Practices go online

The Morris Federation launched a series of online workshops, talks and demos over Winter 2020-2021.  Here is a review of our workshop about running online practices over Zoom, hosted by the Committee on 3rd January.

“Two of us, from Worthing-based mixed Cotswold side Sompting Larks, were looking for ideas not only to liven up our weekly lockdown practice sessions, which have recently shown signs of ‘Zoom Fatigue’, but also ways to engage a wide range of ages from 11–75. As a newly-formed side we have grown over the past year from 8 to 18 and we want to keep everyone engaged!

“The 15 participants had developed a variety of teaching, social and technical skills to hold their sides together online:-

video-conference“Teaching – some sides had developed ingenious ways to cope with the vagaries of Zoom

  • selecting figures from a clog side’s existing dances and putting them together to create simple individual dances
  • learning a dance by walking it through aided by patterns and diagrams on the floor
  • practising alongside a video of the side dancing or of another side performing a dance everyone knows
  • sending a video the week before to members so that they could practice each day before meeting up online – very impressive!
  • ‘Dancing out’ on Zoom with a guest side. Everyone in kit and each side taking a turn to dance

“Socialising – other sides had abandoned practice sessions altogether

  • weekly newsletters, alternating with quizzes
  • former members invited to share their memories
  • re-visiting old events
  • allocating one person each week to host a session on a subject of their choice

“Technical – discussions about pinning videos to the Zoom screen and reducing lag on music became a little technical, so links to online advice and assistance would be extremely useful or a Q&A session, where questions are sent in advance and then later published as a help sheet? [see (*) below]

“and finally, some sound advice:

“Do what you can and put a hold on what you can’t”

by Barry & Stella Williams, Sompting Larks, Worthing, West Sussex

Resources

 

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay 

Jan 30
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Workshop - Fieldtown Jig - 'Ladies' Pleasure' - Owain Boorman (LIVE on Zoom)
Feb 05
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Talk - "Custom and creativity: the chicken and egg of folk performance histories" - Peter Harrop (LIVE on Zoom)
Apr 09
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Joint Morris Organisations' Day of Dance 2022 (Liverpool)
Sep 24
All day
Morris Federation Day of Dance and AGM 2022 (Darlington)

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