Pioneer Encuentro does not register participants as "couples." There are many reasons for this. We find that what constitutes a "couple" can change from event to event. Persons frequently register naming a dance "partner" they’d like to have us invite who is not a regular life partner. In this dance-world context, “couple” can mean a variety of things; the term is unstable and potentially confusing. Therefore, we allow participants to name a dance “partner” and try to invite both members of a partnership, but we register everybody individually. This keeps our database clean.
Pioneer Encuentro is committed to gender-role balance. Invitations are sent to persons we know have a stable partner relationship and to single leaders and single followers, usually in waves. All the while, we closely monitoring gender-role balance. We allocate slots for single followers but find that, to keep the event balanced as we approach capacity, we only can invite additional followers as single leaders register to match them.
Unfortunately, when capacity is reached, we typically still have a list of single followers who would like to attend. Many are lovely dancers we’d like to have and would have invited, had enough single leaders earlier registered. This is the problem; single leaders are the constraint—this, and venue capacity. Increasingly, single followers seem to be persuading a qualified single leader they know to register and name them as “partner” which then enables us to send a “partner” invitation to the follower and expedite her registration. Strategically navigating registration this way appears to be a growing trend. However, If single leaders we invite do not have a regular partner, we encourage them to register early and without naming a partner. This enables us to invite more of the skilled single followers who are waiting for an invitation.
The dates for Pioneer Encuentro 2020 will be March 27-29, 2020. Invitations will be sent in September and October so that everyone has enough time to arrange their travel.