Here is the basic deal that you need to read through if you
are considering being one of my apprentices ... it's quite
long but you really do need to read it.
There are no hard and fast rules. This is basically the world
as I see it, if the world as you see it is something different
then we should get together and talk about it. If you think
that I should be doing a few things differently then that's
The general guidelines are:
- Just in case you are still wondering, you have to
ask to become my apprentice. Don't expect me to
ask you. This article serves as an invitation to ask.
- Firstly, I'm a dance laurel (I guessed you'd figured
that out or you wouldn't be doing this). I'm not
an expert cook but I can show you a few things. I
do the period encampment stuff and know a few bits
about music and herbs and period board games but when
it comes down to it I'm pretty single faceted. If you
think you need to learn costuming, calligraphy, weaving,
embroidery, woodwork, or armouring on your way to getting
where you want to go in the SCA then I'm happy to point
you at a few people that can teach you that stuff but I'm
really no good at it myself.
It's possible, if the various apprentice/laurel and
laurel/laurel relationships work, that you could be
apprenticed to more than one laurel at a time. It's
highly unusual and there's only some people it would
work for but I don't really mind that. I'd also be
happy to have you as my apprentice but loan you out
to other laurels if you wanted to learn their stuff.
- Becoming my apprentice is not going to make you a laurel.
If that's what you're here for, then forget it. This
should really neither help you or hinder you in getting
a laurel if that's what you want, but belting someone
into shape so that they can get laurelled in 6 months or
3 years is not my game.
Let's face it, not everybody wants to be a laurel. Even
if they want to be, not everyone has the impetus to be
one. Enrolling as my apprentice basically means you're
here to learn dance, and not to do whatever you think it
is you need to do in order to get laurelled.
Having said that, if you want to be a laurel in 3 years or
5 years, or whatever, I can probably push your dance skills
along to the point where they are at least noticed by the
laurel council, along with pointing you in the directions
that you need to go in to pick up whatever other skills you
need to have to get there. However at some point along the
way you're probably going to stop being my apprentice and
spend some time as a journeyman or as someone else's
apprentice (or squire even) then spend a heap of time doing
stuff all by yourself and producing your master work (warning:
lots of lonely hours beating your head against books or
sewing machines here).
The only part of the laurel/apprentice relationship that is
really for keeps as far as your laurel chances go are that
I get to talk to you about anything the laurel council wants
to tell you. That could be anything from "Marguerite thinks
you need to work on your sleeve patterns, why don't you go
to one of her workshops", or "We need to work on those peerage
qualities, sweetie, bashing up the Baroness in the tavern last
night was a really bad move", or "The laurel council thinks
that you should join us." :)
- You're here to learn dance. If that's your interest then fine,
come and join in. If at some point you decide that dance is
not your interest, then fine ... just drop out. No hard feelings.
Alternatively, if you find yourself absolutely enchanted by
the Poetry/Symmetry stuff that Mistress Eleanor does and feel
that you need to learn dance from her instead of from me, then
you can explore that too.
- I don't take dance novices as apprentices. I'd expect that you'd
have a silver rondelle as a basic pre-requisite. The group of
people who are my apprentices (yes there will be several) will
form the core of Lochac's better dance groups. Possibly the people
who I'm looking for will be people who are the leaders, organisers,
and teachers of the dance groups in their home shires or baronies,
or people who form the core of the better dance groups of Lochac
(right now that means Stormhold, Rowany, St Florians).
If you want to learn basic stuff from me then fine, come along to
one of my classes in Rowany or wherever I happen to be travelling
to, but don't expect to be asked to be my apprentice unless you
have the curtain ring and can be asked to stand up in front of
a crowd and dance something confidently.
It doesn't mean that I don't like you, it just means that I want
my apprentices to be seen as (and to be) the best dancers in
Lochac. Believe me, when I've finished with them, they will be.
- There will be no "apprentice number 1" or anything silly like
that. Knights may get off on that sort of stuff but I don't.
- You will be expected to do some real work. That's not because I
particularly enjoy doing real work, or because it's good for the
soul or anything like that, it's because there is real work to be
done. At some point I'm going to ask you to reconstruct something
from primary sources, possibly including music. I'll work with
you on the first effort or two, then you'll be asked to do something
I have a big library of books of various sorts, lots of them contain
music and dances that haven't really been explored yet. In order
to probe the limits (and to pad Del's Dance Book out to its required
500 pages) then there is some real hard reading and whistling of
tunes and shuffling feet until we get something that's approximately
right. I can't do it all by myself without going completely batty,
that's one of my motives for taking on apprentices.
Oh, I do think that having reconstructed something will make you
a better dancer, though.
(There's a new manuscript that's just been found by Angene Feves,
and she's apparently unveiling it in July this year. That will
of course mean even more work, but it's a fairly major discovery,
rather exciting, and means more new dances).
- We will get together and do lots of fun stuff, too. There will
be real serious get-together weekends where we all learn something
new and spiffy, then take it down to Bal d'Argent or Yule or
William Marshal or something and blow their socks off. There will
be some apprentice-only workshops too where we'll work on new
stuff that we can go and teach people and perhaps sit about and
chat about new things and latest theories and stay up late drinking
coffee or scotch or whatever your favourite poison is and eating
gourmet pizza (another of my weaknesses) and chocolate.
- Be prepared to write. If you have access to e-mail then that's
really good. I have phone and fax numbers too which you can
ask me about. I can't come and visit all of my
apprentices in person every weekend and I don't expect them all
to have the resources to come to me!
IMHO: Everyone will have e-mail eventually, just like everyone
has a postal address or a phone number today. Get used to
- If you do have e-mail subscribe to the sca-dance list at the
very least (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you're
feeling brave the rendance list as well (email@example.com,
I think you subscribe by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have e-mail and web access then bookmark the rendance
web page: http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~andrew/rendance.html
as well as my web page:
- You may need to buy books. My library can be browsed through
and even borrowed from (apprentices only) and I've got just about
everything on dance from 1450 - 1600. If you find an area that
you want to do some particular research in (whether that's ECD
or Italian 15th or 16th C, or Burgundian) then you may want to
get your own copies of the books that deal with the period.
- Ditto for CDs and tapes.
- The laurel/apprentice relationship is two way. The above is the
stuff that I'll be expecting you to do. If there's stuff that
you expect me to do then discuss it with me and there shouldn't
be a problem.