Thanks for the advice, all! While it's fresh in my mind, wanted to report
back and call out a few pieces of advice from this thread that were
particularly helpful (or that I ignored to my own detriment). Just my
observations--hope this is helpful to someone!

*1. Demos are indeed hard*
I agree with everyone who warned me away from demos at a techno -- it's
dark and hard to see, and dancers just want to groove. "If you need a demo
for it, the dance is probably too hard" was a great yardstick for my
programming, thanks Chuck!

*2. Keep calling*
Jonathan nailed it -- if the phrasing is at all hard to follow, dancers
will tend to swing too long. I definitely found myself calling more than I
would in a non-techno contra (by the end of the dances, my calls were all
one beat, but I was often still calling at least some moves). Knowing to
look out for over-long swings in particular was super helpful, thanks!

*3. Choose easy dances*
I got cocky in the second half and programmed some stuff that was above the
level of the crowd, and had to fall back to Hey in the Barn when a weird
box circulate dance fell apart. The advice that many people gave is super
sound -- it's harder to see and harder to focus, dancers probably just want
to groove etc., and so easier dances are the way to go.

I want to add one more thing I noticed, which is that *I as a caller
couldn't get a read on the hall because it was so dark*. If I'd been better
able to see how ropy the previous dance had been, or that a lot of the
experienced people had left at the break, I would have been better able to
adjust my program. So there's another point in favor of calling easier
dances -- not so much that they dancers can't handle it, as a rule, but
rather that you as a caller can't tell as easily whether the dancers can
handle it.

*4. If you can, listen to the tracks in advance!*
I worked with Mark Moore (DJ Flourish) from Philly--he's great! Among other
things, he sent me his tracks in advance, which meant that I could get
extra precise with the dance/track pairing--super helpful because it's much
harder to request specific track features to go with a dance when working
with a DJ than with a band. Also, I knew how many potatoes to expect for
each track, if they were at all fake-out-y, etc.

On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 5:17 PM Maia McCormick <> wrote:

> Ah, more specific questions!
> - have you found on-the-floor demos doable at techno, or should I not even
> try?
> - techno no-walk-through's: do they work?
> On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 5:13 PM Maia McCormick <> wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>> I haven't called all that many techno contras, and I'm slated to do so
>> this weekend. Any tips or things to keep in mind about how techno differs
>> from your standard contra evening? (Particularly curious about anything
>> relating to dance choice and dance length.)
>> Cheers,
>> Maia
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