Yesterday, several members of the local group teamed up with our western neighbors to help at their History Faire demo. Much like the outdoor History Fest our neighbors to the east support, there were many different facets of history presented in an interactive, hands-on manner with reenactors present to bring the day to day details to life. We, of course, brought many of the facets of SCA.
In particular, our corner had live recorder music, calligraphy/illumination, tablet-weaving, armoring, armored combat, coin striking and dance. Those who came through were of all ages, but what happily surprised me was the number of youngsters who wanted to join in the dancing. They also made some of the most entertained audience for the fighting.
In clockwise order:
1. Derbail and I really thought we had all the snags worked out between sheet music and dance. We really, really did.
2. “It’s fine if they guys in armor get thwacked. They’ve got armor on! We don’t want you to get thwacked though, so please don’t go past this line..” The kids did a really good job about keeping an appropriate distance.
3.Color coded cards for tablet weaving. This is an ingenious idea I need to try for the complicated patterns I just can’t get to play nice.
4. Notice the little cutie with the pink coat and rock-candy treat. She’ll be important in a bit.
5. The bard in a box came out, and we all rocked the Maltese Bransle before calling it a day. Notice how we’re all watching to make sure we don’t step on the poor tiny bards :).
We even have video! President Teddy Roosevelt also joined us as we learned Sellenger’s Round. The video’s from the …second? official time we danced it, so there’s a few folks who know what they’re doing, and a lot of folks jumping in with absolutely no clue and still having fun. At this point, I think we’d also finally worked out that the first half of the chorus wasn’t in the sheet music (talk about things to realize on the fly!).
After the last round of fighting, most of the crowd wandered off, but my young dance partner in pink (her partner had run off, so she very bravely asked if I’d be her partner. Just about melted my heart), wanted more dancing. As we had two other people at that point, I had to tell her she should come back later, when there was more people. She of course, took this to heart, popped what was left of her rock candy back into her mouth, and proceeded to drag in something like six people so we could dance again. She’s four!
With no response other than to dance, I taught everyone present the Maltese Bransle. Suffice to say, I think everyone enjoyed it, and walked away tired. It’s a medieval aerobic work out, after all!
All in all, there’s just a few take-aways worth sharing.
1). 4 year olds have no sense of shame, and are awesome recruiters.
2). Always make sure your sheet music lines up. ALWAYS.
3). I seriously need to make it to a dance practice or three when I’m a) not leading and b)not dancing the guy’s part. I’m so sorry for forgetting you were my partner, Ealdred!
4). Breaking into Korobushka at random moments is a ton of fun, and catches people’s attention. This should be noted for future uses.
5). Planning absolutely nothing the day after was a really, really good idea. Crashing while still in garb (mostly the tippets)… perhaps not so much. Ah well. It was well worth it.