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  • McClune, Sheila
    Mar 18, 1999
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      I guess, for the record (now that there's somebody here besides just me and
      Guillaume), I ought to introduce myself.

      Hi. I'm Arwen, and I like to dance.

      I was just trying to remember how long I've been dancing in the SCA. My
      first event was in June, 1983; I think I went to my first Caer Galen dance
      practice in August of that year. (See, this cute cavalier guy that I met at
      my first event invited me to go to dance practice with him, and he asked so
      nicely, how could I possibly refuse ...)

      Over the next couple of years, I learned all the dances I could from anyone
      who would teach me (Mistress Richenda, Mistress Kate ...). And somewhere
      along the way, I started to teach others what I had learned. Guillaume
      (a.k.a. "the cute cavalier guy") and I even sort of unofficially took over
      Caer Galen practice for a while. I tried (semi-successfully) to get a dance
      practice going in what is now Unser Hafen, too. I danced and taught people
      to dance at events all over what is now the Northern Outlands, from
      Aarquelle to Winddragon (now Windkeep). And when Guillaume married me and
      took me away to the East, I tried my best to carry on with dancing there.

      Now, I just have to look back and wonder where I ever got the guts to do it.
      For a long time, I had no written dance sources whatsoever, just the oral
      instructions that had been passed on to me by my teachers. I'd made a copy
      of Mistress Richenda's tape, and believe me, it has been well used! And I
      had only a vague idea of which dances were period and which ones were not.

      Eventually, of course, I began accumulating a few dance books, and some
      additional tapes. And I got to go to a Carolingian dance practice once, and
      learned some dances from Baron Patri. I also remember that he came up and
      taught dancing at one of our events. That was cool.

      When we moved back to the Outlands, we went to dance practices in Caer Galen
      and Unser Hafen (while I was gone, their practice had really taken off) as
      often as our work schedules allowed, but it wasn't until fairly recently --
      the last two or three years -- that we've been trying to get a regular
      practice going in Caerthe, with the help of THL Wyndylyn.

      I started this list because I want to see more period dancing done at
      events, and I want to try to figure out ways to make that happen. Any
      suggestions anyone has will be most welcome.

      Arwen Southernwood
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