One thing I might add as a former Treasurer: Make sure you let the
treasurer know who is getting paid, and how much. Particularly if you have
a special caller or band and are paying for mileage or some special
expense, or if you pay different people different amounts for whatever
reason. I've been in the uncomfortable situation of handing someone money
and having them say, "this is not the agreed amount." I've also been the
caller when the person with the bank asked, "how much do we pay you?"
Of course, it's not about the money, but smooth relations.
I've also had some dance groups find out which bands and callers get along,
musically and dance speaking, and which don't work as well together; e.g.,
Old Time band with caller who prefers not to call to Old Time, or just
plain personality conflicts. If the latter, a measure of discretion is
required by the organizers/bookers.
On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 5:17 AM, Alan Winston <winston(a)slac.stanford.edu>wrote;wrote:
The Palo Alto, California Contra dance has a
programming committee with
six or so members.
The two main approaches to booking staff here are
- send out a 'call for dates' to local callers and musicians; if they're
interested in playing they let us know when they're available, and then
a program is assembled, working in chunks of three months at a time.
- Track out of town people who are coming to the vicinity for dance
camps, etc, and sometimes solicit them for off-cycle (we're usually
but can have a special Monday) dates, or participate in tours or
mini-tours where out of town people play local-ish dancers over a week or
There's usually more lead time on this than on the other approach.
I'm the "booking coordinator" for the committee, which means I send out
the call for dates, collate the responses, and make a proposed schedule out
of that. I circulate the draft schedule to the rest of the committee for
responses; they might notice things I haven't. (I don't always get to our
dance because I'm gigging elsewhere or have some non-dance thing going on,
so it's good to have other eyes and ears who can note when bands or callers
have off nights, show improvement, etc.)
Another committee member tracks the out of town people more closely.
Another committee member organizes our American Dance Week and assembles
pre-and-post Dance Week gigs.
To keep from getting all our hands crossed, we communicate on an email
list, and we've recently taken to using Google Calendar to track dates that
have been booked ahead of the regular booking cycle.
This produces a lot of email but everybody on the committee is generally
aware of what's going on. (It doesn't work so well when trying to figure
out goals beyond our defaults of enjoyable evenings and nurturance of new
talent, and I'd actually like a bit more face to face than we get, but it
does work pretty well for divided responsibilities without a lot of
conflict or confusion, and it's less work for me as booking coordinator
than if I were trying to also regularly woo out of town bands and callers.)
Whether anything like this approach would work for you depends on
personalities - this is Silicon Valley and we're all fairly techy - and
your particularities of booking.
On 2/23/2014 9:52 AM, Dana Dwinell-Yardley wrote:
I am training to be the booker for the Montpelier, VT, dance under the
guidance of long-time booker Cindy Taska. We are considering adopting a
team approach to booking -- in case something happens to one person, to
share the load, to share the knowledge, to allow for a balanced booking
We're finding it difficult to figure out how to share the job in a way
doesn't create more work for both people, though. Does anyone else book
their dance as a team, or do you all have one person doing your booking?
Do you have any other booking tips or "best practices" of booking, things
you do that are essential to making the whole process work well, while I'm
Thanks for the shared wisdom!
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