My friend and fellow caller, Ron Buchanan of Pittsburg PA,was in Asheville last night to call at the Grey Eagle. The weather had turned very cold and the roads were icy. I ventured out because Ron, who is a great caller, does not get out and tour very often. There was a small crowd, we had only one line to begin and did grow to a second line about the middle of the evening. All the dances Ron called were of his own creation. It is fun to listen to him create a subtext for what is going on on the dance floor as folks travel through  a dance. While gypsying a Neighbor: "Ladies, check out that other guy". As gents Allemande: "Gents, check out the competition". Partner, Balance and Swing "I'm not admitting to anything!"

Ron and I met Tuesday for coffee and ended up having a three hour conversation,mostly about dance. We shared ideas for dances, dances we had written and Ron brought out a booklet he has been working on about dance and the choreography for some original dances of his. I really enjoyed his essays. We shared a few laughs about our devoted focus on trying to create good dances, what makes a good dance, the subtext or story line in a dance. We talked about music, dances, dancers and dance communities. We chuckled at how oblivious the majority of dancers are regarding what makes for a pleasurable evening of dances, and the typical blur of an evening of dance. However they know when the caller does not deliver.

Ron made an interesting comment late in the conversation that I am going to take away. It is this, callers spend a lot of time teaching the moves, Ladies Chain, Right and Left Thru, etc. But the ability to properly execute a move is not what makes a dancer a dancer. It is the ability to make the transition from one move to another pleasurable, the FLOW, that makes a dance a dance.

This is something I want to talk about a bit more when I have the opportunity. In my "Beyond Beginners. How to Become Everyone's Favorite Dancer" workshops I will be focusing more on those moments of transition. How to make them pleasurable so there is no doubt that the person you are dancing with knows you two are dancing.