Hi Bob and others,

Bob - thanks so much for the great notes. T'is super helpful!

I hope to add a few more comments including a summary of where main concerns/topics of interest lay for the 40-50 or so organizers in the room.

We got home very late Sunday and our kiddo promptly was feverish yesterday so it will likely take me until Thursday to post something.

Until then...

On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 4:08 PM, via Organizers <organizers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
Send Organizers mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Organizers digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Organizers meeting at Flurry. (via Organizers)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:36:04 -0500
From: via Organizers <organizers@lists.sharedweight.net>
To: organizers@sharedweight.net
Subject: [Organizers] Organizers meeting at Flurry.
Message-ID: <15a5c2a5a9c-2c4b-18137@webprd-m71.mail.aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

 Well THAT was fun.

I took a few notes, sharing per Claire Takamori's request
Sorry, didn't get there in time to hear everyone's name, and I did not include my
vociferous comments in my own notes.
Others, please edit to fill in the blanks and correct my version.

And, I apologize for monopolizing the conversation...I was so energized by the dancing
that it was difficult for me to contain my enthusiasm.

I do have follow-up questions for the group that does the Co-Host events...
What is the format? First Half Contra, Second half Swing, or is it an every other dance
sort of switching? We do Contra/English combined for special events,
and typically it is 2 and 2, alternating, but some people are not happy with this...
If it is half and half, do you experience people coming just for the half they normally dance?
Do you charge those people full price?

Regarding Attendance: Attracting/Retaining New Dancers, younger dancers, etc.
(Top concern for this meeting)

One dance group gives a free dance to members who bring a NEW dancer,
as well as the Next Time Free to the new dancer. They find it works very well.

Another group tries to have regulars all bring a friend to particular dances
when the caller is really good with teaching beginners. (NYC?)

A few? groups have had success with helping to host a free dance at local colleges.
Others have "College Night" with a deep discount when showing a Student ID.

At least One group who does the Next Dance Free thing has a tear-off where the person
gives their email or contact info at the first dance. They follow up with a personalized
email thanking them and inviting them back, possibly with details about the next dance or two.
(Who is performing...) (This may be two similar responses mashed together)

Some groups have "Taxi Dancers" with lead/follow indicators.
They are people who wear some kind of indentifier (pin, colorful marker, something)
and at sign-in the new dancers are shown what that looks like. The taxis will
dance with new folks, and be there if there are any questions.

Another group has regulars who dance with new people and try to make sure they have a partner for the next dance...
Bob: "Thank you for that dance, have you met Jean?"
Jean: "Hi, nice to meet you, would you like to dance?"

One group does a skit after the 2nd or 3rd dance about how to handle situations:
Topics: Saying no gracefully, how to stop the twirling, etc. (NYC or MontpielierContraExchange?)

Money stuff:

{Seems Rochester is an outlier, with regard to the cash box being unattended all evening, and self-serve sign-in.}

More than a couple groups have found that a Sliding Scale payment makes more money than a fixed rate.
The most successful seem to communicate the cost of running the dance. Something like:
Your money pays for Band/Caller/Rent/Insurance...and if we get 60 dancers paying $10 each,
we will break even...(Fill in the correct numbers).

One contra group works with Swing N Blues groups in their viscinity to co-host events.
{I view this very similar to what we are doing with English/Contra half and half dances.
Not sure of their format for an evening...}

Take the top exec of the local PBS radio station to lunch and talk about your dance.
They will become your advocate. (Probably works better in smaller New England towns)


Everyone is aging or burning out.

Have to get people started with small jobs with distinct short term objectives.
(Fill water jugs, sweep floor, put away chairs, etc.)

Extend PERSONAL Invite to be part of organizing team.
Volunteer requests over mic go in one ear and out t'other.


Good idea to get a coach for the Open Band.

Learned a new term: Ambi-dance-terous


(Rochester NY Weekly Thursday Contra)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.sharedweight.net/pipermail/organizers-sharedweight.net/attachments/20170220/6bb0bcbe/attachment.html>


Subject: Digest Footer

Organizers mailing list


End of Organizers Digest, Vol 28, Issue 12