Here’s a collection of notes we’ve been sharing through our email list. The Fezziwig Ball is coming up fast! Here are a few things we want you to know about our event:
It’s always hard to hear at the Fezziwig, which makes for a lot of confusion and therefore even more noise. Our sound system is maxed out at four speakers, so the dance caller and band are as loud as they can get. The rest is up to you. Here’s some guidelines to help minimize confusion on the dance floor.
- Learn the basic steps of ECD beforehand by watching this youtube playlist.
- Go over the dance card and watch the videos for each dance
- If you’re coming with a group, get together before the Ball and practice together
- And as always, while on the dance floor, be quiet and listen to the caller.
Let’s move on to some basic etiquette for this formal event.
Chaos on the dance floor… what to do?
- When the caller is teaching, try to be quiet. Even though it’s tempting to tell your partner what to do, once everyone starts doing that, no one can hear for all the babble. If your partner or neighbor is confused, direct their attention to the caller. If they are still confused after one or two walkthroughs of the dance, you can raise your hand to get one of our dance helpers to come to your set and assist.
- Absolutely no pushing or pulling other members of the set to get them where you want them to go. Respect other people, the dance will be fine in the end.
- Parents, please make sure if you bring younger children that they are always paired with an adult in the dance set. We generally ask that children under the age of 10 not attend.
- When you are not dancing, please do not run through the halls. I sympathize with this because it is fun… but please don’t.
- Also when you are not dancing, please chat out in the hallway.
- Please do not disrupt the skits at intermission.
A note about dress.
We are excited about this year’s Fezziwig Ball! The Lauritzen gardens are a beautiful backdrop for the live music and a room full of energetic dancers stepping through dances that are over four hundred years old.
At such an event, what does one wear???
Practically, wear something you can easily move about in. Dancing requires movement, and good shoes. Heels are not a good idea. Flexible shoes that will not slip off your feet are best.
We welcome historical costumes! Again, they should be practical enough to move about in, and not impede other dancers on a crowded dance floor.
Overall, we encourage people to dress formally, but some level of business casual(whatever that is) is totally fine as well.
All dress should be generally modest and family friendly. We are a diverse family group in all the best ways, with young people and grandparents alike attending. So don’t dress like you’re going to prom, or a bar.
A note about form.
All of the dances on our dance card for the Ball are historical, meaning most of them are from the 17th century. Most of them are all dances we regularly do at our monthly events throughout the year. However, people attending may not be familiar with English Country Dance and it’s protocols, so here are a few things we like to mention from time to time at our events.
- Gentlemen traditionally ask a lady, may I have this dance?
- Gentlemen, feel free to lead the lady on and off the dance floor. This is especially nice for the ladies when it’s crowded and it can be hard to get through groups of people.
- Throughout the dance, gentlemen’s hands are underneath, lady’s hands on top.
- We’ve mentioned this before(we’ll probably mention it again)- be quiet and listen to the caller!
- After each dance, partners bow and thank eachother for the dance, and then turn to thank the band.