Howdy folks,
Our dance formerly at Freeport then at North Yarmouth Maine and now in
Topsham is the longest contiguous family into contradance in Maine.
It grew from a pre-dance jam session and potluck supper when the dance was
in Freeport and when we were in NO Yarmouth we added a 1 1/2 family dance
followed by a potluck then by the contra.
This boosted the potluck and few came stayed for the 8:30 contra.
When we moved to Topsham the dance was shortened to one hour followed by a
dessert snack potluck leaving time for s beginner session before an 8 PM
dance.
Some kids join the adult dance for a while. Some of these kids are really
good dancers.
There are some young couples bringing thier kids to the dance who started
dancing at the family dance.
Random thoughts:
We run the dance from Sept to June, the school year.
It took some time to get the dance rolling.
People have out so you gotta keep the publicity active.
Target homeschooling groups if sduch things exist in your area.
We've had in community birthday groups come, they know that they need to
dance with everyone and it's encouraged they bring enough cake for everyone.
Non dancing kids may need to be reigned in if they run around too much.
Initial pricing was something like $2/$5or $6 max per family now it's
$3/$12.
The music is provided by an open band led by a fiddler and a rhythm player
with a fairly limited tune list keeping it accessible. Some of the players
have played for over a decade. I've missed like two in over 20 years, one
when my child was born.
There are some perennial favorite dances, one is Nine Pin, the other is
known to many as the push off dance 'cause rump to rump you count and to
the call "pousser"... well it's fun to watch!
To emphasise one point it takes perseverance to establish and keep vital
any dance and the family dance more so because there's so little continuity.
I'm sure I've forgotten something, like how rewarding it casn be, but
you'll get it right if you keep at it.
Be well, Jeff Raymond
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