Thank you so far for all your responses. I have learned a lot already. I just 
reread my original email and realize that I forgot to mention that most of the 
visually impaired are elementary, middle, and high school students so 
traditional dance may work well.
Someone mentioned a Snake dance and I actually thought of starting with that.
Thank you again. I look forward to reading more responses and suggestions.

      From: Luke Donforth <>
 To: Shared Weight Callers' Listserv <> 
Cc: Helle Hill <>; Mac Mckeever <>
 Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2019 6:42 PM
 Subject: Re: [Callers] Calling for the visually impaired
(Technical note, I Mac's response, but not Helle's original post?)
I don't have extensive experience calling for visually impaired dancers. I have 
occasionally had an experienced blind dancer on the floor, but never a sizable 
percentage. But this is conjecture on my part; please trust your own judgement. 
It sounds like you're calling for a bunch of folks who don't regularly dance? 
In which case, I'd recommend (as with most one-off gigs), not focusing on 
'duple improper contras' and just get folks moving to music. Something as 
simple as a snake dance may be a good kick-off. It's not overly simplifying for 
them, that's often a dance that gets used at community dances. 
It may be worth talking to the sound person ahead of time to see if a clear 
"head of the hall" can be established sonicly. Some gigs will put up more than 
one row of speakers or such to blanket the sound, but giving an audio clue 
about direction may be useful. 
If you're shooting for hands-four contras, I wonder if some of the pass through 
progressions of simple contra dances could be re-worked to have a roll-away 
instead? For instance, A1: long lines neighbor swing, end facing down the 
hallA2Down four in line, turn as couples, come backB1Circle left three places, 
partner swingB2Circle left three places,balance the ring, gents roll neighbor 
lady away with a half sashay
As two-swing contras go, that's a relatively simple. Everyone is always holding 
on to at least one other person. But you've still got changes of direction and 
knowing your orientation when you end the swing.
But even that is more complicated than I would run for most community dances 
when most people aren't regular dancers. Even if you have one "seeing" partner 
in each pair, if you're not separating sets out by "this set has seeing gents 
role; that set has seeing ladies role" then if you do a neighbor swing, you'll 
end up with couples that don't have a "seeing" person.
Good luck! And please do let us know how it goes, and what you figure out.
On Sun, Apr 14, 2019 at 4:21 PM Mac Mckeever via Callers 
<> wrote:

 For several years we had a wonderful lady dance with us who was totally blind 
(could not even tell light or dark)- here are a few things I learned from her
She always danced in a line next to a wall - the reflections off the wall gave 
her as good a sense of direction as the rest of us.
Use dances where you stay connected to other dancers.  With her experience she 
did well on dosido and hey - but down the outside alone was not possible.
You will have a problem any time dancers need to make new connections - like 
ladies chain, allemand, etc - someone has to be able to find the impaired 
dancer's hand.
She would not dance squares - too much uncertainty and dancers who are lost 
made it impossible for her to recover(in a contra you get past it quickly so 
only one time thru is challenging).
As I said - this dancer was totally blind (but so good that those who did not 
know her often did not figure it out).  She also clapped at times when not 
connected to hear what was around her.
It sounds like your dancers will have various degrees of impairment, so some of 
this may not be as important. 
Hope this helps some - while challenging - this should be very rewarding and 
Mac McKeeverSt Louis
    On Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2:53:33 PM CDT, Helle Hill via Callers 
<> wrote:  
 I work with the visually impaired and have been asked to call an evening of 
dances for an outing. I know the basics of working with the visually impaired 
but does anyone have any suggestions for dances, how to handle the directional 
aspect, or any other ideas to make it a successful experience. I hope that each 
visually impaired dancer will have a "seeing" partner.
Thank you so much in advance.
Helle _______________________________________________
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Luke Donforth

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