PAUL BOIZOT - CIRCLE DANCE AND MUSIC

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LYRICS
to some Circle and International Folk dances
IRREGULAR RHYTHMS
from Eastern Europe, Armenia, Turkey - an adaptation of my  drumming or instrumentalists' workshop handout, with beat count and names of some dances for a variety of rhythms for 5/16 to 22/8.

This article first appeared in Grapevine, Summer 1994

DANCE TEACHERS' QUALIFICATIONS - THE POINTS SYSTEM

What qualifies a circle dancer to call themselves a teacher is a matter of ongoing controversy. This paper suggests a way forward. In the long term the solution must be the establishment of a professional body for circle dance teachers, which can control accreditation of training courses and set appropriate standards for assessment. Meanwhile, inclusion in Grapevine Teachers' Listings should no longer be on a self-select basis. Emerging teachers will continue to be eligible for self-select listing, but transition to the full teachers list (to be known as "The Approved List", or just "The List") will be by practical and oral examination by a panel of no less than three and no more than five teachers, each of at least five years experience.

This "group of wise men" - or, rather, "wise women"? - will be elected annually by postal ballot from the current teachers list by the Network (as represented by those whose Grapevine subscriptions are current at the date of the election). Elections will be by single transferable vote, with an option to reject any or all of the candidates. To be allowed to present themselves for examination by the panel, emerging teachers must amass at least 400 points according to the following allotments. Candidates for The List must be able to provide written evidence of their points total where appropriate.

POINTS
Experience 
1. for each year since running of first group 100
2. for each hour's teaching time (it will be necessary to keep an accurate log for this, with signatures of the organiser of each session, or, if a self-organised session, of the most experienced dancer in the group) 
Visits to Findhorn
1. completion of Teacher Training Course  1000
2. attendance on other dance weeks, per week  100
3. non-dance weeks, per week  50
4. Findhorn residents, flat-rate (on top of points for dance weeks)  250
Size of repertoire; per dance  1
                           variations to dances, each 
Size of tape collection; alternative methods of assessment
1. per tape; C90  18
                 C60  12

(This arguably overvalues longer dances, e.g. 30 minute versions of The Shepherds' Dance, Sandansko Oro, Banish Misfortune, Frunze, etc.)

2. per separate piece of recorded music  1
 - exception; each different piece of music for Misir Lou, Winds On The Tor, and Lesnoto will only be worth 
 - exception; each different piece of music for Misir Lou in excess of 15 will receive a deduction of  5
Ability; can do 
The Shepherd's Dance  1
Ambee Dageets, remaining in line of dance on turns  3
Chekassia Kfula  4
Winds On The Tor, including the knee bends  10
Hora de la Risipiti, per different version  15
Hora Miresei, without going the wrong way  20
Ograzdensko Horo  25
Mombar, with windscreen-wipers and head movements  35
Daronee, hands unjoined with full arm movements  47
Bučimiš 50
Horiblesko Horo, full six-part version in 17/8 time, high W-hold with pumping arms, including double back-flip and scissor-kicks; deduction for showing off  19
Knowledge of traditional cultures; can accurately pronounce and spell Crnogorka, Potrculka, Eench Eemanae, Shoofly and Rose of Raby  10
Sacred aspects; 
can maintain silence at end of dance for as long as you want without opening eyes to see if everyone else has already got eyes open and is looking bored or impatient

50

can accurately pronounce and spell Lughnasadh  10
Practicalities; always remembering to cover the hole in the centre-cloth caused by vigorous scraping-off of candle wax 10
Dancing with children; can do this without losing temper  55

Presented in peas and light by Paul Boizot.

Alternative spellings or transliterations;
Hora Miresei is often incorrectly spelled Hora Miresii or Hora Miresi

Bučimiš; Bucimis, buchimish, bucimish, bucimus.

 

 

AFTERWORD  This article is a little dated now (October 2008), if only in its reference to playing music from tapes rather than CDs, mp3's, laptops, etc. Minidiscs have been and perhaps gone again. The principle remains, however, which is to poke fun at the idea of formalising what was - and is - a very informal network. (Yes, in case you had not realised, this article is not serious). 

Since I wrote it I have had to get an adult teaching qualification in order to allow me to continue teaching subjects I had already been teaching for years, and much of the content did not impress me. I have also had to come to grips with teaching Circle Dance for the WEA (Workers Educational Association), and the attendant paperwork - learning outcomes, enrolment forms a mile long, etc. There are now also other Circle Dance teacher training courses, including one by Judy King which is spoken highly of. I have myself taken the useful SIFD (Society for International Folk Dance) teacher training course. But thankfully nobody is yet seriously proposing that you have to take a course - let alone one full of intellectual hogwash about learning theories - or get a qualification in order to be allowed to teach Circle Dance. I hope that is how things remain!

 

Page last updated 17.11.08

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