I like to have a program of dances selected and laid out for my gigs. Of course I know that sometimes the prepared program has to be departed from, or completely replaced, but I like to at least start from the point of having a prepared program.

For a typical contra dance I will spend an hour or so selecting dances and getting them in order. This may be a bit longer if I'm trying any new dances that need to be written up. Then I always practice all of the dances, even old familiar ones and especially any new ones. I practice both the walk-through and calling to music. This usually takes an hour or so as well. I usually do the preparation a day or two before the day of the dance. Extra time, and more advanced planning, may be needed if I'm coordinating with the band on any of the dances.

The process is similar for English dances, but often takes more time. It also needs to be done well in advance so that the band can be informed of the dances.

Jonathan Sivier
Caller of Contra, Square, English and Early American Dances
jsivier AT illinois DOT edu
Dance Page: http://www.sivier.me/dance_leader.html
Q: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
A: It depends on what dance you call!

On 3/13/2018 12:58 PM, Rich Sbardella via Callers wrote:
I am curious how much time you all plan programming a dance before arriving at a venue.  If you do not preprogram, what is your approach for on the fly programming?
Rich Sbardella
Stafford, CT

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