Each evening we try to teach at least one circle dance
for the first time or re-teach a dance we have forgotten.
We try to teach the dance twice, once slow during beginners
and once fast during intermediate.
We also play the dance once during advanced, so someone
who comes early will get the dance three times.
During beginners, we have a mix of dances that we do
for warming up and enjoyment.
When beginners are there, this helps them to get comfortable
with many of the basic patterns.
We also review dances that we taught in the past
so people that missed the teaching, can learn dances
that are requested later in the evening.
Teaching a Dance
When we teach a dance, we teach each few measures
and review with music.
We keep adding onto the dance and playing the music
again, so as to build up the muscle memory of the dance
in each person.
We usually only teach one circle dance like this each
evening, and we usually only teach a particular dance
this way once.
Typically this can take 15 to 30 minutes to teach a dance.
Reviewing a Dance
The other main method of teaching we use is what we call review.
We quickly review the whole dance, or just parts of the dance,
We show people just enough to help them follow the harder parts
of the dance.
During the dance, the leader calls out the patterns.
The idea with our review method is to learn how to follow,
and to learn by doing.
We emphasize learning how to travel in the correct direction,
putting together sets of patterns, and not worrying about
Faking it is good.
We suggest to people that they try to avoid looking
at people's feet.
Become a stalker.
Follow the person, go where they go, and your feet will follow.
Typically, the review takes only a minute or two.
This way we get in a lot more dancing and a lot less lecturing.
People learn how to follow dances they have not seen
before and enjoy themselves.
Order of Teaching and Dancing
The first hour of our group,
we cater to our regular weekly beginners.
We go slow and teach dances.
The second hour is intermediate, and we go faster.
We quickly teach any new dances we taught during beginners.
This way, someone coming to beginners, will get the dance taught
twice, which helps a lot to have it sink in.
We also review dances that we have been learning over the
last recent months.
The last two hours are advanced dancing and requests.
We do not teach or review circle dances during this time,
unless really needed.