how to get people to come to a social dance with great interest and because I suspect that many Strathspey readers are leaders in their dance communities, I offer the following:

As a dance teacher I consider it my responsibility to provide a place where everyone can experience the movement of RSCDS dancing. When it comes to an evening's social dance, I am particularly interested in figuring out what I need to do to create a situation where the people dancing on the floor and the musicians playing on the stage can reach a state of exhilaration. When dancers are in that state of exhilaration, they have extra energy and share that energy spontaneously. When dancers are using all of their faculties to remember where to go and to help others get there, they cannot share that energy.

This physiological fact is one of the driving forces that makes me consider very carefully each dance that I choose to put on a social dance program. There are many dances in the RSCDS canon that are more appropriately puzzled through during a dance class. There are also many dances when combined with their fantastic original music, make you fly.

After my recent engagements with but few familiar titles, new people who went home after the first half and sets that stood still on the floor, I am left wondering why dance leaders don't program more dances like Monymusk and Wild Geese; surrounding a new, interesting, complicated dance with old favorites that give the dancers a chance figure out something new as well as a chance to rest and re-exhilarate themselves.

Susie Petrov
Boston, USA

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