drscott: (ECR)
Went straight from the gym to Togo's for dinner, then to Cupertino for the first official class. Since no new students showed up and everyone had been to both intro nights, we plowed ahead with 4 new calls, including the dreaded Chain Reaction. Which isn't as bad as I remembered, just a tad complex.

Early on there was a slight problem in that we had exactly 8 students and 7 angels. This meant all the students had to be in one square and the 7 angels in another, since students can't tolerate a square with a missing dancer. The weaker students, encountering each other more often, muffed even some Plus calls. Nathan called around and rounded up several more angels by the 30-minute mark, so that problem went away and things went more smoothly thereafter. I had studied the calls in advance now that I know the teaching order, so had few problems. Paul was feeling much better after his brief illness.

After bringing up Michael Levy's minor failings in the last report, I discovered (oops!) that Michael is on LJ as [livejournal.com profile] sfleatherbear. Hi Michael! You're fabulous! Pay no attention to what I said earlier! :-)

One thought for technologically-advanced square dance teachers (attn: Andy), it would be interesting to add a projector/video screen to the repertoire of tools used. As each call is taught, the projector could show the name of the call in large print, the definition below, and maybe one of the better animations. I, and probably lots of other people, do better in forming connections when more of the neural pathways are engaged at once. Taught by audio association to movement, I have great difficulty in working backward from the visualized motion to the name of the call. More senses should aid quicker learning. Someone could work up a DVD holding the slides for all the Callerlab definitions and do everybody a big service.
drscott: (ECR)
Second intro night was Tuesday night. Attendance was up -- there were three squares -- but not quite as many prospective studenten. [livejournal.com profile] allanh reviewed it well here, but I had a student's-point-of-view comment to add.

So far we've covered Cross Trail Thru, Triple Trade, Triple Scoot, Quarter Thru, and Grand Follow Your Neighbor. Nothing terribly hard, though I find the nonlocal knowledge needed to do Triple Trade unfortunate. I had a big problem with Quarter Thru, because Michael Levy gave the definition only once, and it was rushed enough (he tends to be fast and nervous) that I didn't catch it well enough to repeat it to myself. Since he never repeated it in full again, I found myself feeling clueless through about 10 calls of it. Callers: repeat the damn definition! Especially when it's as confusing as 'Those who can Cast Off by 1/4 by the Right, then those who can Trade by the Left." I look forward to having the teaching order in advance so I can previsualize. I hate feeling incompetent.

Real class starts next week -- still time to join...
drscott: (ECR)
Tuesday night we went to the first ECR Advanced Class intro night. Dave Decot and Michael Levy did a good job trading off tips, with some APD Plus and a few new Advanced calls. It was nothing like Andy's sink-or-swim methods -- when I took the class about 7 years ago, we plunged right in to Chain Reaction, and I had to quit after contracting the flu about two weeks in. This time, we had 2 squares, about half students, which is not bad; some of my favorite people angeled, including Lou Ceci and [livejournal.com profile] allanh, who wrote about it here. We only attracted one student from outside the South Bay / Peninsula, but the rent on the school gym we used is apparently so cheap the class can be small and still break even. There were some breakdowns when Dave or Michael screwed up, but trying to make illegal calls work can be fun.

We already have the Big 5 and Callerlab definition books from my previous try at A, so we're set.

In unfortunate timing news, we'll have left for Ft. Lauderdale the day Andy/[livejournal.com profile] otterpop58 visits to call for ECR's dance.

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November 2013

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