February 15, 2000
"To live is to dance, to dance is to live." Who said that? I always thought it was Charles Schultz via Snoopy, but several dance quote pages attribute it to someone named Heidi Groskreutz.
Can a website sell square dancing? Here's a success story: Jeff Gorbutt, a caller in Australia, received an enquiry about learning to square dance from someone in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I've been to Jeff's site, and I thought it had some effective features, including a good explanation of why we call it "modern" square dancing. Now I wonder how someone in Milwaukee happened upon it?
SquareDancing.com has put up a whole bunch of message forums on their site.
I wonder why someone would choose to discuss things there and not on the mailing lists that already have a lively discussion. One difference is that they've made the caller forums private, meaning that one has to say one is a caller to get access. Would we discuss things differently if we knew dancers weren't listening in?
Trains of thought derailed by the web
In sd-callers today, Guy Adams opined that we should stop saying (or even thinking) negative things about square dancing. He said "Begin today by saying, "Square Dancing is the #1 family activity for the New Millennium." Say this out loud, say it everyday and say it like you mean it."
So this made me think of "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better," but I couldn't remember who said it. Off to a search engine, where I quickly discovered that Emile Coue said it originally and that the phrase is used in a lot of affirmation-related sites.
Then I wondered about another phrase Guy used: "Call things that are not as if they were." Turns out to be from a Matthew Henry commentary on Hebrews 11. (If you're really interested, it's here.)
Another phrase Guy used: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Yup, my mom used to say that one. But then I thought about "If you can't say anything nice, come sit by me." Now who said that? I thought it was Mae West or Dorothy Parker, but it turns out to be the Shirley MacLaine character in "Steel Magnolias".
So obviously, I got derailed from Guy's overall message. I actually tend to agree that thinking positively is a good thing, and that we can get bogged down in circular negative arguments. On the other hand, I don't think we can ignore the ways in which square dancing, as it's currently practiced, is a little out of touch with the times. (To carry that to an extreme, even the most positive salesperson couldn't be successful selling slide rules, once calculators were invented.)