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Demo: check
In the end, quite a good demo.

I got to the library a bit before 6pm, and found a sign outside saying "Swords and Pizza". Basically, it was kicking off the library's teen activities series, and they had a crystal-clear idea of how to get them in.

We started outside: three fighters took turns beating on each other for a while, showing off a variety of weapons forms and falling over a bunch. That was fun for a while, but the kids *really* got into it when the fighters offered each a chance to take a sword and whack at the fighters themselves. Each kid got to beat one fighter into submission, and they mostly took great glee in doing so. (A couple of the girls were actually the ones who got mostly seriously into it.)

We went inside and snarfed pizza. (This making my third consecutive meal of pizza, so I just had one slice, and had leftover tikka masala when I got home.) Then I took over and ran the dancing.

Fortunately, my instincts are still good. I had a set list planned, which I immediately threw out: too many partner dances, and not enough energy. I normally start such things slow and safe, with Bransle Cassandra, but that would clearly bore the hell out of the kids. So I instead started off with Turkish (nee Maltese) Bransle -- not 100% period, but a great warmup: the start was slow enough for everyone to feel safe, and the suiciding got everyone's energy up. (I used the Hyperborea recording: the best and most obscure disc of SCA dance music out there.) Then Petit Riense, which was of course utter *chaos* on the floor (something like 8 sets, mostly made up of kids), but order wasn't the point of the exercise. Then Montarde Bransle, by the end of which even the kids were getting a little winded from all the high-energy dancing. We finished off with something that actually required partners -- of course, none of the kids deliberately danced with someone of the opposite gender and same age, but my SCA ringers did a good job of grabbing partners and spreading clue throughout the sets.

The whole thing was over by 7:30 or so, and was clearly a good success: the kids and parents all looked like they'd had fun, and several of the kids actually signed up on the "for more information" list. (An unexpected bonus, IMO: I'd been thinking of this as an educational demo more than a recruitment one.) So a fine way to spend the evening...

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I really enjoyed Maltese Bransle--one of my favorites, however peri-oid it might be. Wish it could have kept on suiciding for a bit longer, too...it was just getting fun! I was highly entertained the Duchess0501's daughter was the most hesitant of the kids to go up & hit the guys, despite being the most familiar with SCA fighting. That was just entertaining.

We may also have actually gotten a recruit. One woman was friends with Patri & Barbara, and mentioned having done SCA at some point in the distant past. That would be nifty--actually ending the demo with a recruit.

I agree, I was surprised she was being so shy considering it's not the first time she's hit people with sticks!! I can only assume it's because they were big fighters and not kids because she wasn't overly shy about asking boys to dance inside.
Great demo and lots of fun!

It sounds like it was quite the success. Hurrah!

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