What Do I Expect Of Angels?




Dancers frequently ask me what I expect from angels, or tell me that they feel they are not good enough dancers to be angels. This is often said about five-seconds before I'm ready to start another tip, so I never have time to respond properly. I decided to think it through and put my ideas down in writing.

The first thing I expect is that angels will be friendly. Angels should mix with student dancers during the tips and between tips. Occasionally student dancers will take lessons with more than one club. The club they decide to join will be the one that they find most friendly, the people with whom they enjoy being. Later in their dancing life, these dancers may join clubs on the basis of program (formerly level) the talent of the caller, the proficiency of the members, etc., but at this moment, the new dancers select their club on its friendliness.

I also like my angels to mix with the students during the dancing, to take a student as a partner, without being reminded. Mixing with students doesn't mean just being partners with the "good" dancers (or the good looking ones). It also means being partners with those who have trouble remembering left from right. The fact is the poorer the dancer, the more they need your help and friendship, especially during the early weeks of lessons. You may find that a particular couple does not like to be split up; they prefer dancing with their spouse. Ok, let them, but give them company in their square.

Now what about the dancing ability of the angels? I expect that the angels will have learned to listen, and that is all I really want. Experienced dancers can help better if they listen to the instructions given to the students. I don't expect the angels to be teachers. Angels can help the new students better by pointing to where the students should go than they can by pushing or pulling them.

And all angels know that callers don't want talk while the caller is talking or calling. Angels can help get this point across to the students by signaling to them to be quiet as well. All angels know that callers don't want the angels to do any "non-standard" movements that have not been taught--no two-handed allemandes, no waist swing dosado's, no hip bumps, no twirls, etc. These unorthodox moves only confuse the new dancers.

In summary, "What Do I Expect From Angels"?
Be Friendly
Mix With Students
Guide Them With Signals, No Pushing Or Pulling
Don't Confuse Them With Gimmicky Moves
Most Important Of All: BE FRIENDLY