Are you a contra dancer?
If so, you might be interested in participating in a professionally facilitated forum on June 9 at Glen Echo Park, prior to the 7:30pm contra dance, where we will be discussing the changing world of calling terms, including the use of traditional and non-gendered words.
The objective of this listening session is to help inform the Dance Chair, with the Dance Committee, as they work on formulating a policy regarding this complex issue, as well as developing guidelines for amending future policies, specifically for the Sunday night dance, as well as other contra dances.
Participants will have an opportunity to speak and voice opinions, thoughts, and concerns. All are welcome. Each participant who wishes to speak will have two minutes, and in the later part of the meeting, if time remains, participants will be invited to briefly offer additional thoughts and ideas.
The meeting will be held at Glen Echo Park, in the Arcade on the second floor, room #202-203. Note the 5:30 pm start time, which is revised from the first notice of this meeting, to allow us to use a larger meeting room. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
This meeting will be recorded and available for anyone to download post-meeting. Since many people may not be able to attend, an on-line form for submitting brief thoughts and opinions is available here, and will be available post meeting for a two-week period.
You may either RSVP or sign up at the door to speak.
NOTE: Comments received as of Friday June 7 can be perused here.
After the substance of all the comments has been synthesized, the Dance Chair will communicate policy and rationale, as well as policy setting guidelines, or plans for determining same, by August 15.
Additional Information about the current policy:
The following is sent to callers when they are hired to call a contra dance.
-Role terms are up to the caller with several exceptions. They may choose from "ladies/gents", "larks/ravens" or any of the other standard non gendered options. They may not use men/women, boys/girls, or any other standard gendered term.
-Please do not use "Gypsy", any of the usual substitutes (right shoulder round, etc..) are fine.
-Try to use gender neutral pronouns (“gents, catch the lady and scoop them around”).
-While calling and teaching dances, do not use language that encourages flirtation or intimacy beyond what any individual dancer chooses to consent to on their own (i.e. please don't say anything that would be inappropriate to call to a parent dancing with their young teen child).