Herräng Dance Camp

2nd July to 6th August

Prepmode for Camp 2016
Lindy Hop, Boogie Woogie, Balboa, Solo Jazz & Tap

How do we encourage Leads to register early?

Wed, 13/11/2013 - 15:21 -- fiona

Generally speaking, Leads are slower at registering for events and workshops than Follows - and the situation is no different for HDC. How do we encourage Leads to register earlier to help the imbalance of registrations? Is offering a discount to Leads simply rewarding them and penalising or devaluing the Follows? Are there alternative incentives to monetary discounts? Do we encourage "couples" registrations first - or is this penalising single registrants?

It's a worldwide issue for so many camps and a problem we would really like your input on. Have you got any suggestions on how to encourage leads to sign up earlier?

Submitted by hdc432759 on

An early bird-discount is often used by others, something for Herräng as well maybe?

Submitted by fiona on

We feel that offering a discount to Leads just to get them to register early is unfair to Follows.


Submitted by hdc193911 on

Those at the wrong side of supply and demand will always think that the world is unfair. Suppose that you did not even try to balance the classes or parties. Then there would be soo many more followers than leads, and that too would be unfair to follows. It is also unfair to not get a spot just because you are living in a different timezone or was at work or something and did not register in time such that the girl above you in the queue does get a spot but you dont.


I seriouls think that follows would accept paying more or receiving a slight worse sleep location if it ment that there would be comming more leads so they would get more dance time. You should try it out to see if it works.




Submitted by hdc246685 on

I'm not entirely sure what problem you are trying to adress?
Is it that leads a) register later, but do register wich I presume makes planning and organizing harder or b) that fewer leads register, over all, which creates an inbalance with the effect that you have to turn follows down even though you could accomodate more participants?

For a, I guess an attractive early bird offer is helpful. But I would find it strange if it  was offered to leads only. For b) maybe a slightly lower price would be in order. "Supply and demand" comes to mind.

Submitted by hdc358083 on

I think that hdc246685 is astute in observing that there are two separate issues here.

My view is that the problem is not that leaders sign up at the last minute, but that followers are permitted (and therefore obliged) to sign up so far in advance.

Obviously having people register early is helpful for event organisers, but I think many events now open registration too far in advance.  For major international events, three months is about right (to coincide with availability of discounted rail tickets and cheap flights); for more local events one or two months is more appropriate.  Opening registration further in advance than that is not helpful to anyone except the event organiser, and for events that do book quickly makes it impossible for people who have assigned shifts or unpredictable freelance contracts to attend at all, since they cannot book before they know their work schedule.

(An aside: events known to book up fully should assign places by lottery, since the current rush-to-sign-up is unfair to those who are for whatever reason (work, travel, timezone) unable to be at their computer in the time (sometimes only a few minutes) between registration opening and the event filling up.  A two-week window for people to submit applications would be reasonable, and if more applications are received in that period than there are spaces then places will be offered to applicants in random order.  This same principle should apply to events like Herräng that have long follower waiting lists, because being at the end of a very long queue is no better than not getting a place at all, particularly if you are travelling from far away.)

As a leader, the idea of getting a discount just for being a leader is of course appealing, but - aside from questions of fairnesss - the truth is that it is not experienced and enthusiastic leaders who are the ones who really need encouragement to book: it is those would-be leaders who have never learned to dance at all, or have tried it and found the experience discouraging.  Unfortunately, solving this larger problem of lead-follow balance involves addressing deep-seated cultural norms about male / female gender roles.  Offering offering lower rates to leaders might still be useful, of course - but it is probably at local beginners classes where such a discount would be most effective.

There is one type of discount which should be considered, though: a sufficiently substantial early bird discount.  The problem is that even in the absence of a blanket discount for leaders, the laws of supply and demand already result in a black market for registration partners and consequent bribery of one kind or another.  I myself have been offered home baking, massages and, in once instance, free accommodation in the tent of a particularly attractive follower.  Since such offers are likely to get more enticing as the event comes closer they actually discourage early registration; an early-bird discount would help counteract this.

It is worth noting that an early registration discount is equivalent to a late-registration penalty, and taken to the extreme this is simply a deadline for registration, which would of course be a highly effective motivator - but carries an increased risk of the event being cancelled due to insufficient interest.

Obliging people to register in couples clearly has some advantages - increasing social pressure on leaders, particularly - and for events with a fixed capacity that are known to book up fully this might well be sufficient to solve the problem, at least from the organiser's point of view.  For events like Herräng which are of somewhat flexible size and which don't necessarily fill completely, however, there are some reasons to be sceptical:

  • Leaders out there genuinely inclined to book early would already be doing so.
  • There is already social pressure from followers on the waiting list; it's not clear that couples-only registration would make a big difference unless the event is likely to book fully quickly.
  • Even if they won't accept an outright bribe, leaders recognise that there is advantage to be gained by waiting to see upon whom they can bestow their co-registration.
  • It actually makes it at least slightly harder for leaders to register at all (especially if they are new, not well connected, not popular, or unattractive).

So, in summary: I do not see any easy solution here.  I don't think couple-only registration will help very much.  I do think an early-bird discount will help a little.  I think opening registration at a more reasonable time (in March or April, as it used to be) would be better because most people will not want to book earlier than this unless there is a danger of not getting a spot, and this danger applies mainly to followers.


Submitted by hdc246685 on

Sooo... Fiona.
Was this helpful? Did you even read the comments?

Submitted by fiona on

Yes, we do read the comments and it's great to get some strong feedback. Thank you so much. :)

Submitted by hdc246685 on

Great! How about sharing your thoughts on the feedback then? Or at least answering the questions?

If I am to engage in a discussion, I need to feel that there is actually a discussion going on with feedback from whomever started it.
Otherwise it's a poll, and you already do that.

Submitted by fiona on

I am happy to try and answer your questions, but you don't seem to have any in your feedback.
Your feedback has outlined the same issues, suggested solutions and their pitfalls as we have also discussed.
I think the overall issue is mostly due to the fact that there are not as many Lead dancers as there are Follow dancers.
Therefore the core of the issue is to get more Leads to sign up to classes all over the world. I have always thought that some target marketing would help with this, but am yet to find a good way of doing this.
I remember one year a friend and I did a poll at HDC and asked as many leads as we could how they got started dancing - their response was "a woman/girl". Whether it was their mother, their friend or a girl they were chasing. ;)  Does this mean that part of the solution relies heavily on ladies introducing their male friends to dancing?

Submitted by hdc498759 on

"Does this mean that part of the solution relies heavily on ladies introducing their male friends to dancing?"

Of course! Ladies taking an active role in introducing guys to swing dancing will of course help.
It will help a lot more than ladies not taking an active role.
Moreover, I think it will also help more than guys trying to attract more guys to dancing. That's a guess, though, but going out there and making an effort for sure will work better than not going out there and hoping things will come to you.

Submitted by hdc647733 on

I'd say having to pay very early could be an issue. Or maybe it's just my case.. but for example perhaps it's not possible for several people to know in which weeks they can have holidays until late May/June; Which makes it hard to register and pay the deposit early in the year.

Submitted by hdc710389 on

I guess hdc358083 explains it all! I would ensemble some of her/his ideas:

1- The mosts spots in the event should be under only couple registration. Like 80% to 90%. This would put leaders also looking for followers. 

2- 5 to 10% or so for single registration. Dedicated mostly for the beguinners who have more trouble finding a partner.

3- As for the rest of the registration should be on a drawing basis so that those Leaders would think twice on bribery.

This could be done by stages.

A discount for Leaders woudnt be acceptable as even with this they are still in advantage. Lets not enhance the social unbalance more as Leaders lead this even on the dancefloor.

Submitted by hdc243793 on

I have a very simple solution. I would suggest to encourage followers to learn to lead.

I myself like the combination dancing with man and woman and be able to follow and lead.

If this would be possible to combine in one week ( Balboa is my favorite)  I would be very happy!

The whole problem would disappear 'als sneeuw voor de zon...'




Submitted by fiona on

I've always love classes that swap roles and teach you a bit of both. We see more and more Follows learning to Lead these days and it would be great to encourage that. We have some new ideas for a track for next year, so perhaps this could be included :)

Submitted by hdc313540 on


easy solution:

teach both roles to all participants and keep rotating roles.

Then max one person has no partner and everybody can better understand
the advantages of each role.

I am also dancing "Contact Improvisation",
there is no given role, everybody can take lead or just follow,
freely changing all the time during the dance.

And even though it is unimportant and hence there a no
registration restrictons, there is usually a nearly
50:50 split between female and male participants.



Submitted by hdc723325 on

I think it is a great idea to allow people to learn both lead and follow roles. I have had to learn to lead from lack of leads in my home swing dance club and knowing both is a great advantage. We have found that allowing members to escape gender roles has actually created an even more welcomming and accepting atmosphere. And its just plain fun to have more variety in your dancing. 

I would be wary of couple-only registration. This camp has a large amount of international participation but travelling from other continents is really expensive. Some smaller clubs may not be able to afford to send couples. 

Submitted by hdc313540 on


why even think in roles ?

nobody would run on just one leg (if he has two).
why only learn half of Swing ?
and why restrict Swing to a fixed/static role split ?

At the end of the day, the only reason are current
social "belief systems" and that "everybody" is
used to this role splitting, all (Swing) classes are
set up that way...

How many new possibilities if you take away this restriction!
if you can improvise during your dance freely with lead or follow
if lead energy meets lead energy or follow meets follow energy,
maybe just for few seconds, creating fully new Swing figures....

It would open up so many new dimensions of having fun,
maybe the new 21st century version of Swing dancing!

So if anybody else would also like to explore
this idea of "Free Swing", I am at HDC in week1,
or just drop me your thoughts at ur3(at)gmx.net



Submitted by hdc193911 on

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In summer 2013 if my memory is correct I remember there being more leads than follows in both week 1 and week 2 for class Lindy Hop Beginners-Intermediate. No, it was not because the follows did not show up after sleeping late, I remember seeing the availability graph showed a skewed reality with more leads than follows.

During those weeks I learned that it was not bad for my learning, because while I was waiting for a follow I could practice on my own steps and movements, so that when it was my turn to get a follow I could concentrate more on leading her, and less on my own steps and movement.

I still think that I would prefer a perfect 50/50 world.


My own ideas:

Why not advertise targeting men? I do not remember having seen any advertising for Herräng.

Discounts for couples? - but as a single lead I would hate this discrimination.



I think it would be unfair to the follows that failed to get accepted in time if it is not their fault because they are waiting for a single lead to sign up.



YES! 6 months is very far into the future. I think that generally men is a little more impulsive, meaning they dont plan that far into the future. On the other hand, many women seem to me to be much more planning about the future – and with dancing events women are forced to be even more planning to get in.

I dont know about your bribing stories. I have never been offered anything, and I have not heard about any other than you. I have read 1 public offer for a nice dinner on https://www.facebook.com/groups/104598096291885/ - at least it wasnt cake, because: the cake is a lie. I am not sure I would trust bribes. Desperation is usually not pretty.

I think the discounts would have to be SUBSTANSIAL if they really have to compete on the surface with “free accommodation in the tent of a particularly attractive follower”. But if you look a little deeper at it, then remember that the cake is a lie.


@hdc358083 and hdc710389:

Couple only registration would make me look elsewhere, and there are so many Lindy Hop events – far many more than I have time to participate in.

As for my learning, I think that a my level, (thinking of intermediate in summer 2014), I get far more value for money by staying home and buying private lessons from local teachers.



As for the social dance floor picking. Here is what I think I use to choose who to ask:

1. Look and act like you are going to say Yes when I ask you.

2. Appear available: dont use your phone and if you are talking with a friend (girl) face the dance floor, not each other. If you are talking to a guy, I am even more inclined to ask someone else who stands alone. If you are a swing teen, dont stand next to your parents, because then I will move on.

3. act like you want to be on the dance floor. + points for bouncing to the rhythm - points for sloughing

4. look around you observe the surroundings, smile and say hi if I walk or dance close by.

5. Dress for dancing. Too revealing and I cant concentrate. Too loose and my hand gets caught when trying to do swingout. Too slippery fabric and my hand slips when trying to do swingout.



If too many women signed up for leading, I think men would feel intimidated and stay away.

Submitted by fiona on

Yes, I agree that targeted advertising could be effective. I have thought this for many years, and am yet to come up with something that works.
We are trying a few things this year and will see if that works. If you have any ideas, please do share. :)

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Here is an idea.

If the supply of leads are constantly below the supply of follows, then follows, be a sport, share the event and let new follows that was not there last year join in on the fun too.

Naturally this could go for leads too, but if there are never too many leads, it will never be necessary.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Follows, do you even ask local guys if they are going to Herräng? And no, I dont just mean those on your level. I mean everyone. Plant the Herräng seed in local leads head, even if the guy is clearly below your level, because you will be doing a fellow sister follow a favour by making the lead sign up.

When I started doing taster classes in summer 2012, how many girls do you think was asking me if I was signed up for a beginners workshop? Probably 0, cause I dont remember anyone asking me if I was signed up and even if we should sign up together. But after, now that I can dance, girls are asking me if I know anyone, and they whine about not being able to find anyone.

If you want to have good leads to dance with, make an effort, find more leads locally, dance with them until they become good.

Submitted by fiona on

I think this is a good observation. I know that many dancers in local scenes do chat about what camps they are going to, and who else is signing up. But as a beginner it took me quite a while to realise there were so many other camps, and even that Herrang was one of the biggest. No one in my local scene mentioned it to me.
We do try and encourage locals scenes to spread the word about us, but we often only have contact with the organiser or teacher, but they also have their own events to promote. I think it would be great if the students themselves shared more information about camps and where to go (not just Herrang). :)

Submitted by hdc193911 on

In summer 2013 I helped out a few times on the beginner level, because they were missing leads. So was another guy from my beginners-intermediate class. There we met a more experienced follow who was correxing us. And later the same evening she refused to dance with us when we asked. I dont even know what she was doing in that class, she was clearly not a beginner, and the class was missing leads, not follows. I kept on asking her everytime I saw her, just to annoy her :-D

My point is that follows should help create a friendly atmosphere, even when you dance with those of us who are not Skye. There is only 1 Skye, there are countless who are not, help us train by dancing with us.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

(just some brain storming)
If you focus teaching on leads, then follows will feel left out, and less will sign up, which will balance the signup next year. Aka: making less follows signing up.

Benefit, those leads then will get better at dancing, so the follows will get better leads to dance with.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

@Herräng: maybe you should have multiple lead teachers in the classes such that more leads will experience personal feedback and learn faster, which gives the follows the benefit of dancing with better leads.

Submitted by fiona on

This would be lovely, and I have been in classes where there are two sets of teachers - one couple running the class, and one couple helping out and part of the rotation. However, there are sadly extra costs associated with having two teaching couples in a class, and is not a viable option for all classes. :(

Submitted by hdc193911 on

(just another quick brain storming idea).

Follows: you could keep existing leads coming back and even tell their lead friends about how fantastic Herräng is by making sure that we leads gets as much training as possible. So, like cheat a newbie lead into making swingouts by asking a lead walking by outside an empty tent if he has 10 minutes to help you by doing some swingouts. Naturally the entire point is to make the lead get some (much) needed training, and this training is easier if the dancing is done with a good follow so the lead does not have to adapt, but can concentrate on leading and doing his own steps.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Herräng: make sure there is enough hot water, this will encourage leads to keep on signing up year after year. Remember you are in competition with so many other dance events, workshops and camps.

Submitted by fiona on

I don't think hot water is lead specific, hehe.  We do try to improve the facilities, and they certainly have improved over the last few years, but we do take over a small town and have to deal with what is already there in some cases.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Herräng: make food targeting men and the things men likes, so us that has experienced Herräng will keep coming back and even tell our male friends: "Pretty girls, good weather (haha) and the food was great too - you should totally go next summer".

Submitted by fiona on

What exactly do you consider to be "food targeting men"?

Submitted by hdc193911 on

@Herrang: if you give better accomodation for leads, then more leads will sign up. This can even be like dorms for men, or letting men pick beds first.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

@Herrang: Make a referral program that encourages local follows to recruit local leads to your event.

perhaps by:
a) letting follows on waiting lists earn points by getting leads to sign up, even if those leads signs up on other levels than the follow is on the waiting list for.
b) give more points for early lead sign up
c) let the follow use those points to get better accommodation?
d) give the best referral follow a price at the general meeting?

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Possibly also let the follows gain on the waiting list even when they find leads not on their own level

Submitted by fiona on

Interesting idea, but how do you suggest we track the points? I've often wondered how to do this logistically and administratively.

We had a similar idea for local scenes encouraging beginners and being able to track referrals, but we are yet to figure out how to track it.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Other websites track referals using URLs or promotion codes. What if everybody could find a referal URL or promotion code once they are registered on https://www.herrang.com/myherrang/ ? then followers looking for a partner could give that URL/promotion code to leads, and if the leads do sign up, she and perhaps the lead as well is given some points.

It could also be that the followers/leads email addresses that we use to register for myherrang is used for tracking.  Okay, so maybe the lead does not buy a ticket the first time he visits, but then add a cookie and keep track of that. Or simply just ask if anyone refered them when they signed up and have a field where they can add that information.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

@Herrang: Usually men likes efficiency and hates queuing. Copy some ideas from retail?

Make sure that the icecream parlor has a fasttrack line where you can only buy for 50 SEK:
1 sandwich + 1 softdrink
2 sandwiches
2 softdrinks
no change, no small talk, just the above choices

Because then existing leads will remember: I did not waste my time in lines queuing up and register again next year.

Submitted by fiona on

Again, I do not think this is men/lead specific. This affects everyone in camp.
You will be glad to hear we are making a few changes to ICP this year which we hope will improve the process.
It may not get rid of the lines completely, but hopefully it will help.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

Idea for mature follows with a car who are driving to Herräng anyway.

Fill up the car with leads, especially the young students who have just started, who might just have the money for participating in Herräng, but not for transportation. Situations like:

woman: "have you heard about herräng?"
young man: "yes, but money, transport, studies, ..."
woman: "I am driving there in my car anyway"
young man: "i'll look more at it"

And you'll get an extra driver or 2 so you dont have to drive all the way yourself.

Submitted by hdc224167 on

I like the early sign up at HDC.
HDC is not like any other camp. Think of size and organization. Smaller events can do with 2-3 months registration. I can not imagine that HDC could do it. And do it well.
Besides, I like to plan ahead, book my flight VERY early, in my country it is cheaper that way (booked in the old year even before I signed up ;-)

 refering to @ hdc193911 onSun, 19/01/2014 - 23:29
"If too many women signed up for leading, I think men would feel intimidated and stay away."

I totally agree.

I think COUPLE SIGNUP can promote a better balance. LSSF 2014 did it that way and, as far as I know, this pretty much filled up the whole event. Not sure if this will do for HDC. Perhaps promote couple sign up with EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT and then open up a bit later for all the others? This seems fair. This will get people to do their share for a better balance.

At the HDC parties more than elserwhere I notice so many more lady followers are waiting for a lead dance partner. Sometimes there are double lined up  "wallflowers". I find it hard to catch a leader, from song to song. I always wondered where this obvious imbalance comes from? Are there so may more girls around from solo classes or party pass only?
Or are the guy leaders tired and fed up from a day of leading in classes and don't even go out at night? I always look out for my leader class mates at HDC parties and only seem to find very few around. Where are the? Do they run a totally different sleeping schedule than I do?

If I were leading in classes, I am sure I would feel pooped and dizzy in my head afterwards. Leading is a hard job, because you take care of yourself AND a partner. And need to be on beat. And be musical and inventive. And look out to not crash with others etc. In class you do all this on top of learning new steps and moves! This can be overwhelming.
It is soo nice and easy to follow and just get served (girls, admit it!). And look forward all day to party at night (I do!).

I wish I had learned BOTH ROLES more or even equally from the beginning. I would have been much more patient and understanding with my partner. I heard this from somewone who studied, was it at Stanford? He said that way EVERYBODY COULD DANCE, notbody stood around and waited!!!
In our scene some of our leads love to follow and would love to do it much more often, even a whole night. They just don't get to do it as much as they would like to, they are badly needed as leaders!
If switching roles were promoted earlier and also practiced in class everywhere, nobody would be standing around not getting a dance partner at parties. Everbody could just dance!

Submitted by hdc193911 on

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I dont think couple (only) registration would work for such a big event as Herräng because to get a match you would need not only level, but also dance type and which week to go in.


Suppose you want to go in week 2 and 3, but those you know and match either go week 1 and 2 or week 3 and 4 and they want a match for both weeks, then they are not going to pick you. Or suppose you early on find a match for the first of the 2 weeks you want to go, but only much later find a match for the second week. At which point are you going to buy travel tickets? Early to get'em cheap but take a chance that you find a match for your second week or wait until you get the 2. match and pay more?



Promoting early bird couple registration will not make single leads sign up earlier because single leads know they can sign up late and still be let in. I think it will only make existing couples sign up to save money.


I am a registered lead, generally a single lead. I generally dont like to register early because there are so many uncertainties between ticket sale opening and the event (for herrang January and July). Which level will I be at 6 months later? I only committed to signing up because a local follow asked me, and now I feared that we picked too low level and the levels above us is full with waitinglists for both leads and follow.


Also which other events wants my participation, or require my participation? Could be non dancing events like family parties, summer parties at work, ...


Finally, why travel to a (weekend) workshop if there will be an event in my local scene, and often the local events are not advertised long time in advance, so by waiting before registering at an event I need to travel to, I can save me the travel and hotel expense. Or maybe find a better event.



@hdc224167 on Wed, 02/04/2014 - 19:00

“Are there so may more girls around from solo classes or party pass only?”


There should be a balance.


@hdc224167 on Wed, 02/04/2014 - 19:00

“Or are the guy leaders tired and fed up from a day of leading in classes and don't even go out at night? I always look out for my leader class mates at HDC parties and only seem to find very few around. Where are the? Do they run a totally different sleeping schedule than I do?”


I think I spend about 50/50 percent of my time in Herrang social dancing on and off the dance floor. I saw both women and men in the cafe's but I dont remember what I saw most.


I think that your fellow class mates are out dancing, it is just that with 3 such big dance floors you cant see them, or that you dont remember what they look like.


@hdc224167 on Wed, 02/04/2014 – 19:00

“Leading is a hard job, because you take care of yourself AND a partner. And need to be on beat. And be musical and inventive. And look out to not crash with others etc. In class you do all this on top of learning new steps and moves! This can be overwhelming.”


Absolutely. I think that the biggest thing that keeps me off the dance floor at the moment is if it is so full that I need to constantly look all around me to avoid crashing me or my follower. I was just at a workshop this weekend which sometimes during the evening was so full. The result was that I left after dancing, found a quiet place in the back and used my phone to signal “occupied”, because it is no fun at all if all I do is turn my head.


A Lindy follow could not get me on such a crowded floor, but a Balboa follow can. So girls, learn more than one dance.



@hdc224167 on Wed, 02/04/2014 – 19:00
“It is soo nice and easy to follow and just get served (girls, admit it!). And look forward all day to party at night (I do!).”

I hope you are still able to keep your concentration during classes.



@hdc224167 on Wed, 02/04/2014 – 19:00

“I wish I had learned BOTH ROLES more or even equally from the beginning. I would have been much more patient and understanding with my partner.“

It is never too late to learn to lead. Being patient and understanding with your partner is a key point, because all couple dancing is social, even when training. I was correxed by 2 followers in Herrang 2013, and one of them was even a beginner.



A bad follower can prolong the time I need to use to learn a new move, because I need to adapt to her while learning and this takes away focus, so please focus on your own peculiar flaws. Walk straight ahead in swingout, dont try to 2. guess the move.


A good follower might not be able to shorten the time I need to learn, but I will for sure remember her as good, and I find myself much more likely to ask a good follower for a dance than a pretty girl.



Some girls seem to send off a vibe that they would rather not dance with me, so I ask them more rarely, if ever. And then there are those girls that always smile and perhaps makes a surprised sound when they are surprised. Even if they are playing theater, it for sure is something I like, again increasing the chance to get asked.




Submitted by hdc224167 on

>I think that your fellow class mates are out dancing, it is just that with 3 such big dance floors you cant see them, or that you dont remember what they look like.<

I am good at recognizing faces (even after a year), I even try to learn as much of my class mates NAMES (those I often forget after a year), and I walk around and also find my lost friends. So I think it really well could be a matter of different schedules?!

>I hope you are still able to keep your concentration during classes.<

Absolutely! ;-)

>It is never too late to learn to lead. Being patient and understanding with your partner is a key point, because all couple dancing is social, even when training.<

Oh, I am that. I meant I didn't understand my boyfriend's struggles (e.g. why didn't he hear where the 1 is, or the beat, or get the musicality). When I started basic leading years later, I totally understood. I heard the phantastic break coming in the music... and missed to lead what I wanted to lead there on the spot. Things like that.

I am not patient with myself, when I now occasionally switch to try some leading (and then I actually prefer to lead women). I feel like I would need to go all the way back to the beginning and run though the whole process of my years of classes and workshops AGAIN - but as a leader. What an effort! I plan to ask the good female leaders at Herräng this year how they got to know both roles so well.

>there are those girls that always smile<

I totally wish leaders would smile more. I meanwhile came to understand they simply forget to do it, because they are so concentrated and focused on their leading. Even knowing this I miss their smiles just as much. I enjoy and remember those dances best when I had the feeling it was a dance TOGETHER. Not about moves and getting the job done. Keep it simple and try to enjoy - and show it. If you pull off a nice trick once in a dance then it really will stick out. Even if the follower fails at it. Then the follower's laugh should be real not fake. Actually failing or missing a move is more funny, than when everything works out perfectly.

Feedback in class is all a matter about how (nice) it is said. A friendly suggestion, praise when something turns out well, a comment when something hurts or is not so good - all should be OK, when said it in the right words.

Now all being said - am I still on topic of this thread or not? Nope. I think it was how we get leaders to sign up early. We don't. There doesn't seem to be a solution for that - unless if spots for leaders were so rare they would have to sign up early to get one ;-)

Submitted by hdc119616 on

Perhaps this situation is precisely with followers ,
but last year I was in a group Lindy Hop Intermidiate level , week 3,
and at the beginning of the week we may have been one extra follower ,
but by the middle of the week the picture has changed dramatically and permanently in the classroom lacked 2-3 followers.
Yes, maybe  the girls just went to parties apparently and then just slept , entertained , I do not know , walked in the Baltic Sea ,
but I don't see them in the classroom.
Nobody is insured nor any motivation from these effects .
It is not surprising that this year I'm going with a familiar partner, that would just be sure at least something .
Shame, shame...

Submitted by hdc224167 on

>but by the middle of the week the picture has changed dramatically and permanently in the classroom lacked 2-3 followers<


I presume a lot of people fall ill, get a cold. They call it "the herräng flu". Then the balance in class changes.

(Also some people always think they need to skip up to a higher level class, than they ended up in after the audition. I don't know how the organizers balance that out ;-)


Submitted by hdc119616 on

Yes , most I've seen on the dance floor , but not in the classroom.
The thing is that there is no selection for the Intermediate level and in my group were people who did not know
how to do a twisted or how to do swingout.
Of course, in such a situation, most people really good Intermidiate level prefer to sleep than go to class,
where they will meet people who do not know basic things about the interaction of the pair.
How and why people go to such Intermidiate - the secret to me. They simply overestimate their level and this trend
is visible at all levels.
This is a common problem, but it seems to me since I went to learn, I need to learn , I still learned a lot ,
despite this level of the group and have fun and upgrade my basic skills =)
But that does not negate any problems with the ratio of followers and leeds or problem Rushing the level.
I only hope that as I go to Advance level this year, selections will help get into a group of about the same level
and I can avoid this problem.

Submitted by hdc193911 on

I presume a lot of people fall ill, get a cold. They call it "the herräng flu". Then the balance in class changes.

why do only girls get sick? Statisticly it should be both male and females that get sick and then the balance will not be changed, so why only girls? I dont think they are sick, I think that the reason they skip classes is something else.

Submitted by hdc685525 on

Just a couple of random thoughts from my side. This thread is already quite extensive and I have not been able to read through everything, so my apologies if I repeat stuff. Anyway, I understand that there is an issue with too few leads (I ignore the "leads sign up too late"-issue). If you want to increase the number of men signing up, it may be good to know what keeps men from doing dance courses (in general). This arguably focusses more on beginners, though.

Being a man myself who has been thinking of going to dance classes for quite a long time, there are two things that prevented me in the past (and that seems to prevent many of my male friends) from doing so. First, I feel kind of awkward to sign up for dance classes without a partner. Don't ask me why, but in my mind dancing is something you do with a partner, so you sign up with a partner. Second, while I want to learn to dance, I don't consider myself "skilled" or gifted when it comes to dancing. That means, I am probably bad at it. Being a good dancer is fun, being a bad dancer isn't. Going to a dance class without a partner potentially being really bad at it does not sound too much fun.

What is the solution? I don't know, but people at Herräng seem really creative, so you may come up with something. ;) I think that classes that particularly adress people who consider themselves slow learners might be helpful. Classes with more lead teachers as suggested above may help as well, as could classes where we (leads) dance with really experienced women (maybe teachers), as they could easily point out mistakes.

Submitted by hdc472386 on

I'm a lead and I signed up one week in advance this year.  And prior to that I didn't really plan to go.  And I realy value the freedom of being able to make up my mind the last minute.  And I really appreciate the followers on the waiting list making it possible.

You (I) get a kick out of dancing when you're being lead not knowing what's gonna happen next, and that feeling is more often perceived by followers, and consequently there are more followers wanting to dance than there is leaders.

It will never be balanced.  It's the nature of it.  Instead of trying to control nature we should go along wiht it.  That's what we enjoy doing when we're dancing I think :-).

And by the way : I'm a control freak :-).