Tonight's non-Tech Squares dancing was Sligo Middle School and the Ferris Wheelers, caller Kenny Farris - one of Clark and Bill's suggested callers.
Standard data: 3-4 squares. Most people in The Clothing, though with about half as many crinolines as I might have expected. The men were less 'Clothed' than the women, and almost no couples matched. Thank the gods. Average age: 70? Yes, each has been older than the one before. (I failed to give an average for Chesapeake... I'd guess it was about 40, maybe a bit higher.)
All open tips. Mostly pairs of tips. Singers after most patters, except for the 3rd set, which was Singer then Patter and the 2nd, which was a 'workshop' tip... This seemed to be a weekly attempt to break dancers of the bad habits and assumptions they've picked up over the course of the more 'normal' dance experience. Tonight's workshop was primarily on Peel Off with some work on other things with Peels... The Top, Follow Your Neighbor, from all formations, all gender mixes, etc... you (tech folks) know what I mean... exactly what Ted teaches from the get-go. It wasn't a bad thing, though nothing new.
Some rounds were cued between some of the squares, mostly by Kenny, but also by someone else.
Despite the age, there were slightly fewer of the really annoying habits of the past 2 dances. More than half of the dancers did a whole square through. They generally allemanded. Many swung, though never more than 1x around. There were no R&L Grand flourishes, nor on weave the ring.
Kenny did a good job, though it did seem that he was reigning himself in a great deal to keep his dancers from getting lost too much. Despite that, there were fairly regular breakdowns... but rarely from more than one square at once, so I don't blame him for it. ;)
While none of the patters actually ended stirred, the dancers then stirred themselves before the singer started.
Big positive: It was pie night. :)
I danced all but one tip, with women whose partners weren't up to dancing. I was told last night that this was likely to be the way a random single was going to be integrated. The one I was out, I danced w/7 phantoms and didn't do too poorly, though not nearly as well as I might have liked.
I was unable to keep a breaking square together, but I managed to hold myself in place for longer than the breaking down people.
I'd happily dance to Kenny again, but would prefer it to be at some other club.
Oh, and talking to a (relatively) younger member of the club, she said that she'd love a club which didn't require the Clothes and she agrees that that's one of the things hurting the survival of the hobby.
So, that's the last dance I'll be getting to down here, I expect... I'm not sure of my return schedule yet, so it's not entirely certain. It's certainly been an experience... I'll be happy to return to Tech. :)
I've updated my caller list
to not only include the last 2 down here, but a couple of callers for Tech-related dances that I'd left out before. 17 total.