A Plot To Get People Hooked On Calling

May 19th, 2011
calling, contra, ideas, outdoor_contra
At the outdoor contra dances we've had, one consistent problem is that it's hard to hear the caller. There are solutions to this, involving both mechanical [1] and electric amplification [2], but I just thought of something that I think would be even better: redundant inexperienced callers. [3] I'll ask for a volunteer, and give them a copy of the dance [4]. After teaching the dance, we could stand on opposite sides of the group, and both call. It could be a mess, but I think it would help more than it would hurt. And it would get new people into calling very quickly.

[1] For a dance last summer I borrowed a cardboard exponential horn megaphone from walter lenk. Which was fun and helped some, but finicky and blocked my view.

[2] Several people have offered to lend portable amplification systems. I'm happier to stay entirely acoustic, though. With a fully acoustic group it feels more informal and I think people are much more comfortable trying out playing or calling. I really like the "hey, we just showed up and want to have fun" feel of it.

[3] We already deal with musicians being too quiet by having a large all-comers band, so this makes some sense.

[4] I just realised this means writing up some copies of dances that have the calls written out in the words one would use to call them, as opposed to in my sloppy shorthand.

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