Port and Starboard

September 17th, 2013
contra
Given that:
  • In contra dance anyone can dance either role.
  • The current role names suggest men should dance one role and women should dance the other.
  • To many dancers the traditionally male and female roles have a substantial lead/follow dynamic, while to others there is no or minimal role-based lead/follow.
I see:
  • Calling the roles "lady" and "gent" doesn't work for some dancers, and continues a pattern of men telling women what to do.
  • Calling the roles "lead" and follow" doesn't work for other dancers, and pushes contra toward becoming a full lead/follow dance.
  • The terms "port" and "starboard" have emerged as a clear favorite over many discussions.
So:
  • I've made up a set of my dance cards to use port/starboard (pdf).
  • When I'm booked to call dances I'll ask if it's ok for me to call this style.

Update 2015-02-27: If I were writing this now I would say jet/ruby or maybe lark/raven. The discussion's still going. Saying port/starboard was a clear favorite was probably wrong at the time, or at least only reflected a consensus among a small group of dancers who had been talking a lot amongst each other.

Comment via: google plus, facebook

Recent posts on blogs I like:

Abigail Shrier's Bad Therapy: Surveys

Surveys matter!

via Thing of Things April 12, 2024

Clarendon Postmortem

I posted a postmortem of a community I worked to help build, Clarendon, in Cambridge MA, over at Supernuclear.

via Home March 19, 2024

How web bloat impacts users with slow devices

In 2017, we looked at how web bloat affects users with slow connections. Even in the U.S., many users didn't have broadband speeds, making much of the web difficult to use. It's still the case that many users don't have broadband speeds, both …

via Posts on March 16, 2024

more     (via openring)