A quick aside to callers

Dear callers of the world, whatever your chosen dance form may be. I have a humble request.

Please, when trying to indicate that people dancing the same role should be facing each other, use just that terminology. Do not say "someone of the same gender". Do not say "someone who looks like you" (although that's at least good for a laugh). Say, if you must, "gents face gents, and ladies face ladies" but if you do, don't follow it with some sort of 'humorous' disclaimer aimed towards someone who appears to you to be dancing on the incorrect side of the floor --you do not know their motivations, and they may be in entirely the correct place.

Just say "face someone of the same role". It really is that simple. It gets the point across, and no one has to wince as you assume a gender for them. No one has to feel hurt or insulted that you called them a gentleman or a lady or called them out for being in the wrong place. No one has to gnash their terrible teeth and stay politely silent because it's just not worth it to speak up.

"Someone of the same role". It would make those of us who's dance-gender and real genders don't necessarily line up a whole lot happier.


Pre-Assembly 2011

The Regency Assembly is this Saturday.

For those not in the know, the Regency Assembly is a big formal ball recreating the dances and traditions of the Regency era --roughly the Napoleonic war, or "when all those books by that Jane Austen chick were written". Regency dancing is not the most popular dance form I do (that would be contra) and as such, there is an unfortunately small fanbase. The Assembly is one of the only chances we get to come together as a group and party. It's the time when you show off your gorgeous new clothes, your delicious new recipes, and your awesome elaborate new dance moves.

I am preparing for it by stressing out, and wishing I had realized it was so soon so I could make a better pair of breeches. And stressing out more. Regency dancing is particularly fraught for me, because it's one of the only dance forms in which I only take one role --that of the gentleman. I prefer to dance gentleman for several reasons, but one of the big disadvantages lies in that I find the role to be more restricting than that of the lady --both in clothing and in partner choice.

The restrictive clothing should be obvious: as a gentleman wearing proper period menswear, I am wearing four layers above the waist, not counting the bra or (for the more serious or endowed) binding. If that weren't exhausting enough, the neck should be swaddled by two of those layers, and wrapped quite thoroughly in a cravat. Huzzah for clothing that literally keeps you from turning your head!

As for partner choice, there is a certain degree to which ladies in a dance hall, especially of the vintage variety, get more freedom in choice than the gentlemen do. Because Regency dancing is typically skewed to feature more ladies than gents, the ladies are free to dance with each other, safe in the knowledge they are unlikely to be depriving a gentleman of a partner. It makes me sad to limit my potential choice by half, but it's a sacrifice I accept in exchange for some of the other freedoms of playing the boy.

At any rate, I intend to be there in my dashing dark blue tailcoat, attempting to keep my swearing to a minimum, and not set anyone on fire. This is a _formal_ event, after all. If you're there, do say hello, and if you're in Boston and want to come along, let me know --it's a dreadfully dull trip by myself, and my carriage has space to spare.