[Exi-bay-chat] Stanford Quads intro nights

Kennita Watson kennita at kennita.com
Thu Oct 7 10:38:30 UTC 2004

It's that time of year again -- the time when I exhort all Bay Area
Extropians and other intelligent folks to try out the Stanford Quads.
Sundays, this year on October 10th and/or 17th and/or 24th.

So what's it all about?  Stanford Quads is a Palo Alto square dance
club.  Before you tune out with "I don't dance" -- it's not like that.
Come see.

What are some of the ways it's "not like that"?
1) The caller/instructor, like many of the dancers, is hyperintelligent.
John Sybalsky is a C4-level square dance caller, one of only a few
dozen in the world.
2) There is always something new to learn.  Good for the brain,
especially when combined with movement and music -- can you say
3) There are never long choreographic sequences to learn -- the
longest call takes 32 beats, and most are between 2 and 8.  The
fun is in putting them together, like a puzzle.
4) There is no motion required faster than a walking pace, and no
quick turns.  Actually, one description I've used is "walking in 
And if even walking is difficult, never fear -- you get handholds every
few steps (they help define and transition between patterns),
5) John uses little or no standard square dance music (and if you have
music of your own that's at the appropriate pace, he'll consider it).
6) Think of your group of 8 people as being like a Rubik's cube:
you start out arranged, and the caller uses legal transforms to
scramble it, then solves it again.  A lot of use is made of symmetry --
the process is near-magical if you pay attention.  Think group theory.
7) There are two parts, a "boy" part and a "girl" part, but you're
welcome to choose either one, and even to switch back and forth
once you've learned both (it's easiest to learn one part or the other
before doing that).
8) If you turn your brain off and go on autopilot, you'll be sorry :-) .
9) It's a noncompetitive, participatory (i.e., non-spectator) team 
10) When you're done with John's class, you'll be one of the best
square dancers around, as befits an Extropian.

There's probably more, but that's what comes to mind.  Come on
out and try it a few times, for free!  What have you got to lose?

I hope to see you at Fairmeadow School, 500 East Meadow Drive at
Cowper in Palo Alto. from 7 to 9 PM on Sunday, October 10th and/or
17th and/or 24th.  Continue if you like it, otherwise you can at least
say you've tried it.  Look for Kennita -- I'll be happy to see you 

Here's my original ad in the Mensa Intelligencer:
Traumatized by hours of mindless do-si-do'ing to awful music back in
school?  It's different now.  Come try Square Dancing For Smart People 
It's not "square" any more.  See set theory in motion! Join the Stanford
Quads at Fairmeadow School, 500 East Meadow Drive at Cowper in
Palo Alto.  You don't need a partner, special clothes, or any previous
dance experience.  Feel free to bring both left feet (or were those 
feet)?  Good light exercise for body and mind!
Web site:  http://www.mixed-up.com/quads
Contact:  Kennita Watson, kennita at kennita.com or (408) 749-0915.

Live long and prosper,
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
none but ourselves can free our minds.
           -- Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"

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