As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
As people switch ISP's in search of a better deal (or to escape a bad one), it's easy to forget to remind people of the change address. This is analogous to not leaving a change-of-address card at the post office and various friends, relatives, and creditors.
While most of you don't bother with the weekly DanceNet email'ed newsletter, quite a few hundred of you still do. However, not a week goes by when mail bounces back because someone changed jobs or they changed ISP's or simply hadn't used their free accounts in a while and they expired.
I've been at email@example.com since December 7, 1992 when I got laid off during the Great Pearl Harbor Day Massacre at Digital Equipment. Since so many people know me at this address, friends can find me, even if they hadn't kept in touch in a while. It's the same as living in the same place for years. While The World isn't necessarily the best ISP (they're still just *thinking* about doing DSL and wouldn't give me a break for hosting this website on their servers), it's useful to keep this account when someone needs to send me mail.
For those of you who get the weekly (or bi-monthly) newsletter, please let me know in advance if you're changing "addresses". If I get a bounceback from you, I'm going to assume that the address is no longer
I've always made a big deal about that fact that in social dancing consideration for your dance partner is paramount. There are a lot of things that are risky to your partner and we should always think about that when we go out dancing. If your jewelry is going to come in contact with the person you're dancing with, please think about whether or not it might injure another person. This includes long chains (for those guys who like wearing the long watch chains on their pants), bulky watches (bigger is not better), long loose necklaces, and rings with sharp edges.
How to decide? Imagine how fun it would be to get bopped in the head with a big watch or flogged by an extra long watch chain. If you don't like it, then I would guess that your dance partner wouldn't like it either.
There is another problem where dance organizers will run an event (or many events) at a location where another venue "has dibs".
The issue arises for two reasons:
If there are two dances, one on Friday and one on Saturday, in the same location, dancers might go to the one that's more convenient to their schedule, and ignore the other one. If the events were held by the same promoter, that would be okay since that's their choice. However, if the second promoter starts holding an event on the night before the existing event or even hold it on a different evening of the month (like a different Saturday of the month), that will hurt the existing business because there's less of an urgency to attend a dance at that location.
Holding an event at a location that was established by someone else's hardwork is in some grey area. Is it legal? Absolutely. That's why we live in America. Is it ethical? I don't think so. If someone puts the energy to find and market a particular venue, I don't think it's right to just waltz in (pun intended) and start using that venue without having putting in the same time and effort to secure that location. Doing so is also a veiled attempt to steal customers.
Back about 7 years ago, someone had decided to hold a new swing at the location established by another swing dance promoter. In spite of objections, the new person started holding dances on the opposite side of the month (two weeks later) and this started a "cold war" in the community. Around the same time, I had also heard stories about a dance teacher (same person, actually) trying to hold classes in a location established by another teacher (and teach the same kind of classes).
One teacher was smart because he had advised former students to start a new studio far away so that they wouldn't be cannibalizing the same business and hurting each other. That also made sense since why would people start taking classes with the new teacher when they could take lessons from the teacher's teacher? This also allows the different dance businesses to differentiate themselves from everyone else.
Granted, there are situations which keep it in the grey area. For instance, there might be an urgency to hold an event in a specific location due to uncontrollable circumstances. However, the dance promoter must realize that their actions have an effect on both the dancers and the other promoters. It's also very easy to avoid bad feeling over this. The dance promoters should make an honest effort to contact the promoter of the existing event and ask if it's okay to hold their event at the existing location. If the answer is no, then look for another place. This helps alleviate bad feelings among the dance promoters and among the dancers. The dance community isn't big enough not to be affected by dissention among the dance promoters.
P.S.: Claiming the whole state as your "turf" is not appropriate.
In fact, that event *did* trigger the Soapbox, but only because it was the topic of a discussion at the time. The timing itself was a coincidence.
That event's organizers were concerned that I was chastising them for something that was unique to their situation. I wanted to let them and other dancers that it is never the intention of this Soapbox to call anyone on the carpet for some alledged past bad behavior. I am not the Swing Police. If I don't approve of a dance promoter, I don't go to their events (which explains a couple of things, eh?).
The purpose of this Soapbox is to highlight *past* behavior in hopes that it would be a guide to *future* behavior. I want people to think about the subjects that come up in this medium and ask themselves, "Did I do that?" and perhaps "Maybe I should think about that next time".
For instance, there's this guy who is suppose to know better but somehow manages to dance backwards a lot and kick other people without even bothering to say sorry. This particular person himself won't know or care, but I want other readers to wonder if *they* did that. That can only serve to improve the dance scene.
I get mail or phone calls almost every week with a story from someone in the dance scene with a complaint about something bad that happened. Those people tend not to be in a position to do anything about the situation but they do want to have someone with whom they could talk about it. Since I've been on the local swing dance scene since 1991, I'm in a position to know most of the parties involved and have some insight as to what might have happened. For the parties involved in anything I write about, I want them to consider "the other person's point of view" (I don't think that's happened yet).
If you find a Soapbox that seems to apply to your own situation, don't ever think, "Why is he yelling at me?" Instead, try thinking "That's not good. I wonder if I do that."