“Why No C-2?” by F. William Chickering reprinted from the December 1993 issue of Times Squared

If you ever wondered why Times Squares doesn’t offer C-2, here’s the reason. Decided in 1993 and still valid.

I have heard lots of questions over the past few months as to why there was going to be no C-2 class, was there going to be an Advanced class, and why Plus is starting so late. Three weeks ago, I was asked “Why isn’t the Plus calling we get very ‘Plussy’?” In this column I hope to offer a few answers.

Nationwide there is much comment about clubs rushing dancers through the programs so fast that they really never develop proficiency, confidence, and a sense of the pleasure, and yes, the challenge at every Callerlab defined program (level) what they dance. As Times Squares has become more sophisticated in terms of having ‘live” callers every week, we have danced to more forgiving, and often, less challenging materials than is available on tapes and records. As a result, at most levels we have not pushed ourselves to be stronger dancers. When most callers come to present a dance for us, their professional good manners cause them to call the most difficult level that most all of the dancers can dance, rather than their hardest material. Since we have not really worked hard, as a club, particularly at the Plus program, callers find that relatively easy Plus is what most of the dancers (floor) can do, so that’s what they call. That is why often the Plus is not very “Plussy!”

To remedy this situation, the members of the Board who work on programming have tried to show the club what really exiting material there is at the various levels. We have invited some notoriously “hard” callers, such as Dave Lightly and Rand Dougherty in August. Interestingly enough, the Mainstream dancers rose magnificently to the occasion The A2 and C1 dancers had some trouble, but many Plus dancers were shocked. I heard a dancer say of Dave Lightly, “That’s not fair. He’s really calling Challenge stuff!” OF COURSE HE WAS! That was the point. He was, however, calling it using Mainstream and Plus definition that we all have been taught and all are expected to know and to be able to execute. (Have you ever noticed that Advanced and Challenge dancers say “Quack” when the caller calls “end circulate and center s trade?” The reason for this is that this combination of calls has a name at Advanced: Acey Deucy. The sound effect is a pun on an earlier name for this call, acey ducky).

Ergo, Plus will begin on January 24th, after a full fall of Mainstream programming and some major workshops, including opportunities for ‘sex change’ workshops. By the same logic if a sufficient number of people prepared to go through the Advanced teaching program at its recommended speed sign up, there will be an Advanced class.

There will, however, be no C-1 or C-2 class. Why? On Advanced and Challenge Club nights attendance has been between eight and twelve, dancers, not squares, in recent months. This number is insufficient for two squares. Also, this number usually does not include eight C-1 dancers, so the past two times there has been no C-1 dancing, so the C-1 dancers either don’t come since they don’t get to work on their C-1, or they quit square dancing. What a pity. Certainly, we don’t get any more skillful this way. With all of the classes that Times Squares has given in the past three years, we should have more than two squares of C-1 dancers and more than eight squares of Advanced dancers, yet the club cannot sustain an A/C program. Since this is the case, shouldn’t we wait of offer C-2 and C-1 again until we have dancers really ready and