Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts on Wordiness in Calling

Transferring the Contents of One Brain into Another

It has occurred to me that the reason callers get wordy is that they somehow think that if they can just transfer the contents of their brains into the brains of the dancers, the dancers will understand the WHOLE DANCE and will, therefore, dance better.

Understanding the Whole Dance is, of course, the job of the caller, and there is work involved in gaining that understanding. Furthermore, the understanding feels good to have once you get it. It is reasonable to want to share it with others.

But I say, to myself and others: DON'T DO IT!

Just tell us what we have to do, one thing at a time. When you share the whole dance with us, no matter how simple, after the first six words it sounds like "Mpkent dfiel djiow..." and we cannot follow it any more. When we DO it, however, our kinesthetic memory helps us understand and remember what to do.

I went to a dance a while back where a caller took ten minutes to teach a simple dance that, when danced, lasts less than two minutes. If it had been walked through, just telling us the next move, exactly three times, it would have taken about two minutes, and we would have had it. And by "had it," I mean all the moves AND the understanding of the Whole Dance. Even the newbies.

Instead, we became more confused as explanation piled on explanation after we had listened to a blow-by-blow description of the Whole Dance.

Eventually, we got it (it was a simple dance, after all) and had a lovely time for two minutes. And another lovely time for another two minutes.



TwinkleToze said...

Martha: Just noticed this was here. Maybe you could send out a notice to the callers when you post something, since this has been laying almost dormant for so long. It doesn't occur to me to check any more!
Thanks, Karen

Martha said...

Well, of course that's one of the reasons we rather abandoned the blog - there was no automatic notification of changes. Each person can set their account to be notified, but it's not by default, as it is with Facebook.

So I'm trying to reserve the blog for more "timeless" postings - as opposed to "what's happening now" - something to refer to when subjects come up.

TwinkleToze said...

Oh, OK. I just remember that you used to send out a notification to the callers list when you posted something. I'm always interested, so I'll have to figure out how to set my account to be notified!!

Good article, by the way, and definitely timeless!!

(Do you know if anyone saw the earlier info. that Deborah posted on the blog? I don't remember hearing anything about it...)