We run what has turned out to be, after 7 years or more, a very successful dance series in
Lenox, MA. The snacks are near and dear to my heart in our success.
To start with, we made a decision early on to offer some snacks, with members of our
organizing committee bringing them. One of our committee's sole responsibility was to
prepare some platters as well, and we reimbursed her. Over time, when she left, we began
to solicit snacks from the dancers. It is an excellent, and easy, way for people to
contribute to the dance, to be a part of it.
And the snacks serve as an excellent social mingling opportunity at the break. Instead of
everyone retreating to their own chairs, people crowd around, laugh, have conversation.
We pull a folding table out into the dance floor from one corner during the waltz,
bringing out the snacks, and by the time the waltz is over, the snack table is ready to
go. It really goes to the heart of building a real community.
Several years ago we made a decision to buy our own sound system. It turned out to be a
much more expensive investment than we originally thought (though well worth it.) We paid
for it in several ways, but snacks helped. Just about every month when I did
announcements I'd shill for money for the sound system, telling people that they could
contribute to the sound system by dropping money in the baskets on the snack table. By
this point we were regularly bringing large platters of fruit, and many dancers were
bringing all kinds of other snacks. After taking out the $25 for the expense of the
fruit, we were regularly getting $120 - $150 in donations. Our sound system ended up
costing us over $5,000 and I bet we paid for 1/3rd to 1/2 of it with snack donations.
And people still leave money, though not as much as when we were asking for it. It's
a very self sustaining endeavor and people take pride in the participation.
So, I wouldn't wait until "the dancers want it." Seed the snack table early
on, and then ask people to start bringing their own. Make it part of the evening.
On Jan 22, 2013, at 9:14 PM, Sue Robishaw wrote:
Thanks so much for all the responses to my dance length question. It was good to get
an idea of what others do.
Another area that is up in the air for our new series is snacks. How important do you
think they are or aren't at a twice a month Community Dance series? Our organization
group is very small at this point so we're thinking maybe this is something we could
add in later if dancers want.
U.P. of Michigan
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