Difference between revisions of "Steve Browning"

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(Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with Allan Hurst on 1/27/10.)
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[[Category:People]]
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[[File:steve-browning.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Steve Browning.|Steve Browning.]]
 
== Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with [[Allan Hurst]] on 1/27/10. ==
 
== Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with [[Allan Hurst]] on 1/27/10. ==
  
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'''My History:'''
 
'''My History:'''
  
* 1982:  Started Square Dancing with [[Foggy City Squares]]  
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* [[1982]]:  Started Square Dancing with [[Foggy City Squares]]  
* 1983:  Danced in the original [[Foggy City Exhibition Team]] (with [[Skip Barrett]]) for 6 months  
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* [[1983]]:  Danced in the original Foggy City [[Exhibition Team]] (with [[Skip Barrett]]) for 6 months  
* 1984:  Skip sells Foggy City Squares to F.C. team members and name changed to Foggy City Dancers
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* [[1984]]:  Skip sells [[Foggy City Squares]] to Foggy City team members and name changed to [[Foggy City Dancers]] (FCD)
* 1984:  I approach the "new" F.C.D. team to see if they would like to me to attempt some more creative choreography.  The answer was, of course "Yes, Yes, YES"!
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* [[1984]]:  I approach the "new" [[FCD]] team to see if they would like to me to attempt some more creative choreography.  The answer was, of course "Yes, Yes, YES"! see [[Foggy City Performance Team]]
* 1984:  Seattle convention was the team\’s first performance under my direction.
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* [[1984]][[Seattle]] convention was the team’s first performance under my direction.
* 1985:  First fully choreographed performances done at the [[Denver] Convention.
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* [[1985]]:  First fully choreographed performances done at the [[Denver]] Convention.
* 1986:  Hexagon concept debuted at the [[San Francisco]] convention (more on this later)
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* [[1986]][[Hexagon]] concept debuted at the [[San Francisco]] convention (more on this later)
* 1984-1993:  Choreographed for F.C.D. performance team.  Performed at all conventions during that time.The team disbanded shortly after we returned from our exciting trip to Russia!
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* [[1984]]-[[1993]]:  Choreographed for [[FCD]] performance team.  Performed at all conventions during that time. The team disbanded shortly after we returned from [[Pink Triangles in Red Square]], our exciting trip to Russia!
* 1995:  Reformed a new team to do an encore performance at the \’96 convention in SF.
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* [[1995]]:  Reformed a new team to do an encore performance at the 1996 convention in [[San Francisco]].
* 2008:  Attended my 25<sup>th</sup> consecutive convention in [[Cleveland]].
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* [[2008]]:  Attended my 25<sup>th</sup> consecutive convention in [[Cleveland]].
  
  
 
'''In the Beginning:'''
 
'''In the Beginning:'''
  
I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start.    This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like [[Mike Desisto]]).  So I was making it up on my own!
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I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start.    This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like [[Mike DeSisto]]).  So I was making it up on my own!
  
Example 1:    2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called.  What would happenif the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square.  
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Example 1:    2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called.  What would happen if the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square.  
 
(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
 
(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
  
 
Example 2:    2 squares (again).    And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto!  The squares switch positions.
 
Example 2:    2 squares (again).    And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto!  The squares switch positions.
(Video: 1992 Albuquerque,  Well Traveled Love  and 1986 San Francisco convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow)
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(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love  and [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow)
  
 
Example 3:    And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears!    Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.
 
Example 3:    And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears!    Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.
  
Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the Foggy City Team!
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Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the [[Foggy City Performance Team]]!
  
 
   
 
   
 
'''Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)'''
 
'''Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)'''
  
Hex(agon):    3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle.    I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it!     
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[[Hex]](agon):    3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle.    I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it!     
(Video:    [[1986]] SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]], Mountain Music)
  
 
Big Square:  8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.    Head and side couples facing each other
 
Big Square:  8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.    Head and side couples facing each other
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow)
  
Octagon:      8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.  Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex)
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[[Octagon]]:      8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides.  Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex)
(Video: 1992 Albuquerque,  Mountain Music)
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(Video: [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Mountain Music)
  
Triangle:      3 couples doing fun stuff
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[[Triangle]]:      3 couples doing fun stuff
  
 
2 Squares:    Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains,  Relay the Ducey,  Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square,  and more!   
 
2 Squares:    Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains,  Relay the Ducey,  Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square,  and more!   
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music and 1992 Albuquerque,  Well Traveled Love)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Well Traveled Love)
  
  
Sequencial:    I had 4, 2 couple \’squares\’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before.  
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Sequential:    I had 4, 2 couple ’squares’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before.  
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  2<sup>nd</sup> number…hash music)
  
  
Transformation:  I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say Hex) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the hex into an Octagon or Big Square or 2 Squares.  Then do 2 more figures from the configuration.
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Transformation:  I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say [[Hex]]) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the [[hex]] into an [[Octagon]] or Big Square or 2 Squares.  Then do 2 more figures from the configuration.
(Video:    1986 SF convention,  Mama Don\’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque,  Mountain Music)
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(Video:    [[1986]] [[San Francisco]] convention,  Mama Don’t Allow and [[1992]] [[Albuquerque]],  Mountain Music)
  
  
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I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls.    And I stayed within the  
 
I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls.    And I stayed within the  
 
Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could
 
Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could
Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads.    Not enough counts or figures to do this for a Hex
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Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads.    Not enough counts or figures to do this for a [[Hex]]
(for example) and besides, it just wasn\’t necessary.
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(for example) and besides, it just wasn’t necessary.
 
 
  
 +
[[File:Steve_Browning.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Steve Browning.|Steve Browning.]]
 
* Singing Calls:    When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing.  And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:
 
* Singing Calls:    When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing.  And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:
  
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# Ending figure
 
# Ending figure
  
* Other Music:    Also wrote figures for non square dance songs.    (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me \’Round – K.D. Lang)
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* Other Music:    Also wrote figures for non square dance songs.    (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me ’Round – K.D. Lang)
  
* Music:    I spent a lot of time browsing through 45\’s (that\’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too.  Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
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* Music:    I spent a lot of time browsing through 45’s (that’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too.  Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
  
* My Little People:    I created my own [caller checkers] for working out choreography.  
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* My Little People:    I created my own [[caller checkers]] for working out choreography.  
  
 
* Process (figures):    I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call.    I  would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call.    Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.
 
* Process (figures):    I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call.    I  would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call.    Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.
  
Example:    Hex using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!)
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Example:    [[Hex]] using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!)
 
I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.
 
I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.
  
I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a Hex.
+
I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a [[Hex]].
  
 
=Youtube=
 
=Youtube=
  
I think you know that I\’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com.    If you haven\’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed.    It might help clarify some of my ramblings above.
+
I think you know that I’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com.    If you haven’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed.    It might help clarify some of my ramblings above.
You can find them all by doing a search for "Foggy City Dancers:"      You\’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine
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You can find them all by doing a search for "[[Foggy City Dancers]]:"      You’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine
 
Should be obvious.    They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have
 
Should be obvious.    They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have
 
"Performance Team".    I put some video references for most figures.
 
"Performance Team".    I put some video references for most figures.

Latest revision as of 16:05, 7 September 2010

Steve Browning.
Steve Browning.

Steve's Interview Notes made 1/25/10 in preparation for an interview with Allan Hurst on 1/27/10.

Square Dance Choreography By Steve Browning

My History:


In the Beginning:

I started thinking about interesting s.d. patterns right from the start. This was well before we had any experience with great professional callers (like Mike DeSisto). So I was making it up on my own!

Example 1: 2 squares dancing side by side and an 8-chain thru is called. What would happen if the side (or head) couples continued right on into the next square. (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love)

Example 2: 2 squares (again). And what about a Relay the Duecy that "joins" both squares and goes all the way through. Presto! The squares switch positions. (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love and 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow)

Example 3: And let’s not leave out Spin Chain and Exchange the Gears! Plus level has many many calls that work really well for interesting choreography.

Ok, the examples are endless, but bottom line is that I actually got a chance to try out my ideas with the Foggy City Performance Team!


Figures/Concepts that I pioneered (invented?)

Hex(agon): 3 head and 3 side couples arranged in a circle. I had LOTS of fun with this concept and feel that I invented it! (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)

Big Square: 8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides. Head and side couples facing each other (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow)

Octagon: 8 couples w/4 heads and 4 sides. Head/sides alternating with each other (like in Hex) (Video: 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)

Triangle: 3 couples doing fun stuff

2 Squares: Mixing them up a bit with 8-chains, Relay the Ducey, Spin Change the Gears (and variations), Prom to opposite square, and more! (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, 2nd number…hash music and 1992 Albuquerque, Well Traveled Love)


Sequential: I had 4, 2 couple ’squares’ doing the same sequence of calls, but each square starting 8 beats after the one before. (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, 2nd number…hash music)


Transformation: I also enjoyed starting off with one concept (say Hex) and then bring in 2 more couples during the middle break and transform the hex into an Octagon or Big Square or 2 Squares. Then do 2 more figures from the configuration. (Video: 1986 San Francisco convention, Mama Don’t Allow and 1992 Albuquerque, Mountain Music)


Creative Process:

  • The first fully choreographed number was done using "generic" hash music and the music was modified to fit my choreography. However, once I gained a bit of experience and confidence,

I set about doing choreography that fit the structure of singing calls. And I stayed within the Singing call structure except for one thing…..I knew right from the beginning that I did not (could Not) have the follows dance with each of the leads. Not enough counts or figures to do this for a Hex (for example) and besides, it just wasn’t necessary.

Steve Browning.
Steve Browning.
  • Singing Calls: When these are chosen carefully, they provide the best music for doing exhibition Dancing. And I found it fairly easy to fit my patterns to the Singing call structure:

There are seven parts – 64 counts each, as follows:

  1. Intro (involves entire square, or squares or hex)
  2. Figure 1 (heads)
  3. Figure 2 (heads)
  4. Middle figure (entire square)
  5. Figure 3 (sides)
  6. Figure 4 (sides)
  7. Ending figure
  • Other Music: Also wrote figures for non square dance songs. (such as Well Traveled Love and Turn Me ’Round – K.D. Lang)
  • Music: I spent a lot of time browsing through 45’s (that’s the way it was back then) to find singing calls that were exciting and fun to dance too. Also keep my ears open for popular songs that had the right beat for dancing.
  • My Little People: I created my own caller checkers for working out choreography.
  • Process (figures): I would usually get an idea for a figure based up an interesting s.d. call. I would have an idea about how I would like the figure to end using that call. Then I would back it up from there and see what position I need to get the dancers into before starting the call, in order to get them back to their partners at the end of the call.

Example: Hex using Relay the Deucy (LOVE this call!) I wanted to end the figure with the Relay, so I worked out the Relay pattern (using my Little People) and figured out where the dancers would need to begin the figure in order to bring them back to their partner and have them in the right order to promenade home.

I also got a feel for the total number of beats this would take, so then I knew how many beats I had left over in order to get them into that position. Then I worked out a series of call that would get them into position. These could include calls like all 12 circulate, Coordinate or Right/Left thru. Even simple calls are can be interesting in a Hex.

Youtube

I think you know that I’ve posted a number of my favorite numbers on youtube.com. If you haven’t checked them out, you might want too before Wed. It might help clarify some of my ramblings above. You can find them all by doing a search for "Foggy City Dancers:" You’ll get a lot of stuff, but mine Should be obvious. They will either have the dance name (Trouble, Boogie Grass Band) or just have "Performance Team". I put some video references for most figures.