Basic Questions to Ask

From IAGSDCWiki


Who Should I Interview?

Here are some suggestions:

  • The oldest and youngest members of your club.
  • The longest-term and newest members of your club.
  • Your club caller(s).
  • Any travelling callers who are local to your club.
  • IAGSDC past and present officers


What Questions Should I Ask?

Each interview will be a little different. You'll need to tailor the interview to match the personality of the subject.

In general, there are five basic questions that are essential to any interview:

  • WHO?
  • WHAT?
  • WHERE?
  • WHEN?
  • HOW?

Some examples of each question can be found below.

Who

  • Name
  • Age (if they're willing to provide it)
  • Email address (for followup questions)
  • Phone number (for following questions)

What

  • Are you a dancer, a caller, both, or neither?
  • What level do you dance now?
  • What level was most fun/least fun/hardest/easiest for you to learn?

Where

  • Where were you born and raised?
  • Where do you live now?
  • To what club(s) do you belong?

When

  • When (year) did you start dancing? (First dance class start date, graduation date.)
  • Which callers taught you each level?
  • When and where was the first IAGSDC Convention you attended?
  • Which fly-ins have you attended?

How

  • Have you ever helped to organize (or have you taught) a class?
  • Have you ever served on the board of a square dance club? (If so, which positions and when?)
  • Have you ever helped to stage a fly-in?
  • Have you ever helped to stage a convention?
  • Have you ever attended a Caller School?
  • Have you ever tried caling?

Why

  • Why do you enjoy square dancing (and/or calling)?

Items you may want consider gathering in the course of the interview

  • tall tales
  • legends
  • humorous stories
  • personal experience stories
  • riddles
  • mnemonic devices (rhymes, sound effects, etc.)
  • ritual insults
  • jokes
  • club histories
  • personal histories, E.G. coming-out stories, both to family and other local (straight) dancers and/or callers.
  • idiomatic speech
  • music: favorite and least favorite music for patter and/or singing calls
  • games: graduation ceremonies, intro night traditions/jokes, etc.

Club-Related Sample Questions

What year was your club started?
Who started your club?
Why was your club started?
How was your club started?
Where did your club start (and continue) dancing?
When was your first class/graduation, and what level(s)?
Who taught your first class(s)?
Who's taught your classes since then?
How often does (did) your club offer "club night" dancing?
How often does (did) your club offer club dances?
What's the story behind your club name?
Which dancer(s) has(have) been a member the longest?
What's the age range of your club members?
Has your club participated in any Pride or other civic events? (What were they, when, etc.)
How many students graduated in your first class?
How many students do you typically graduate now?
Describe any specific story(ies) that captures the essence of your club.
Describe any significant media attention.
How have your club and its members interacted with straight square dancing in your area?
What organizations is the club affiliated with or a member of? Alan Hirsch 21:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
What other questions should be asked about clubs? Allan Hurst

Dancer-Related Interview Questions

What year did you start dancing?
Which caller(s) taught you square dancing (at each level)?
Why did you start dancing?
How did you get involved in dancing? (Were you recruited? If so, by whom?)
How many years have you danced (e.g., danced for five years, took a break for two years, danced three more years since)
How do you prefer to dress for dancing (at a club night/at a class/at a dance/at a convention)?
How often (many times per week/month) have you/do you dance, and with which club(s)?
What year were you born, and where?
What are your favorite aspects of square dancing?
What are your least favorite aspects of square dancing?
What other questions should be asked about dancers? Allan Hurst

Caller-Related Interview Questions

What year did you start calling?
Where did you learn to call, and from whom?
Why and when did you decide to become a caller?
Who is (or has been) an influence on your calling style?
How often (many times per week/month) have you/do you call, and for which club(s)?
What year were you born, and where?
What are your favorite aspects of calling ?
What are your least favorite aspects of calling?
What other questions should be asked about callers? Allan Hurst

Event-Related Interview Questions

Continuing or one-time?
Name and history of name?
When and where?
Statistics of participation (number of attendees, average, minimum, maximum over years)
Sponsoring organization (club, IAGSDC, other) Alan Hirsch 21:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
What, if anything, is missing from this list of interview questions? Allan Hurst