I always tell people about my one of my favorite dance partners when I was 23 
and just starting to dive into contra dancing.  He was about 7 decades my 
elder.  Paul Kanaly---one of the sweetest people in the world, a former 
cross-country champion, and a verrry slow moving dancer.  But gosh, what joy to 
dance almost gingerly with him.


I don't really know how we create a culture of inclusiveness at dances (which 
is my professed ideal).  Or in the world, for that matter.  And inclusiveness 
might not be a priority for every dance community.   (Certainly isn't a 
priority the whole world 'round.)


But even if you do want your dance to be inclusive, it's tough to actualize 
those ideals.  It feels easy for me to accommodate a small child who's on cloud 
nine and jumping like a kangaroo.  Likewise, a beaming but 
frail/glacially-mobile elder like Paul Kanaly.  Same with a dear friend who is 
perpetually 2 counts behind the phrase.

I have a harder time with recalcitrant students at a school residency.  
Especially when they wipe their hands on their shirt after touching another 
child.  Or my own child when he's maddeningly ill-mannered.  Or, at a dance, 
someone who seems like they are pushing other people around.  Or perhaps 
treating another dancer as an impediment to their enjoyment of the dancing.  Or 
an apparently capable dancer who seems to be willfully ignoring the caller and 
the music and the other dancers.  Argh!


Yeesh.

I'm enjoying this thought-provoking thread.

Chrissy Fowler



________________________________
From: Organizers 
<organizers-bounces+ktaadn_me=hotmail....@lists.sharedweight.net> on behalf of 
Heitzso via Organizers <organizers@lists.sharedweight.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 12:42:18 PM
To: organizers@lists.sharedweight.net
Subject: Re: [Organizers] what to do about a dancer with dementia

I remember when, in my late 30s, all of us said we'd dance until we died,
even if it meant dancing in walkers. Of course we didn't have a clue
what that meant.
This was back in the '80s when the Atlanta dance was a fairly focused
age cohort:
vast majority of dancers between 30-45. That age cohort is now in their
60s and 70s.
Many have stopped dancing regularly.

I both appreciate "community" while at the same time acknowledge age issues
which affect dances.

A nearby dance, Sautee, has a twice a month Tuesday evening contra dance
that's
intended as a beginner's dance but, when I've gone, seems more an elder
beginner
(50 and 60 year old beginners) or elder-elder dance.
I believe that is the perfect spin off ...
     a dance that is slower paced and easier to dance (simpler sequences).

I believe this issue (aging in general) is affecting our dances
and will just get more prominent and that a pro-active solution
is best.

Heitzso

> For the last three years, one of our older dancers has been declining with 
> dementia--and her husband, not a good dancer himself, continues to bring her 
> to our dances. Invariably, they create chaos on the dance floor.
>
> Most people on the board of my dance organization feel it's important to 
> continue to include these dancers until such time that the husband decides 
> it's time for them to stop coming. On the other hand, I'm concerned with the 
> effect that they're having on other dancers. I've heard at least one dancer 
> say that she considered not coming to a dance when she saw that this couple 
> was there--and certainly this couple's presence is diminishing the dance 
> experience of many of the dancers who've come to our events for the high 
> level of dancing that we were able to deliver in the past.
>
> Has anyone else wrestled with this sort of problem? If yes, what did you do 
> (or not do) about it?
>
> Thanks,
> Katy Heine
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This mailing list is for organizers of traditional contra and square dances. 
It's a place to discuss any issues and ideas related to organizing and running 
...


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