This is mid-July in Boston, without air conditioning, just fans. The idea is you cool the house off at night, and then keep it from warming up too much during the day. It's cutting about 10F off the day's high.
This is enough of a reason to have a sliding scale that I think it's the right choice for Beantown Stomp and other capacity-constrained events. But most contra dance evenings don't sell out, and there I see another strong reason for a sliding scale: I'd rather have people come than stay home. Some people will always be on the fence about whether to come, and there are people who can afford $15 but at $15 would rather stay home. If they come and pay $5 then everyone is better off than if they had stayed home or went to a movie.
Sometimes, though, it's helpful to get even more distance and hear what other people think. When I ask friends how the music was, however, they just say generic positive things. I think this comes from a combination of politeness, not having good words for things, not having been paying close enough attention to give actionable feedback, etc. So I'd like to make a standing offer for any contra dance band to listen to a recording of a set and give feedback.
BIDA switched to Larks/Ravens two years ago after about eight years of Gents/Ladies. While to experienced dancers Larks/Ravens was a change, to newcomers that's just the way the dance is.
Things mostly seem pretty similar to before the change: we still have lots of newcomers and not that many come back and become regulars. Attendance is pretty noisy but doesn't seem to have been affected:
I have noticed some smaller changes, though:
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