for Folk Dancers
By Jack Goldberg
- If thou art but a newly won convert to the art of Terpsichore, break not into the midst of thy predecessors, but rather add thy number to the farthest end of the line.
- Nay, but when a dance is being taught, then art thou welcome at any place in the line and at any time.
- If thou knowest not the dance, the name of which hath been trumpeted to the four corners of the room, seek thou a place behind one of thy fellows who doth indeed know thereof, and follow thou him in his footsteps. Thus wilt thou, in good time, learn as did all dancers before thee.
- Thy leader speaketh from ancient wisdom. Therefore, when he shall say of a dance, lo this dance is difficult, attempt it not except thou dance behind the line; ask not to whom he speaketh, for his words are a message unto thee.
- If thou desirest not to dance, but would instead talk with thy friend, hesitate not to do as thou wilt, yet remember the privacy of the conversation to raise not thy voice above the voice of thy leader, who struggeleth to convey instruction.
- To every beginning there is an end. If thou does enter in upon a dance, banish from thy thoughts, "I will drop out when the dance waxeth fast." Thus wilt thou avoid the displeasure of thy comrades to thy right and to thy left.
- If thou are experienced and knoweth the dance, be yet gracious unto those who know not of it. Wert thou not also once a newcomer?
- When thy teacher leadeth a dance which thou knowest, but in a manner different from the experience of yore, learn thou the new version and rebel not. Thus is thy stock increased.
- Be not backward of thy requests, that thy leader may satisfy thy heart's desire. Thus dost thou help prepare a program for all.
- Give thou honor to the Golden Rule in the observance thereof, but not in the breach thereof.
This was posted in the Eastern European Folklife Center (EEFC) e-mail list server.