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by Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid 

We belong to an Internet round dance discussion group called the "Weavers". One of the topics that has been brought up and discussed recently was "FUN". Are we having fun? What is fun? Do we have to smile to have fun? When we don’t smile, can we still have fun? This has been a topic of discussion many times, not only in this group, but amongst others as well. First of all, fun is many different things to different people. The first definition (so the major meaning) given for "fun" in the on-line dictionary from Merriam-Webster is: (fun is) what provides amusement or enjoyment. 

  • Search for other books or videos on dance fun:

So we see that fun is what gives us amusement or enjoyment. But what gives me enjoyment is often different then what would give you enjoyment. Not only that, but what gives me enjoyment today might not give me enjoyment tomorrow. So, we cannot judge our fun by someone else's fun or visa versa. Let's list some things in round dancing that are usually fun, yet all different: 
  • going to a special dance and meeting friends;
  • dancing through a dance we have recently learned without making (too many) mistakes;
  • dancing an "old" dance (with or without mistakes);
  • learning a dance that is just enough of a challenge to give us some "working" fun;
  • watching someone dance a dance that we can't do yet;
  • messing up a dance, but still enjoying dancing it 'cause of the people we're with;
  • going to a club night;
  • going out after a club night or a dance with friends;
  • helping someone else with a figure. 

I'm sure you can even think of many more things, so you can make this list even longer. We see here that a lot of the fun in dancing is because it is a social activity, and part of the fun comes from being with others. But we see also that there is the fun of accomplishment, of learning something new. Some people have said that they can't imagine some round dancers having fun because they don't smile while they are dancing. 

There is a comparison that I like to have these people think about. This is about tennis players. When a couple of friends go out for a friendly Saturday game of tennis, as they are on the court playing, are they laughing and smiling? Not usually — they are concentrating on the game. Are they having fun? Yes. Afterwards they often get together, have a drink, talk about the game, the good points, the bad points, how to improve, and maybe their tennis club in general. There, they smile, give each other a clap on the shoulder, and laugh. This is also fun. 

This is often the same with round dancing. When we are busy learning, practicing a new dance or figures, we are often concentrating. We don't always smile or laugh. We often make mistakes and are trying to do better. Are we having fun? Yes!! And, just like the tennis players, afterwards we often get together and laugh, compare notes, have a drink. That is also fun. 

So, let's keep on having fun!!

For a round world, Susie & Gert-Jan—

© 2003 by Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid


this article was published in the
Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, October 2008

If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.

If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors quarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles by
Jim & Barbara German, ca. 2000-2001
Chris & Terri Cantrell, 2001-2005
Harold & Meredith Sears, 2005-present

Some articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid

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