Dance logs, a cumulative record for a series of which dances have been called on any given evening, are very common in the English dance community but vanishingly rare in the contra community. Why is that? They're really helpful for incoming callers, and it's probably nice for the dancers not to keep getting the same dances week after week.

I've only ever known of one contra series that kept a log, and it's probably because I suggested it when they started out (the Queer Contra series in Oakland, CA). Are there any contra organizers out there who maintain a dance log? Those of you who do, how do you get the dance lists from the callers? The Oakland series had a little book on the stage and the callers would write their programs down as they went or at the end of the night.

Part of it comes down to record-keeping on the part of the callers. I keep a personal log of all the dances I've called so I can avoid repeating myself when I return to a given venue. That makes it easy for me to produce a set list after the fact if an organizer wants to fill in a gap in the log. Fellow contra callers, do you all keep records of what you call, and if you don't, how do you avoid repeating yourself or remember what worked well (or not) the last time you called at a particular place?

If you work with something like Caller's Companion, do you update the program list with what you actually danced as opposed to what you programmed?

Just curious about other people's process on this.

Kalia in Sebastopol, CA
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