During Youth Dance Weekend 2008 we had a great discussion about a wide range of issues related to youth involvement and leadership in dance and music. We brainstormed a long list of questions together, wrote them up on large sheets of paper all around the room, and then spent a while walking around and writing down our individual ideas and suggestions.
The exercise was meant to start discussion about these various topics. There are a lot of great ideas here, and not everyone agrees about every answer. Some of the topics overlap in interesting ways. We hope you’ll take what you can from this brainstorm, try it out in your community, and keep talking with others about what works. You can leave comments at the bottom of each topic page, where it says continue the conversation…Enjoy!
Note on Formatting
- separate suggestions from different people are tabulated in bulleted lists
- responses to/comments on previous suggestions are indented in red
- additional comments are more indented in blue
- Gender role issues within community…
- How to include newer dancers as a dancer/caller?
- How to get dancers of other styles into contra?
- How to work with Perpetual Beginners?
- Strategies for starting a dance?
- How to help others dance under control…
- How do young/new performers get gigs?
- Is encouraging younger dancers/leaders/musicians more important than getting new dancers from any generation?
- Where to get the word out…
- How can regional/national organizations help foster youth involvement in trad music and dance?
- How to deal with less experienced dancers coming in after workshop?
- How to invigorate a dying dance…
- How to encourage intergenerational dancing? How to successfully communicate re: intergenerationality to younger dancers?
- How to help a community of beginning dancers advance to a higher level of dancing…
- How to deal with gender imbalance…
- How do you explain contra? What IS contra dancing?
- How can a dance organizer solicit help?
- How to get contra dancers involved in other forms of dancing?
- How to encourage appropriate behavior…
- How to attract younger dancers