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  • Etiquitte of Folk and Square Dance

    July 11th, 2010
    contra, history
    Julia and I spent a while yesterday entering record (78s) information into spreadsheets. Some of the stuff the records were packed in was more interesting than the records:

    Etiquitte of Folk and Square Dancing
    "The Rules of The Game"

    1. Chewing gum is not done at a dance or in public anywhere, because it looks most unattractive.
    2. Minimize noise and confusion: come in quietly, talk softly, move around as little as possible, stay put, either sitting or standing.
    3. When the teacher, caller or leader talk, listen. Listen for instructions and do as you are told quickly and quietly. Get into the requested formation at once. Use hand signals to get the required number of people in your set---do not shout for them.
    4. One teacher is the rule. Never try to tell others in your set what to do. Just do the correct thing yourself. If you have done it correctly, and the teacher needs your help, she will ask you to demonstrate.
    5. Once you have joined a set, you never leave it until the leader ends that particular "tip" of dances. In case of a real emergency...and I mean real, you ask the leader to excuse you, so that your place may be filled.
    6. You never cut through a set to get to where you are going.
    7. You add yourself to the end of a longways set.
    8. The most experienced dancers should be in number one position of a set. But after dancing awhile, it is pleasant for everyone to move around so everyone gets a chance to be "head".
    9. These are people not sticks, with whom you are dancing, and this is a sociable occasion. Look at them, smile at them, learn their names. At the end of a "tip" thank them for an enjoyable dance.
    10. You do not beckon or nod to someone to be your partner; you step up to her and ask her.
    11. You do not walk off and leave your partner on the floor at the end of a "tip". You walk her to her seat.
    12. This activity is for fun; it is more fun if done correctly; and you will add to your enjoyment and to that of every other member of your set, if you do it correctly. You must not get cross over mistakes - you ignore others' errors and correct your own.
    13. True courtsy comes from a real love of other people; a desire to help others to have a good time (including the teacher). This is the key to popularity.
    14. Beyond this is graciousness: express your appreciation for the fun you've had to those responsible for it.

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