|I expect that the classes would continue at the ASDC for various logistical reasons.
Given the need to keep angels engaged, and the need to address the limitations of our geographical situation, regular fun dances are essential. Few people will be encouraged to continue if we offer nothing but class nights. Again, in order to both promote attendance by club members, and to increase our visibility in the gay community, it would be better to hold these dances at gay venues in the city.
To provide variety for the club members, these dances would be an excellent opportunity to showcase either local or regional callers.
There are events (such as Pride, Gay Rodeo, Coming Out Day, and Caught In The Act) when we have an opportunity to demonstrate our hobby to others in the community. However, reliance on an ad hoc assemblage of volunteers for these events does nothing to promote our activity. Instead, I believe a well-rehearsed team can provide a fun demonstration of square dance without frightening away those that feel they “wouldn’t be able to do that”. The formation of a permanent Exhibition team would require significant commitment from a team of at least 12 dancers (to ensure that a square was available for all events).
I would propose that the club callers be jointly asked by the board to select and train this team. The callers are best placed to select those dancers that can be trained to the appropriate level, and that will look good as a team in a show setting. I realize that some dancers who are very enthusiastic may simply not look right in this setting, and that issue would need to be addressed sensitively. However, putting out an exhibition team that is very enthusiastic but lacks coordination will not meet the primary aim of increasing recruitment.
The board and the club in general need to concentrate on the joint issues of recruitment and retention. I am sure that many members have ideas on how to improve the current situation. We need to stimulate a continuing dialog and action plan around these issues in order to allow the club to thrive.