TRIANGLE CHAPTER USABDA DANCE WORKSHOPS
Frequently Asked Questions
Each year, we carefully read the comments given on your workshop
evaluations, and several questions are asked every time. This FAQ will
hopefully answer those questions for you, and tell you a little more about
the organization of the workshops.
You will note that the primary answer to most of these questions is cost.
The goal of the workshops is to provide dancers in the Triangle with an
inexpensive opportunity to learn dance steps and techniques from
instructors with national acclaim. This low cost opportunity brings
variety and interest to dancing in our area twice a year! To promote this
goal, floorspace, labor, and equipment are all obtained for as cheaply as
possible, through University and volunteer resources.
- Why don't we have workshops more often?
- Each workshop takes several months of planning and organization,
selecting instructors, arranging travel plans, and coordinating the
schedules for campus facilities for the workshops at NCSU and UNC.
The workshops are also fully run by volunteers (mostly Bill Bingham!) who
have a limited amount of time to give.
- Why don't the instructors give out notes covering the steps they teach?
- This seems like a simple request, but there are several reasons why it is
impractical at the workshops:
- Each class has an individual personality. Most instructors a rough plan
for teaching which they modify as they evaluate the skill level and
interest of the class. Therefore, it is hard to predict exactly what
steps or routines will be taught.
- Lists of steps are not much help if you don't remember what each step
is. You can obtain a standard syllabus list to remind you of what steps
there are in each dance. For the workshops, we suggest that you bring
note-taking materials so that you can write down the ideas and concepts that are
important to you. Each person is likely to find different things to be important.
- Some instructors feel that making students take notes is an effective part of the
learning process. When possible, we try to provide writing materials to the instructors
so that they can note key concepts on a board while they discuss them.
- Why do you always schedule the workshops during beautiful spring or fall days?
- We use University facilities, which means that the floors
we use are free, a savings which we use to reduce our prices. Also,
nearly all of the labor for the workshops is supplied by members of
the college clubs. For these reasons we are bound by the University
schedule. That means that it is nearly impossible to schedule during
Summer and Winter breaks and that we try to avoid the end of the
- Why donít you make sure there are even numbers of men and women?
- So far, we only know of two ways guarantee that there are even numbers of men and
women in each class:
The first option restricts your opportunities to take the workshops, and the second
requires a lot of volunteer work and coordination, which we do not have
the resources for. Therefore, instead of guaranteeing a balance, we
limit the enrollment of ladies and men in each class. Then, in
the last two weeks before the workshop, we make a concerted effort to
register people in classes where there is an imbalance. Believe it or not, there
have been classes with more men than women. However, the norm is more ladies, so - women,
pick a guy, and encourage him to come! Men, bring your friends! Finally, all the
instructors are told to rotate partners frequently.
- we could require that everyone sign up with partners, or
- we could match registrations as they come, and deny registration to anyone that
we can't pair with someone else.
- Why isn't there more personal attention in the classes?
- In a group class the instructor is trying to divide their
attention evenly among about 30 people. In their attempt to bring the entire
class to the same level, some participants may feel overlooked. Remember that
you can ask questions if you feel a point deserves more attention. Also sometimes
private lessons with the instructors are
available for those who would like more personal attention.
- Why donít you have...
People often ask why there isn't a specific piece of equipment.
- All of the equipment used in the workshops is on loan. The cost of even a single
new piece of equipment would seriously
impact the cost to you. The workshops are run, as nearly as possible, at no profit. So
there isn't any additional money to accumulate equipment.