Just to expand people’s idea of “techno”, let’s include “non-traditional music 
contras”. People often conflate these. As an umbrella term, “techno” does not 
have to mean dimmed or special lighting. There’s a lot of fun in dancing to any 
music appropriately edited for contra dancing in normal hall lighting! (I 
include live and DJ’d music in this definition.)

With normal hall lighting, demos are perfectly appropriate. Again, keep the 
dances simple, so demos shouldn’t need to be long. 


> On Apr 7, 2019, at 12:33, Maia McCormick via Callers 
> <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
> Ah, whoops, wrong link: 
> http://contra.maiamccormick.com/blog/2019/04/07/techno-reflections/
>> On Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 12:26 PM Maia McCormick <maia...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> (And if anyone wants to refer back to this, it's up on my blog!)
>>> On Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 4:27 PM Maia McCormick <maia...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 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 <maia...@gmail.com> 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 <maia...@gmail.com> 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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