I'm frequently upset by the lack of respect we dancers show our bands. Go to your next dance and listen to the smattering of applause after every number, at the beginning of breaks and the end of the evening. When we're not paying attention dancers often leave the floor tired and happy at the end of a song, forgetting to clap altogether. More than one band has finished a tune, and left the stage, while the dancers mingle, chat, waiting for another tune, and then realize the band is gone.
Hearty applause is a good thing. Bands are often used to playing to crowds that don't react to them or acknowledge them, but if you want the most energy out of a band, give some back. Musicians play better in response to riotous applause than to lukewarm handclaps. If you really think the audience is enthusiastic about what you are playing you work a *lot* harder to please them - playing a wilder organ solo on that blues number, pounding the piano with ever more energy in those swing tunes.
Jonathan & Sylvia as part of their classes often have "clapping practice." They tell their students after a practice song to clap as if a live band had just finished a number. Bands who are always shown appreciation by the dancers give out great energy in return.
Try, whenever possible, to act as a *plant* in the audience. Start the applause early, keep it loud and keep it going. This often helps other dancers to remember to clap. Always applaud after a set if the band announces they are taking a break. Finally, go over to the band while they are packing up and I thank them, as a group. All bands appreciate that.
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This file is part of the lead/follow FAQ list. These are articles compiled from the newsgroup rec.arts.dance by Mark Balzer. Html-isation by Victor Eijkhout, victor at eijkhout dot net. See also the Rec Arts Dance FAQ list Copyright 1996/7/8/9 lies with the compiler, the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.
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