DanceMaster Features
  Karaoke Cue Cards
  Remote Control
  Dance History
  Hotlist
  Bookmarks
  Playlist
  Dance Modules
Requirements
Tour the DM Player
  What is it?
  What does it do?
    Basic Edition Player
    Adv Edition Player
  How does it help a Cuer?
  What does it look like?
  Using the Player
  Cost of the Player
  Setup the Player
Tour the Porter
Tour the Librarian
Using DanceMaster Player

It will take some work to get all your dance information into your computer, but once you do, you'll find it was well worth it. Here is a glimpse of some of the ways you will typically use the program once it is set up. The details will be different depending on whether you are using the Basic or Advanced Edition of DanceMaster. Things that are specific to the Advanced Edition will be shown here in red type.

Here is how you might use it to prepare in advance for a dance:

With the Advanced Edition, you will normally start by “logging in” - choosing the location/group (venue) where you will be cueing. This will let DanceMaster provide your history with that group.

Then you will open the “Dance Menu” (Select Dances) screen to start putting together a dance program. This screen shows you a list of the dances you have available, what the “plus” and other interesting figures in each dance are and what rhythm(s) each dance is. You can click on any dance to see more details, such as choreographer, unphased figures, and your comments. The Advanced Edition will also tell you when you last cued that dance at this venue, how many people there typically do this one, and whether you might be over (or under) doing it.

Using this screen, you would just browse through the list of dances, putting checkmarks next to the ones you think you might do tonight. There will be some that you know right away that you want and others that you aren't sure about. For those, you will click on the dance name then click the "Play" button to see all the details and review the cue card.

You might also open the Dance Log to review what you cued there the last few times.

After you have "checkmarked" all the dances you might want to use, you would go to the Playlist screen to set up your program. It will contain a list of all the dances you selected. You will re-arrange the list into the order that you want, mixing the rhythms and phases to make a good balance, and deleting those dances that don't fit into the program after all.

After looking it over, you might decide that you need some more phase III waltzes, so you go back to the Select screen. There you would press <Ctrl-R> (for Rhythm), and W (for Waltz) and your dance menu will suddenly shows only waltzes. If you then press "3" it will show all your phase 3 waltzes. You would checkmark two or three of them and pop back to the Playlist screen to work them into your program.

Then you could put markers between tips or dance segments and save your program to disk.

At the the dance:

You start by "logging in" again, then you go right to the Playlist screen and load your saved program from the disk. You select the first dance then click "Play" to open the Play screen, which is now displaying the cue card, and click "Play" again. The music starts, and you (and the dancers) are off.

When that dance ends, you can just click the "Next In Program" button and the next dance in your program will load into the player. Click "Play", and you're off again.

If someone requests a favorite dance, you can click the "Select" button, type a few letters of the dance's name, and click "Play" again. You can be playing any dance in your repertoire in seconds. If that requested dance happens to be in the program you put together for tonight, DanceMaster will automatically mark it "Played", and skip over it when it comes to that place in the list.

When you come to the break, you would put your microphone down and join the dancers at the refreshment table. After the prescribed time has expired, DanceMaster will play a few notes to call you (and the dancers) back to the floor. If you dally too long, DanceMaster will continue to gently remind you every few minutes. You would then pick up the microphone, click "Next in Program", then "Play", and the dancing would be under way again.

If there is a delay in the evening's activities (or too many requests) and you get behind schedule, you can go to the "Playlist" screen and move the "Next To Play" marker forward a few dances and resume your program from there.

If you prefer, you can also use your Playlist as a "mini-menu". You would put together a short list of dances that would be good for this group. Then at the dance, you can pick and choose dances from that list on the fly.

At a class:

Once again, you would start by logging in. You would warm them up with a few familiar dances, then it is time to start the real work of the evening. You would open the dance they have been working on, turn on the voice channel in the Player, and play the dance with cues while you demo it again.

While you are still out on the floor, you might use the speed control on the remote control to slow the music by a few RPM.

You have already set up "bookmarks" at the figures you think they will have trouble with, so you can jump right to that spot in the music and work on those first. If you see another trouble spot as they are doing the dance, you can set another bookmark there, too. Fortunately, you can label each of the bookmarks so you can remember which one is which.

If you find a place where your cue card is wrong, or that different wording would make it easier for the dancers, you can just type the corrections on the spot and save the revised cue card. (Unless, of course, you're using scanned cue cards.) You won't have to try to remember to do it later.

When the class is over, you might make a note of the figures you workshopped in the class log and add tonight's teach to their dance repertoire. Or maybe not yet, depending on how well they did.


 

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