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
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
Just curious about other people's process on this.
Kalia in Sebastopol, CA
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