Posts Tagged ‘traffic’
I believe I’ve mentioned before in this blog that I live in the sticks and have to drive an hour to get to any dancing. All the driving I do has the unfortunate effect of turning what should be a healthy obsession with dancing into a slightly unhealthy one. I really feel guilty about contributing to traffic and pollution, and wasting two hours of irretrievable time every couple of days, and obviously gas isn’t getting any cheaper. So basically, it sucks.
In my town of 35,000 souls or so, which is charmingly located in the heart of wine country, there exists a completely restored, actual old authentic vintage ballroom with an amazing floor. Mostly it gets used for fundraising receptions and wedding rehearsal dinners, but it absolutely cries out to be danced in.
We tried to start a scene at the ballroom here last summer. It started out with a bang, then quickly fizzled. I have some ideas about what went wrong. I mean besides the unhelpful theory that suburban people are idiots.
The big mistake we made was that we tried to run it like we’d run a dance in Portland. We offered a free drop-in lesson and then three hours of dancing.
What we found is that people were coming in for the “free” lesson, and then leaving. The only people who’d stick around were a handful of college girls who used the time to practice their tumbling routines. Middle-aged couples would show up and then get freaked out by the idea of rotating in the lesson, so they’d drift off to the side and work on some country two-step. It was less than spectacular, and we swore we’d never try it again.
Well, we’re going to try it again.
This time, we’re going to format the thing a little differently, and see if it helps. Instead of a one-hour lesson and three hours of dancing, we’re going to reverse that and offer three hour-long lessons followed by an hour of free social dancing and practice time. We figure there just isn’t enough of a knowledge base about dancing out here in God’s country to be able to support a weekly social dance; these people need lessons. Maybe once people have learned enough and gotten some confidence about their dancing we’ll try it again with a weekly dance. But probably not for a year or so.
What do you think? Has anyone reading this ever started a brand-new scene anywhere? Do you have any suggestions for me?