If you come to my dances, you may or may not notice that I have a certain philosophy about the length of my tips. In general, they’re between 10-12 minutes long. No more. Sometimes, less.
There are a number of reasons for this. (In no particular order.)
– I don’t want to wear my dancers out. We all get tired. 20 minutes on the dance floor and I want to go home. As a caller, I’m hired to entertain, not encourage cardiac arrest.
– The Round Dance cuer was hired to do a job. Dancers came to dance to the entire program. I’m sharing the stage and I need to do it responsibly.
– I like Round Dancing and want to dance with my lovely wife, Laura.
– Shorter tips means more music. I buy lots of new music. I want to share it with everyone. Sometimes, the songs are duds. (Sometimes, they aren’t!) I don’t know unless I can try them.
– One of my early mentors told me that he didn’t believe there there were bad dancers but he did believe in “poor chemistry.” If someone is in a square with poor chemistry, a short tip will give that person a chance to find better chemistry in the future.
(Yes, there are bad dancers; just like there are bad callers. The only way to improve is to practice. Another reason to have more tips.)
– Short tips encourage the show business maxim, “alway leave people wanting more.”